If you are living in the USA or are visiting the country soon, you may be wondering, are luxury brands cheaper in the USA? We’re here to answer that question!
The United States is a favorite holiday destination since there are so many incredible states, cities, beaches, and parks to visit, whether you are originally from America or a different country. The USA is also a great place to do a little shopping, with lots of enormous shopping malls and fantastic department stores to browse, filled with countless affordable and luxury brands you need to check out.
However, if you are thinking of picking up a new designer bag or luxury dress in America, you may be thinking, are luxury brands cheaper in the USA?
We’re here to answer that question, giving you all the important details, you need to know before you make any luxury purchases, and listing the best brands to go for to ensure you get the best deals. This article is a must-read before you do any luxury shopping, whether you are from the United States or a different country.
Are luxury brands cheaper in the USA?
European luxury brands like Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Celine, and Gucci are not cheaper in America, but many American luxury brands can be found at slightly cheaper price points in the United States than in other countries. This means that if you are heading to the USA, you should look for American brands, such as Tom Ford, Kate Spade, Vera Wang, and Marc Jacobs, or electronics brands such as Apple and Amazon.
European brands and fashion houses, for example, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Bottega Veneta, Gucci, and Saint Laurent, will not be cheaper in the USA – France and Italy are the best places to buy them at affordable prices.
It is worth noting that if you are traveling to America from Europe, Asia, or Australia, you need to look at the exchange rate between your home currency and US dollars as this will mean you can check whether you are getting the best deal on luxury goods.
We are now going to explore why some brands are cheaper, while others are not so you can be fully informed before you make any big purchases.
Why Are some Luxury brands more expensive in the USA?
Any designer brands from Europe will be more expensive in the USA because of import taxes and transportation costs, raising the retail price of the item. This also explains why American brands are cheaper because often these pieces are made in the USA and therefore there are no import or transportation costs.
Many high-end brands from France, Italy, or the United Kingdom will produce their luxury items in Europe and then the items will be shipped all over the world, which raises the price. You also need to take into account the VAT refund that is available for non-EU residents throughout many European countries, which significantly reduces the price of any designer bag or accessory – in France, tourist can claim 12% off their purchase, and in Italy, up to 15%.
This is why it is best to purchase American brands in the US if you’re a savvy shopper, whether these are electronics, fashion, or beauty brands that are manufactured or at least brought to market in America.
Let’s compare the price of a Gucci bag in different locations all over the world so you can see the price difference between America and other countries.
You will see the price of a black leather Gucci GG Marmont Small Shoulder Bag below:
|Home Country||Price In Local Currency||Price in USD ($)||Price in Euros (€)|
|America||$1,790 (with NYC sales tax: $1,948)||$1,948||€1,785|
As you can see, the price of this Gucci bag in America is the second most expensive, only $45 cheaper than the price of this bag in Australia. While the price of this bag in France or Italy is the cheapest; this price does not take into account the vat refund that is available to tourists visiting from outside the EU – displaying how it is best to pick up any luxury goods from a European brand in Europe.
Now let’s compare the price of a Michael Kors handbag so you can see how much cheaper American brands are compared to the rest of the world.
Below you will see the price of a white Michael Kors Marilyn Medium Saffiano Leather Satchel:
|Home Country||Price In Local Currency||Price in USD($)|
|America||$298 / With NYC sales tax: $324||$324|
This table illustrates how America is the cheapest place to buy Michael Kors bags, displaying how American brands are cheaper in the USA than anywhere else in the world. This is great news if you are already in America or are traveling to the United States since you can now buy from an American designer brand and get a great deal!
Things to Bear In Mind When Shopping As A Tourist
It is worth noting that the sales tax differs across each American state and even the county within the state. For example, in New York state, the sales tax rate is 4.5%, in California it is 9.5%, in Texas, it is 6.25, and in Chicago, Illinois the sales tax rate is 10.25%.
