People who look for bargains on luxury items often ask – is Gucci cheaper in Italy? In this era of ever-growing accessibility to clothing, jewelry, and much more, we seem to be on the hunt for luxury pieces. In particular, Gucci the famous Italian brand has risen to prominence after its resurgence in popularity.
If only luxury pieces weren’t so expensive, achieving your dream closet wouldn’t seem so hard. However, perhaps there may be a cheaper option; for the same quality, but simply one at a lower price.
Specifically, can a luxury brand such as Gucci be cheaper in its home country of production? Yes, Gucci is cheaper in Italy for various reasons. Let’s find out why.
Is Gucci Cheaper in Italy than in the U.S.?
Chances are, either you or your friends have traveled overseas and have found designer pieces at a significant discount from the prices you would see in a U.S boutique. Compared to the U.S, Gucci prices in Italy are a standard 10% less expensive. There’s a reasonable price for relatively anyone and even more accessible Gucci is discounted.
The key to seeing whether Gucci or any designer for that matter is less expensive is analyzing exchange rates. For example, if a Gucci piece is $2,300 in the U.S, but 1,790 Euros in Italy, and the current exchange rate makes the actual Euro price roughly $1,900, then you will get a discount of about $400.
In addition to the exchange rate discount, you still have to apply the value-added tax or VAT refund, which would make the overall purchase even cheaper.
Where to Find Discounted Gucci
Within Italy, Gucci bargains can be found in several places. “The Mall” is an outlet in Tuscany which carries a variety of daily designer brands shipments, including Gucci.
Then there’s “Desi” in Bologna, which is a vintage shop stocked with a variety of Gucci. Desi has even better discounts than the stores, as the products are considered ‘used.’ Other luxury vintage shops include “La Bottega dei Dolce Ricordi” in Florence, where Gucci pieces go for as little as 40 Euros.
How and Why are Gucci Items Cheaper?
There are specific reasons why luxury pieces are cheaper in their home country of origin. Three of these reasons include cheaper prices, exchange rates, and something called a value-added tax or VAT refunds.
In European countries, foreign travelers who are not from the European Union can claim a VAT refund on purchases that are eligible from the customs office at the airport upon departure. Simply present the official receipt at the customs office, it will be stamped and you’ll be sent on your way.
Value-added tax can range anywhere from 10 to 25 percent. In Europe alone, it’s also included in the item’s market price. In order to qualify for a VAT refund, you have to go through quite the checklist.
VAT rules for what exactly qualifies for a refund vary depending on the country. In Italy, a foreign customer can receive a VAT refund by spending a minimum of 155 Euros at one time in a single store. Afterward, the shopper can get a refund rate of 22%.
In France, eligible VAT participants have to spend 175.01 Euros minimum in a store at one time and the VAT refund rate is usually 12% when processed in-store through a refund agency.
German shoppers can qualify for VAT refunds if they spend at least 25 Euros in one store. The German refund rate is 19% when the customer processes it by themselves.
One crucial rule, however, is that all foreign customers must have their passports ready to present at checkout in order to receive the required paperwork for a VAT refund.
In addition, travelers must present unused purchases to customs as per inspection policy. VAT refunded purchases are only cited as products that will be used abroad, so it’s crucial you leave your new luxury wardrobe in the suitcase until you’re back home.
Is Gucci Cheaper in Italy than U. K.?
Up until very recently, the UK may have been your best bet for bargains alongside Gucci’s Italian home. While it could’ve been that the UK brought in more clientele for VAT eligible shoppers because of the English language being less of a barrier, it was also dependent on its EU status.
However, as of 2020, the United Kingdom relinquished its EU membership, losing its VAT privileges in the process. Under previous VAT Retail Export Scheme policies, non-EU foreign shoppers could get a 20% VAT within the UK.
The UK government announced later in 2020, that the country would discontinue any and all VAT-free shopping for non-EU foreign shoppers, which went into effect on December 31st, 2020.
Immediately following the country’s decision to separate itself, experts from the Association of International Retail were already warning that the UK would be significantly hurt by their departure.
It is now the only European country to not offer VAT-free purchases from luxury retailers for foreigners. Studies by the Center for Economic and Business Research show that since the UK’s departure from the EU, foreign customers are 90% less likely to spend their money in UK stores.
Several luxury designers, including Gucci, have written letters to the UK government, saying that they are concerned about the UK’s future performance in tourism and retail sales after their VAT-free shopping ban.
Gucci, as well as other companies, claim that the UK government will lose billions in international revenue since non-EU customers will take their money to other European countries instead.
So although the UK’s prices were relatively low for luxury brands such as Gucci in prior years, it stands to reason that presently and in the future, Gucci’s pricing in the UK will be somewhat similar to their pricing in the U.S and thus overall cheaper in Italy.
Is Gucci Cheaper in Italy than in Australia?
Unfortunately, those who choose to visit Australia will have to settle with the beautiful views and culture rather than discount luxury prices. In fact, Australians and foreign visitors are forced to pay somewhat of a premium for luxury goods.
Luxury boutiques in Australia sell at roughly 35% higher than in the EU. Furthermore, since Australia is not an EU member, it does not have the advantage of an EU VAT refund. Next to Japan, Australia has some of the highest designer prices, so it’s easy to understand that Gucci is definitely cheaper in Italy.
When it comes to why exactly Gucci is cheaper in Italy aside from VAT refunds and having the designer based in its home country, you have to consider shipping. All European luxury goods that are shipped overseas often receive import fees and duty taxes, incurring a higher transportation cost and therefore an overall higher retail price.
Is Gucci Cheaper in Italy or Paris?
Paris is the land of designer houses and designer consignment shops, where you can find just about any designer piece for less. Since we’re specifically talking about Gucci, Paris also has its fair share of Gucci outlets and although many foreigners are unaware, Paris by law has to have sales at least twice per year. Thus, you’re bound to find a deal at one of their Gucci outlets.
However, despite its reputation for fashion, Gucci’s connection to Italy remains solidly tied to its pricing, so if you can afford it, better to take a brief car or train ride across borders to scope out the price tags.
Are Gucci Purses Cheaper in Italy?
Just like we’ve established so far, the Gucci brand is cheaper in Italy, inclusive of its various accessories such as purses. Depending on the Gucci store, the design and range of accessory designs may also be greater than those of U.S stores.
So, aside from getting a discount on your luxury piece, you may also have the opportunity to find something that’s relatively one of a kind compared to back home.
Are Gucci Shoes Cheaper in Italy?
Aside from the fabulous Gucci bags, there are also Gucci shoes that are just as accessible price-wise. In particular, accessories from designers as a whole are often smaller, more compact, and able to be bought in bulk.
When buying in bulk, whatever reason you may have, the discount increases as you are essentially purchasing stock.
Are Gucci Belts Cheaper in Italy?
Finally, let’s discuss the famous Gucci belts that broke the internet for several years. These products too can be bought for much cheaper in Italy.
Although the small size of most accessories allows for lower transport expenses, it cannot account for buying a quality piece straight from the source, not to mention, Italian leather is like no other, made with dedication and craftsmanship.
However, one should always keep in mind the varying factors that go into such discounts, such as exchange rates, VAT refunds, and shipping and related costs. Ultimately though, what matters when finding a deal is also finding a balance between quality and price.
When you can achieve that, you know you’ve found a truly special bargain. So what are you waiting for? Go buy your ticket today and find your new Gucci piece!