Weekly Shopping Update: Brexit EditionJune 29, 2016
Not to minimize or disparage the results of the U.K. referendum, but the dollar's strength against the British pound and the euro is profitable news for American shoppers (or anyone paid in USDs).
Luxury purveyor Net-a-Porter (U.S. site), based in London, charges £30 on its UK site (the option to change regions can be found on the top left corner of the page) to ship to U.S. addresses, but orders are shipped on a Delivery Duty Paid basis (i.e., prices reflect all import taxes and duties). Take these shoes for example, at the current Visa exchange rate of £1 to $1.342366 (disregarding bank foreign transaction fees), you will pay $852.40 ($812.13+$40.27) for these shoes instead of $995.
It goes without saying that brands and styles that are rarely (if ever) discounted (think Christian Louboutin) work best for this scheme.And, at my favorite British fast fashion e-tailer ASOS, there are some gains to be realized by paying in pounds. Even if you choose Paypal's less attractive exchange rate (of £1 to $1.3879391), the dress below came to $132.15 when you pay in pounds (be sure to change only the currency, not the country).
The Burberry Kensington Mid-Length Heritage Trench Coat, which retails for $1895 on the Burberry website, can be found at Harrods for $1670.55 (List Price $1801.40 - UK VAT $300.23 + Local Taxes $1 + Import Duties $133.60 + a Delivery Charge of $34.78).
Or, if you elect to pay in pounds, you will end up paying about $1612.14 (List Price £1,295.00 - UK VAT £215.83 + Local Taxes £0.75 + Import Duties £96.05 + a Delivery Charge £25.00; converted at the Visa exchange rate noted at the top of the post).
Harrods charges a flat £25.00 fee for delivery to the U.S.
Lastly, for all of you bros before homes (I kid, things are clearly better than experiences), United Airlines is having a sale on transatlantic flights (for those interested in traveling to Europe in the comings months, this New York Times article has some interesting, if not potentially helpful, predictions about ticket prices and tour packages). You can buy goods in person and fully exploit all that luxury shopping has to offer.