If you are from the United Kingdom or Europe, where often the sales tax has already been added on to the final price, you will have to start to estimate the sales tax that will be added on to anything you are buying so you know exactly how much you will have to pay in the end.
There is also no tax refund scheme, like the one that is available in most EU countries, throughout America, but some states or some counties within the state may offer a tax refund for international visitors. For example, in Texas, you can receive a certain percentage of the sales tax back if you leave the country within 30 days of making a purchase.
Whereas in Louisiana, you will see tax-free shopping centers where items will be at a slightly discounted price because you will not have to pay sales tax. It is worth checking the status of tax refunds for any state or county you are visiting to make sure you can get the best deal and you are shopping in the best places.
If you are on holiday in America, you should check out department stores for luxury bags from the top designer labels, as you may find deals that are not available in individual boutique stores. You will find Neiman Marcus all over the USA, and it’s always worth a visit to see if you can find any lower prices on luxury products.
Nordstrom, Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Bloomingdale’s also have a presence in many states in America, offering many of the best luxury American brands that you really need in your wardrobe! Finally, if you’re headed to New York City, Bergdorf Goodman is definitely worth a visit.
Brands and Designer Bags to Buy In America
To get the best deal in America, it is best to opt for an American brand – so we have brought together some of our favorite bags from the top American luxury brands and fashion designers. There are a wide range of styles and designs of luxury handbag, so you are bound to find one you love that needs a place in your wardrobe!
1. Tory Burch
This Tory Burch Kira Chevron Convertible Shoulder Bag is a must-have, super versatile bag you really need in your life. This bag has a spacious interior, can be worn on the shoulder or across the body, and is glam enough to wear both day and night.
The Kira shoulder bag is crafted from plush, quilted leather and decorated with a gleaming gold double T logo on the front flap. The gold chain strap has a leather shoulder pad for comfort and slides for shoulder or crossbody wear.
The front flap allows easy access to the spacious interior, divided into two compartments by a central zip pocket so it’s easy to keep everything organized. Pick up this bag in cream or black to suit any personal style.
The Lee Radziwill Leather Bag from Tory Burch is a classic and timeless handbag, named after the style icon and American socialite Lee Radziwill. This is the mini version of the Lee Radziwill that debuted on the runway in 2019 and has been incredibly popular ever since.
This bag is made from shiny black leather, with a belted top, secured with a gold magnetic lock, and finished with a leather top handle. We love that this bag also comes with a detachable and adjustable shoulder strap to ensure versatility.
The interior may be compact but there is just enough room for your phone, keys, and your credit card can slip inside the interior card slot. This gorgeous handbag retails for $548.
2. Michael Kors
The clean lines and sharp silhouette of this Michael Kors Marilyn Medium Zip Leather Tote Bag give it a chic and stylish look – perfect for work or college. This calf leather tote is available in white or pink, each with an MK logo charm wrapped around the shoulder straps and two exterior slip pockets, ideal for any items you need within easy reach.
The zip top opens to reveal a roomy interior, fitted with a zip pocket and two slip pockets, so you can stay organized and always find just what you need. This tote bag is available for just $228, making it a fantastic, affordable, and practical bag to add to your collection.
We think the Michael Kors Maeve Monogram Canvas Pocket Crossbody Bag is the perfect everyday handbag, with a stunning look and functional design.
The Maeve bag is crafted from monogrammed coated canvas for a super durable finished, and then decorated with faux leather trim and slip pockets on the front and back of the bag. The webbing strap, featuring the Kors name for a stylish logo look, is adjustable so you can wear this bag on the shoulder or across the body.
The inside may look small, but you will find there is plenty of room for your everyday essentials, plus a slip pocket and card slots too! There is also a dark brown version of this bag if you fancy a more minimalist aesthetic.
3. Tom Ford
The soft, slouchy look of the Tom Ford Large Alix Flat Hobo Bag makes it ideal for weekend wear, while the spacious interior guarantees you can fit all your essentials for a busy day out. The hobo bag is made from richly grained leather and finished with gleaming gold hardware to add a glamorous touch.
