Duty Free Shopping

  

Duty Free Shopping

When you follow the guidelines of your airline, you turn up for your flight 2 - 3 hours before your flight is due to depart, supposedly to have sufficient time to get check in, drop off your luggage, complete security checks and to find your gate, but what happens is then is that you tend to find yourself lingering around the departure gates for an hour or so before you actually board your flights. In every airport there are a plethora of duty free shops, mostly selling products like perfume, spirits, watches and jewellery, electronics and local souvenirs. It often feels like being in a shopping mall instead of in an airport.

It has been drummed into our brains that shopping at airports saves us money as we avoid paying certain taxes and have the benefit of shopping duty free. The worldwide sales mark for Duty Free Shopping is in the vicinity of $50billion a year, two thirds of which is from the airports.
Selling these products as “Duty Free” and “Tax Free” is obviously a fantastic label to put on a product to be able to sell it, however, airports tend to put on an excess to raise these prices to almost the same as you would be paying with tax and duty included. They are clever in reducing the price enough to make it a great deal for the customer, but it's even better for the airport who not only gets the profit but an additional sum where they are not paying taxes and still increasing the price on the product.
The highest savings are on products like tobacco, spirits and liqueurs which carry a high tax in the US, and when purchased in bulk at the airport (obviously within your allowances) can be a substantial saving in the long run. If your'e observant, you'll notice that a lot of people mentioning stocking up on these items as they pass through airports, often picking up a brick of cigarettes for a family member or a friend, and to have that as a possibility imprinted in your mind every time you travel before you even leave for the airport is the product of excellent marketing.
Airpots are also very clever in that they provide lots of products that the traveller might want. Bored and waiting for your flight? Pick up a book! Forgot your headphone or phone charger? No problem, they have that too. Can't get comfortable on planes and have a long flight? There's travel pillows and earplugs and everything you could possibly require on sale which is easily forgotten when packing. Furthermore, when you're in the “holiday mode”, you become more spontaneous and less hesitant at parting with your money.
Clearly Duty Free is a successful business, but overall it doesn't save you too much money. You may be better off checking the prices with your local supermarket before you leave rather than presuming that the airport will be the cheapest place, also allowing you more room in your luggage for all those items you leave out to compensate for duty free products.

 

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