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Anything less expensive in U.K. than it is in the US?

distracts

Ideal_Rock
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I am in England for a couple of weeks and while randomly browsing fashion websites I clicked on a Max Mara coat I’ve been eyeing and noticed my browser was automatically in UK/GBP so switched it to US... only to realize that even accounting for exchange rate and whatnot the cost is over $1k more in the US!?!???!? Even if I were to forget to get VAT refunded and buy enough so that I’m over the flat-rate duty amount when coming back through customs, I’d still be getting things for essentially a sale or secondhand type price.

So I was wondering if there are any other brands or items you know offhand with price differences that would make it worth buying here? I wasn’t planning on shopping for anything but if I can save that kind of money I sure will, lol. I am checking out other brands I like but I didn’t bring my laptop and it’s slow going on my phone.
 
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elizat

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Sometimes UK brands are cheaper. I remember at the time, Mulberry was less expensive. It's been years since I looked though!
 

missy

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I think your best bet is to buy something unique to England that cannot be found in the US. Such as their chocolates. Cadbury's Chocolate in England is different than the one we get here and it tastes delicious. Some of their china might be less expensive if you buy it there vs buy it in the US. Whiskey from independent bottlers that you cannot buy in the USA. Specific brands of Jam, tea, etc.

Enjoy your trip @distracts!
 

distracts

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@elizat that makes sense! That’s even why I was a little surprised by the Max Mara price difference since it is Italian. The purses I’ve been carrying for the past several years are JW Anderson and I think that’s a British brand.

I think your best bet is to buy something unique to England that cannot be found in the US. Such as their chocolates. Cadbury's Chocolate in England is different than the one we get here and it tastes delicious. Some of their china might be less expensive if you buy it there vs buy it in the US. Whiskey from independent bottlers that you cannot buy in the USA. Specific brands of Jam, tea, etc.

Enjoy your trip @distracts!
Thanks for the ideas! We try to always buy several different kinds of local honey everywhere we go - for something that is the same thing you can really get a lot of different flavors depending on where it’s from and what kind of flowers.
 

MollyMalone

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I did several searches comparing US retailer prices (and also ship from UK to US prices) on UK goods I've purchased in the past -- e.g., various types of Pantherella socks (which I've often given as Xmas presents & all the recipients seemed to love them) and leather goods from Smythson (at least some of which were made in Italy, not England) -- and at today's exchange rate, purchasing them in England with GBPs would save a not-trifling amount of money (20-30%).

Following up on @elizat 's suggestion of looking for goods made there, here's a website with lists and links you might find helpful:
https://makeitbritish.co.uk/

The Greenwich Market is very popular with those who have posted shopping reviews on TripAdvisor London:
https://www.greenwichmarket.london/

Although not responsive to your specific question, here are two, very recent TripAdvisor threads on shopping in London that you might find useful:
https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g186338-i17-k12884176-Shopping_in_London-London_England.html
https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g186338-i17-k12809239-Independent_shopping_area-London_England.html

And of course you could post your query on the TA London forum board; doesn't seem like that particular question has been asked recently :))
 

bludiva

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i found better pricing on ted baker items in the UK, that's been the extent of my British shopping though :lol:
 

distracts

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I did several searches comparing US retailer prices (and also ship from UK to US prices) on UK goods I've purchased in the past -- e.g., various types of Pantherella socks (which I've often given as Xmas presents & all the recipients seemed to love them) and leather goods from Smythson (at least some of which were made in Italy, not England) -- and at today's exchange rate, purchasing them in England with GBPs would save a not-trifling amount of money (20-30%).

Following up on @elizat 's suggestion of looking for goods made there, here's a website with lists and links you might find helpful:
https://makeitbritish.co.uk/

The Greenwich Market is very popular with those who have posted shopping reviews on TripAdvisor London:
https://www.greenwichmarket.london/

Although not responsive to your specific question, here are two, very recent TripAdvisor threads on shopping in London that you might find useful:
https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g186338-i17-k12884176-Shopping_in_London-London_England.html
https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g186338-i17-k12809239-Independent_shopping_area-London_England.html

And of course you could post your query on the TA London forum board; doesn't seem like that particular question has been asked recently :))
Ahhh it wouldn’t have occurred to me to look on tripadvisor! My vacations are mostly spontaneous and plan-free so I don’t often look at things like that. I wasn’t even entirely sure I was going to London until the day before I left! I had tickets to a show but that was it, lol
 

arkieb1

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Some really unique Antique jewellery to be found in some of the jewellery districts too not always cheaper but a nice range of things.
 

distracts

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Some really unique Antique jewellery to be found in some of the jewellery districts too not always cheaper but a nice range of things.
I was absolutely planning on checking out antique jewelry - based on previous experiences in Europe, I was guessing I may not find anything I like that I can afford, but I will sure enjoy looking!

Just got a Louis Vuitton wallet from the duty free store in heathrow. Thanks to the fantastic exchange rate and lack of VAT, it was ~30% less than buying it in the US.
Good to know! The annoying thing is having to constantly be doing all the math, lol.
 

CSpan

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I lived over there a few years back and I definitely noticed a difference in prices (and the XD rate was awful then!) Funnily, there was just an article about Pret a Manger being cheaper in London than New York.

I second the jewelry shopping, i found the best deals in Spitalfields (sp), Camden, and then East End. The SE Asian population have breathed new life into a lot of old street markets and they always have loads of jewelry for sale. I am not sure where the it place is right off the top of my head.

