Duty Free – How to Save Money at the Airport

We have all seen the Duty Free shops at airports. They try their best to entice us to buy something and most of us do as we try to kill time before our flight departs.

But are Duty Free shops at airports cheaper or more expensive than the high street ? I set out to try and find out whether it is possible to make savings at Duty Free shops and here is what I found out.

I was at Manchester airport recently on my way to a holiday on Fuerteventura and my daughter had asked me to buy her an ipod. I had done my research and discovered that on the high street an ipod would cost about £115. I had checked the website of Dixonstaxfree.co.uk before travelling and was given a price of £100, which was a saving of £15 so I bought the ipod at Manchester airport and was very pleased with myself.

The Dixons website is worthwhile knowing about so that you can check prices at the airport before you go.If you are travelling out of Gatwick, Heathrow or Manchester the range of goods available is incredible so it’s worthwhile checking for tax free bargains.

I have done some re-search for you so here are my top tips for saving money at the airport.

Fragrances and cosmetics

There are some great bargains to be had at airports on fragrances and cosmetics but you need to be aware of your prices before you fly as some prices may not be as good as they seem. I saved 50% on a mens aftershave but many perfumes and aftershaves don’t have significant savings.

The new Marc Jacobs fragrance, Lola, is available Duty Free for £36.00 as opposed to £60 itsells for in Boots. Also, the Marc Jacobs limited edition silver Daisy fragrance costs £48 airside instead of £60.Manchester’s Biza store is selling Calvin Klein’s “Secret Obsession” for women for £49.00, saving £12 on the high street price.

Birmingham’s Alpha store is selling Prada Man for £27.40 instead of £35 on the high street and Armani’s Acqua di Gio is £41 instead of £49.

Electrical Items

We all love a bargain when it comes to buying electrical items like digital cameras and mp3 players. There are savings to be had at the airport but some items can be bought on the internet at similar prices. The thing to remember is that you can actually speak to a real person and handle the product before buying it whereas on the internet you can’t do that.I looked at the Panasonic FS7 digital camera as an example. (This camera has great reviews!)

 The Dixons price at the airport is £107.98. Amazons price is £109.99 and several online camera shops were selling it at just less than £105. Dixons claim that the high street price is £124.I also checked out the Samsung F30 video camera. At the airport this camera will cost you £134. Amazon were selling this video camera at £149.97. The cheapest online price I could find for the Samsung F30 camera was £129.99 and the high street price is £149.99. Again a reasonable saving can be made. If you don’t like using the internet then shopping at the airport could well be  a good idea !

Alcohol and Tobaco Products

Excise duty only applies to alcohol and tobacco products and whether or not you pay depends on where you are flying to.Passengers travelling to a destination outside the EU can buy goods free of excise duty and VAT but this is not the case within the EU.These passengers pay a price that includes excise duty and VAT. That is why two prices are normally displayed and why a sales assistant will ask to see your boarding card.Tax-free refers to products which are VAT exclusive. But either way, there are savings to be made.

Discounted Jewellery

Some of the biggest savings to be made can be on expensive jewellery from designer watches to engagement rings.In fact, some of the jewellery is so heavily discounted that you can buy a one carat diamond ring for the equivalent price of half a carat.Gatwick airport’s biggest saving is around £600 with a one carat diamond, 18 carat gold engagement ring going for £4,218 instead of £4,850 on the high street.Or, on the cheaper end of the scale, a princess cut, one carat diamond set in 18 carat white gold sells for £1,738.33 instead of £1,999 – a saving of £260.67.Bigger items are also good value if you can buy them tax free.

New flatscreen TV’s are worth considering with savings of over £100 in some models.You wil, of course, have to pay for home delivery when you order it at the airport.Big name shops like Sony and HMV also have savings but these shops are normally only at the bigger airports like Heathrow.There is a saving of £30 on the X-Box Elite at HMV.

My advice, like anything else, is to shop around before buying goods at airports. You might find a bargain but on the other hand even if you don’t it has passed some time away.

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