Go to Publicity
Purchases "

How do duty-free shops, and is it true in them cheap

It would be naive to believe that your purchase is advantageous because you do it in a duty-free. The price of the same product in different duty-free shops may differ in half. Skyscanner! Dispatched agents to the airports in three continents to find out where the duty-free cheaper.

Learn how to operate duty-free, or just scroll to compare prices and find out where profitable shopping - in London, Dubai or Moscow.

How does the duty-free

The essence of the duty-free shops (Duty Free) is clear from the title - they are exempt from duties and taxes. But not all, but only some, and even then not always. Most often duty-free are exempt from import duties. The reason is clear: the traveler will take away goods are abroad, so this is probably exported. In some countries, duty-free for the same reason is also exempt from VAT. A very unique case - also on excise duties.

Freeing the goods from import duty, the government wants to be sure that this product actually leaves the country. Therefore, usually the duty-free are in airports, ports and ground PPC already in the international zone, for border control. Although there are exceptions. Malaysia and Argentina, for example, duty-free shops are located not only in the departure halls, but also in the halls of arrival after border controls. And the Philippines has a "duty-free mall" and it is all in one and a half kilometers from the airport in Manila.

Globalization is not spared and duty-free. Most shops selling perfumes, cosmetics, alcohol, cigarettes and sweets belong to a handful of companies. The largest network: World Duty Free, Dufry, Gebr. Heinemann, DFS, Flemingo.

Why do prices vary from duty-free

Legal trade tax - is not the dream of an entrepreneur? It would seem that all duty-free if you do not have to cost a dime, it is many times cheaper than in traditional stores. But no such luck. First, the seller is not exempt from all taxes, but only on parts. Income tax is charged on the wages of employees are, and so on. Secondly, the reduction in the overall tax rate, say, 15% does not necessarily lead to lower prices for the same goods 15%. The reasons for this are several. "The prices depend on two factors: geography and currency exchange rate", - explains the president of Generation Research, which analyzes the work of tax-free shops. In addition, all the difference in taxes can easily "eat" a fabulously expensive rent of retail space at the airport. Or, the seller simply wanted to earn more, taking advantage of a monopoly position. The latter, by the way, it is possible to cheer: sales in duty-free alone Dubai Airport close to 2 billions of dollars a year.

Scotch whiskey in Russia a third cheaper than in Britain.

Therefore, prices for the same goods in different airports vary in half to two times. And make sure that you can do - Below is a table comparing the prices, which gathered a team Skyscanner!. A good example - the site of the German company that owns the duty free shops around the world from Austria to Australia. The same company, the same products and prices - different. For example, our vodka Beluga contrary to any logic in remote Australia is 52 $, while in neighboring Poland - 69 $. Sometimes it comes to the absurd: in duty-free Heathrow Macallan Scotch is 78 €, and in the duty free Sheremetyevo - 60 €. Scotch whiskey in Russia a third cheaper than in Britain.

Every second article on the duty-free in Russian confidently and without reservation calls are the cheapest and most expensive country. Particularly bold edition even displays the percent of the economy. And this, of course, nonsense.

Where is the duty free is cheaper

Every second article on the duty-free in Russian confidently calls the cheapest and most expensive country. Particularly daring publications even cause the average percentage savings. Like, in the United Kingdom duty free luxury and perfume in Turkey stands at 6,8% cheaper. And this, of course, nonsense. Well, let's politically correct. No nonsense, but "the average temperature in the hospital" and an attempt to give figures for the relative absolute. First, because many airports in Turkey, in which different operators operate duty-free, and therefore the prices are different. Secondly, to talk about average prices, it is necessary to compare similar products and our experience in the range of different shops rarely coincide. Third, at Heathrow expensive than where? Than in Russia, in England, in other duty-free or Amazon? And finally, fourthly, it all depends on what you will do with the product. Let's say you forgot to buy a souvenir. In this case, it is necessary to compare prices in the souvenir shops of the country of departure. We decided to treat yourself to a new perfume - compare prices perfumes at home. Do you want to stock up on alcohol on vacation - there is, and should be compared with the country of departure and destination.

Therefore, the profitability of buying duty free have to figure out in each case. For example, you go back to Moscow from Seoul and want to buy toilet water Fahrenheit. Urgent change your mind, because it is in Korea 97 $, while in Russia - 82 $ in the first online store. Another example - cigarettes: to buy their way back in Russia, did not make economic sense (unless you are looking to buy a guess and "delicious" and "real"). But the stock unit Marlborough before flying from Russia to Britain, where one pack is 15 $, exactly worth it. The only thing, perhaps, the exception - it's souvenirs. In most cases, they are at the airport are more expensive than even the most tourist places of the city, from where you leave.

Compare prices of goods in duty-free shops from America to Japan

We have compiled a list of common goods - cigarettes, alcohol, sweets and perfumes - who are more likely to be found in any duty-free world. And ask colleagues to take pictures while traveling prices in airport shops. To this we added data information sites of other duty-free. And that's what came out of it (for clarity, all prices converted from local currencies into euros at the exchange rate on the day of comparison):


Compared participated liter bottles of Martini Bianco and whiskey Jack Daniel's Black Label.


We compare the prices block Marlboro Gold.


We found out how much are My Burberry perfume and eau de toilette Fahrenheit.


We compared how many faces Ferrero Rocher candies and, of course, unofficial symbol of duty free shops - in the triangular Toblerone chocolate packaging.

Definitely called the most expensive and the cheapest duty free world can not - too great dependence on a specific set of products. The study Skyscanner! Dubai and Tel Aviv often are the most expensive cities, and Berlin, Budapest and Moscow - the cheapest (relative to the average level of prices in the duty-free).

For example, we evaluated the following products:

  • Whisky Johnnie Walker Double Black, 1 liter;
  • liqueur Bailey's Irish Cream, 1 liter;
  • Toblerone chocolate in a triangular 400-gram packages;
  • set of multicolored chocolate LINDT, 500 g;
  • perfume Burberry Brit Rhythm, 90 ml;
  • perfume My Burberry, 90 ml.

It turned out that the price of a "basket" in the duty-free shops from New York to Singapore on different 25%. At the same time, it is the most expensive in Dubai, and the cheapest - in Moscow.

Official sites duty free shops

Sites with prices is only at a few tens of duty-free shops at airports. Skyscanner! Assembled links to some of them to you before departure can check the value of the goods necessary to you and decide whether favorably to buy them in duty free.

Moscow - dutyfree.ru, regstaer.ru

London, Edinburgh, and two dozen UK airports - worlddutyfree.com

New York, Washington, Miami and even 11 US airports - dutyfreeexpress.com

Budapest, Bratislava, Sydney and three dozen airports in Austria, Germany, Italy and Norway - heinemann-dutyfree.com

Amsterdam - schiphol.nl, Athens - dutyfreeshops.gr, Delhi - delhidutyfree.co.in, Dubai - dubaidutyfree.com, Dublin - theloop.ie, Copenhagen - shop.cph.dk, Montevideo - dutyfree.com.uy, Seoul - lottedfs.com, Singapore - ishopchangi.com, Tel Aviv - dutyfree.co.il, Tokyo - duty-free-japan.jp.

These sites can be helpful not only to compare prices, but also to save time. In many duty-free pre-order service is there: you choose the right products online a few days before departure and at the airport just take away their purchases.

A source: Skyscanner