As @missy said the Whisky (Scottish has no "e") can often be cheaper but not always. Cadenheads often had good deals. It was significantly cheaper to drink it in pubs I can attest to that.

And the airport is a surprisingly good deal. I bought some Waterford from the Terminal 5 Harrods store and it was half of the US price and less than in the high street store.

Also, regarding your web browser switching. I use VPNs and my favorite secret is that if you search for airline tickets from another country (you can chose that country from the drop down) the tickets are often less.
 

distracts

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Oooh good to know other places to look for jewelry. My go-to method is just putting “jewelry” into google maps when I’m on my way to or from a museum or other thing I’m doing and then visiting every store that’s not too far out of my way... which isn’t exactly the most focused method.

Also I had not thought about airplane tickets with VPNs but it makes sense! I sometimes just look at them in the private browser because if you look repeatedly the price starts going up.

Thank you!

ETA: Another thing Ive found that is loads cheaper: Hamilton tickets. I’m pretty sure we’re going to add another city to the list of cities where we’ve seen it because the prices are just too good not to go.
 
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smitcompton

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Hi,

I love Irish Fisherman cable knit wool sweaters. I admit I don't know if cheaper there than the US, but I love them. They are so nice and warm. ``ANNETTE
 

arkieb1

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The jewellery in the jewellery district in London is expensive (ie around Hatton Garden) but is still worth window shopping, but if you go out to any of the smaller places/villages sometimes in some of the little Antique shops there are sometimes great finds.
 

Alex T

Ideal_Rock
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Definitely try British bands, such as Mulberry & Barbour. You will get beautiful handbags & wax jackets / clothing far cheaper here than in the US.
 

distracts

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...health insurance... I know, I'll see my way out....
:lol::lol::lol: Too true!

Definitely try British bands, such as Mulberry & Barbour. You will get beautiful handbags & wax jackets / clothing far cheaper here than in the US.
Oh I hadn’t looked at Barbour yet. Might be too utilitarian for me, but if they have sizes for giants my husband might like them.
 

dk168

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Fish & Chips. ..:bigsmile:
Marmite, tea bags, good Belgian chocolates, sweet treats etc...

When I go to Vancouver to visit my folks, my bro would ask me to bring him cheese-flavoured crisps/chips, as he says the Canadian ones are not as good as those in UK.

For my mum, she likes Soreen malt loaves, as they have short shelf life and not available in Canada.

DK :lol-2:
 

Jambalaya

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Are you flying back from a terminal that has a Cartier, like Heathrow Terminal 5? Cartier airport prices in Europe are the best, but right now is a really good time in the UK because the exchange rate is in Americans' favor due to Brexit. I just checked.

Are you in London? If so, I'd go to Kiki McDonough and Annoushka. They're jewelry brands favored by Kate Middleton, and according to the map, they're just round the corner from each other. You can get the tax back. With that, and with the exchange rate, you'll get a great price.

www.kiki.co.uk

www.annoushka.com

Kate also has jewelry from Mappin and Webb, and they have a store at Heathrow Terminal 5 I believe.

www.mappinandwebb.com

Just checked and they have an online sale! They don't ship to the US but I bet they'd ship to your hotel in the UK.
 

Phoenix

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Are you flying back from a terminal that has a Cartier, like Heathrow Terminal 5? Cartier airport prices in Europe are the best, but right now is a really good time in the UK because the exchange rate is in Americans' favor due to Brexit. I just checked.
I am gonna check out their Cartier boutique. :clap:

It's such a shame that there is no VCA in London airports!:knockout:
 

qubitasaurus

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The pound has fallen so much recently, and the USD is currently high so maybe you are just seeing that difference played out (this could perhaps be enough to account for a 30% discount).
 

Phoenix

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The pound has fallen so much recently, and the USD is currently high so maybe you are just seeing that difference played out (this could perhaps be enough to account for a 30% discount).
This is it. But eventually, all the vendors will adjust their asking prices to account for the weaker pound.
 

distracts

Ideal_Rock
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I have gone to a few shops but haven’t found anything I really like yet, except for these earrings at Kiki McDonough. Unfortunately I can’t stomach the price... $4k for blue topaz??? I swear I’ve seen similar earrings elsewhere but for the life of me I can’t find them.


905F1368-7EF0-4567-ACB4-0AF5578702B5.jpeg

3AF3BFD9-3A4E-4FC7-A079-AED8E30005A7.jpeg
 

dk168

Ideal_Rock
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I have gone to a few shops but haven’t found anything I really like yet, except for these earrings at Kiki McDonough. Unfortunately I can’t stomach the price... $4k for blue topaz??? I swear I’ve seen similar earrings elsewhere but for the life of me I can’t find them.


905F1368-7EF0-4567-ACB4-0AF5578702B5.jpeg

3AF3BFD9-3A4E-4FC7-A079-AED8E30005A7.jpeg
Yup, crazy prices, hence I would rather import from abroad when it comes to fine jewellery.

DK :))
 

distracts

Ideal_Rock
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Yup, crazy prices, hence I would rather import from abroad when it comes to fine jewellery.

DK :))
Haha yeah... I sure had fun looking though!

The only things I’ve bought so far are a jacket from M&S that was an impulse purchase while buying socks (we lost some while they were getting cleaned) and some books at Waterstones, because I follow several of the stranger Waterstones twitter accounts and am greatly entertained by them.

I’m not 100% sure yet but I thiiiiiiink at the airport Cartier I’m going to get the Clash de Cartier ring. I haven’t tried it on yet, but I really like it from pictures.
 

arkieb1

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You could probably get DK to make something similar for half that price in the earrings....
 
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