"Shop till you drop." Modern
society seems obsessed with shopping, with this activity having
become a major participation sport for many people. If you are
one of this group you will find that the airports, airlines and
ferry companies cater for your needs. Airports are becoming more
like shopping malls; once in the air you will be trapped in your
seat by the wagon train of 'duty free' selling by the cabin crew;
and everyone seems to be advertising the benefits of 'duty free'
shopping. Apart from the anomally of buying goods at a different
tax rate while travelling between two countries (surely the
concept clashes with the principle of the EEC?) do you get good
value from Duty Free Shopping?
In the Canary Islands we have regularly published a price comparison between buying products duty free or locally. Our results are as follows;
Cosmetics. Since the dropping of 'Resale Price Maintenance' (remember that?), and the discounting of cosmetics by UK retailers, prices are roughly similar between UK, airport duty free, in-flight duty free and in the holiday resort (Tenerife). In-flight prices were slightly lower, but from a limited choice of products.
Alcohol. Airport and in-flight prices of brand name products are significantly lower than in UK shops. However the local prices (in Tenerife) are lower again - a brand scotch being available at below £7 a litre! Normally it is better to buy in the resort than at airport shops, but if you want to save the effort of lugging your 'duty free' about the flight-side shops (technically duty free) at Tenerife and Mallorca have a wide range and good prices.
Tobacco. Again airport and in-flight prices are well below the UK retail prices. However within the resort (Tenerife & Mallorca) the local prices are considerably lower than both airport and in-flight shopping.
When shopping in resorts be aware that those "DUTY FREE" signs prominently displayed by shops are meaningless. The Canary Islands are NOT 'duty free', but do have a very low rate of tax on many products. If you are the sort of person who is 'suckered' by Duty Free signs you should take note of the 'Penny wise, Pound foolish' comment elsewhere in our Advice Directory.
For more Advice Directory topics click Directory. Price vs Value. Accommodation. Street Touts. Timeshare.
To return to our main site click Home Page. Titles. Key Features. DWG sitemap