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What Is Duty-Free?
“Duty-free” is a blanket term used for retail products that aren’t subject to import or export tax. They’re usually sold in “duty-free stores” found in and around airports, and other points of entry into the country. Duty-free stores stock all the same things that regular retail stores do, just cheaper. Big brands like Mimco, Victoria’s Secret, Aesop, and Sephora all have duty-free products in certain stores.
Duty-free shops are fantastic for three reasons:
- Depending on what you buy, the prices can be lower than the market price.
- They discount specific products at duty-free shops, resulting in big savings.
- The products are exempt from the usual taxes of bringing in or taking out products from the country.
Australia has some of the lowest taxations on their outgoing products (comparing the usual market price to places like Jr/Duty-Free), so duty-free shopping is really popular with outgoing tourists. Different duty-free limits exist depending on your point of departure, so it’s always a good idea to check the duty-free allowance before loading up a cart!
Why Buy Duty-Free At Melbourne Airport?
Australia’s laws about bringing duty-free goods are some of the most permissive in the world:
- Up to 900 AUD of general goods by anyone over the age of 18
- 450 AUD for anyone below 18
There are some exceptions to this rule, most of which involve tobacco and other similar items. However, general goods (gifts, electronics, perfumes, jewellery or souvenirs) are considered duty-free items and aren’t taxed. In comparison to other places like the United States, all it takes to bring goods in and out is the receipts and an appropriately sized carry-on bag.
And what makes the Duty-Free in Melbourne special? As the second-busiest airspace in the country, it often has a variety of products that you won’t find in most duty-free shops. More traffic means more potential customers, and you can expect big brands like the Apple store and Gucci to have some products for sale, especially if you know where to look.
Where You Should Go For Duty-Free Bargains
Outside the airport, you have a couple of places to choose from when buying duty-free products:
- China Town Duty-Free Shop
- Lotte Duty-Free Melbourne
- City Duty-Free
They’re all located within a couple of blocks from each other from the Parliament Railway station, which makes them easily accessible to anyone who will be staying in the city for a few days. The wares are a little more commercial than the ones you’ll find in the airport (and will be taxed accordingly), but you’ll most likely be able to claim a partial refund on them thanks to the Tourist Refund Scheme.
Melbourne’s airport shops gives you more options. Some of the places you can go to include:
- Melbourne Duty-Free by Dufry
- Emporio Armani
- Seed Heritage
- Tiffany & Co.
A convenient service that some of these shops offer is the option for you to buy and pay for your products online, then swing by the terminal area to pick them up before leaving!
What You Should Buy
But which products give you the best bargain when it comes to duty-free shopping? Here are three of our top picks.
Alcohol is one of the most taxed export items because of the difference in manufacturing processes in each country. Buying at the duty-free can help you avoid the outgoing taxes on your booze.
Cigarettes are another highly taxable product because of health concerns and the different rules on tobacco regulation per territory. Duty-free purchases of these products are tightly regulated, but you should still be able to get your nicotine fix, even with the newer ruling in place.
Perfumes And Other Luxury Items
High fashion items like bags, accessories, and fragrances come at a discount at duty-free shops. Some collections are region-exclusive, so it’s an excellent way to snag something special that you can’t find anywhere else.
See You Next Time
So next time you want to pick up some sweet deals, swing by the Melbourne airport Duty-Free. You’ll get low prices on excellent products that you can’t find anywhere else – what better way is there to celebrate a departure?