The front of the bag is decorated with a Tom Ford signature zipper and turn lock – so stunning! The leather strap slips over the shoulder while the interior is fitted with a zip pouch so you never lose small items at the bottom of your bag! This classic and timeless bag is available in silk taupe or black – both super versatile options that will suit a wide range of outfits.
We love the Tom Ford East/West Calfskin Leather Shoulder Bag with its sleek and minimalist look that can easily take you from day to night. This chic designer bag is made from black grained calfskin leather and finished with a front zipper and simple leather shoulder strap.
The unique element of this bag makes it really special, such as the gold zipper on the base of the bag and the zip pocket built into the front flap. The interior of this bag is the ideal size for your must-have items, plus the slip pockets will help you keep your bag organized. This stylish handbag retails for $2,690.
3. Marc Jacobs
If you are looking for a luxury bag that is ideal for everyday wear, then this Marc Jacobs The Colorblock Snapshot Bag is exactly what you need. The compact size, structured silhouette, and chic color combination make this bag an essential item in your wardrobe.
The best-selling Snapshot bag is crafted from black leather, which a glittering gold double J logo on the front and pink leather on the sides and base to add a fun pop of color. The webbing strap, which is decorated with black, white, and gold stripes, is adjustable so this bag can be worn on the shoulder or across the body.
There are two top zippers that open to two different compartments, one of which is fitted with a wall pocket, making it easy to keep all your items organized and easy to find. This bag is also available in white and green if you fancy a little more color.
You may have already seen the Marc Jacobs The Medium Tote Bag all over social media since it has become incredibly popular recently – and we can really see why!
This tote is available in a wide range of colors, with a spacious interior and practical design, making it ideal for both work and the weekend. This bag is made from thick canvas, which is printed with ‘The Tote Bag’ and the Marc Jacobs brand name in bold lettering to make this tote instantly recognizable.
The bag features both top handles and a detachable shoulder strap so you can style this bag in a range of different ways, while the interior is spacious enough for all your work or college essentials and has been fitted with zipper and wall pockets. This super stylish tote is available for just $195.
5. Ralph Lauren
Add a pop of color to your luxury handbag collection with this beautiful RL Calfskin Leather Top-Handle Bag from Ralph Lauren. This sleek and sophisticated bag is crafted from smooth, shiny calf leather, then decorated with a sparkling silver RL logo.
The structured silhouette and architectural design have been inspired by the art deco era for a special vintage touch. We love that this bag has a leather top handle and a detachable and adjustable crossbody strap for endless styling options.
There is a slip pocket on the back of the bag, while the interior is divided in two and fitted with a slip pocket – just perfect!
This Ralph Lauren Welington Flap Leather Shoulder Bag has a stunning silhouette and eye-catching hardware, both inspired by the equestrian heritage of the Ralph Lauren brand. The curved silhouette is crafted from buttery soft white leather and decorated with polished gold stirrup hardware.
The leather shoulder strap is adjustable and detachable, while the compact interior is lined with suede and just the right size for your daily essentials items – plus there is a slip pocket inside too! This chic and refined handbag is the perfect accessory to finish off any sophisticated day or night look. Pick up this striking handbag for just $1,800.
In conclusion, there are some luxury brands that are cheaper in America, while there are others will that are more expensive in America than in many other countries in the world.
If you are looking to buy a handbag from a major European luxury fashion house, such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Christian Dior, or Versace, these will be more expensive in America so it is worth picking up one of these bags in Europe if you have the opportunity.
Whereas, American designer labels such as Tory Burch, Tom Ford, Kate Spade, and Ralph Lauren offer cheaper prices in America.
Also, make sure to browse department stores to look out for any offers or deals, and make sure to remember that the sales tax only gets added at the checkout so expect the price to go up a little when you take a luxury item to the checkout!
We hope you found this article answering the question, are luxury brands cheaper in the USA, helpful! For more luxury fashion content, check out the links below.