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Is duty-free shopping really a bargain?

Duty free

I’m running low on my favorite perfume, which started me thinking whether it would be worth waiting and buying it duty-free. With all of the deals at Ulta, Amazon, etc., I wondered how duty-free measured up.

I wasn’t alone. It seems that a host of news outlets from Esquire to USA Today asked the same question a few years back and the conclusion across the board was the same:

“Duty-free is almost never a deal for the casual shopper out to get a bargain,” says Jason Clampet, a senior editor for travel guidebook publisher Frommers.com. “You can save significant amounts if you’re a smoker who lives in a state with high taxes, but you’ll find that electronic goods, beauty products and luxury items such as designer purses usually cost less at home or online.”

There you have it!