Shopping Guide To Heathrow Airport

Chanel-heathrow-airport

Where can you find the cheapest place to buy a brand-new Chanel Bag? At Heathrow airport of course! But to get the lowest price, you will need to follow certain rules. And also, you might have a lot of unanswered questions like:

  • Do they sell the Boy Bag at Heathrow airport?
  • Can you make a reservation and how?
  • How does the tax-free process work?
  • How much time do you need for shopping?
  • How to get to Terminal 3?
  • And so much more…
Chanel Heathrow Airport Overview

 

Because the previous article is outdated, we decided to create a new page with all the details. So let’s get down to it. Read on:

1. The selection, the stock

What do they sell and what don’t they sell at Heathrow Airport? Do they have a good selection? Do they have the WOC? Do they have the Boy Bag?

In 2013, we were told that Chanel has stopped selling iconic handbags at Heathrow Airport. But clarify the word iconic please? What types of handbags are categorized as iconic by Chanel? Nobody knows for sure.

But what we do know is what they really sell in Heathrow. They sell:

  • Do they sell the Boy Bag at Heathrow airport?
  • Chanel New Mini Classic Flap Bag
  • Chanel Mini Square Classic Flap Bag
  • Chanel Wallet On Chain aka WOC
  • Chanel Coco Handle Bag and other upcoming classics like the Trendy CC Bag and Gabrielle Bags
  • All seasonal handbags
  • Chanel Reissue 2.55 Bag in seasonal colors
  • Chanel Boy Bag in seasonal colors
  • Chanel Wallets
  • Chanel Card holders
  • Chanel Charms and signature CC Earrings

The selection and availability depend on the stock at the moment, but for example, they’d got a good selection of the Wallet On Chain.

2. What are the iconic bags?

Sometime ago, we asked the SA what the iconic bags were. We have been told that there were 6 iconic bags and the Boy Bag was one of them. The Boy Bag was indeed banned from selling at the Heathrow Airport at that time.

Perhaps the rules have changed overtime.

Aside from the Boy Bag, the Reissue 2.55 Bag is also an iconic right? Then why do they sell the Reissue 2.55 Bag at Heathrow?

Here’s our speculation: we think that it has to do with more than only the styles. The colors are important as well. So the Reissue 2.55 Bag might be available in seasonal colors, but the classic shades like black are not available at Heathrow airport.

“If you know more info, do share it at our comment below. It will be very helpful for the community.”

3. Terminal 3 vs Terminal 5

The Chanel boutique at Terminal 3 is smaller than Terminal 5. But their stock changes from time to time, so it’s possible that a bag is available in T3 while its not available in T5. The best way to check the stock is to hire a personal shopper or contact Chanel directly. We will provide more details below about hiring a personal shopper at Heathrow – see chapter 5.

3a. How to travel between Terminal 3 and 5?

So you’re in T3 or T5 and want to get to the other boutique to shop. Make sure you have enough time to do the shopping, because travelling takes time. So how to travel between these two terminals?

To travel between T3 and T5, take the express train. There is a train every 15 minutes and the travel time is 20 minutes. So the maximum travel time will be 35 minutes (waiting for the train + travelling with the train). But do note that walking and searching for the boutique takes time as well. And also the shopping like the payment or applying for the tax-refund.

For details about travelling between terminals please go to: Tax-refund guide at Heathrow Airport. We have an extensive guide there.

 

4. Make a reservation

Yes, you can make a reservation 24 hours before your departure and pick the bag up. Sometimes the SA’s (or the PA’s) can bring the bag to you, but that is only possible if they have time (special occasions. And there are also limitation rules – you can only reserve 1 bag.

The general limitation rule is 1 item per category, so you can also make a reservation of other items. For example; you can reserve 1 bag, 1 coin purse, 1 wallet, 1 cardholder and so on.

There are also handbags that the SA cannot put on hold. Those are bags that are in high-demand like the Classics or the Reissue 2.55.

5. Hire a Personal Shopper

How to maximize your shopping experience? How to get to Terminal 3 or Terminal 5 as fast as possible? How to skip the obstacles and inefficiency like wasting time on research, going the wrong way or searching? Hire a trained Shopping Assistant from Heathrow Shopping Service.

How does this work?

1. Go straight to the website Heathrow Shopping Service.
2. Book a Personal Shopper 48 hours before your travel.
3. Discuss with the Personal Shopper about your budget and the time you have available. Also tell her what bags you’re looking for because she might be able to make the reservation.
4. The Personal Shopper will prepare a shopping plan so you can max out your shopping time.
5. The Personal Shopper will meet you after the security.
6. The Personal Shopper will guide you to the boutiques, she might know some short-cuts so you can get to the stores as fast as possible.

 

Fabulous isn’t?

And of course, you can also do some prior research by contacting Chanel.

6. How much time do you need for shopping?

Imagine the time needed for travelling between T3 and T5. If you want to visit both boutiques, you will need at least 35 minutes to get from T3 to T5 and then you will also need to reserve some time for travelling back as well. The general rule of thumb is that you need to reserve 2 hours or more for a good productive shopping spree.

7. Duty-free or not Duty-free?

This chapter is important if you want to get the lowest price, so pay close attention.

There are two kinds of prices at Heathrow Airport (the SA can give you two different prices):

1. Duty free prices: these are the lowest prices. And also, these prices are the main reason why people shop at Heathrow airport.

The standard VAT rate in the United Kingdom is currently 20%. If you can buy the bags for Duty-free, it means that the boutique has not put any VAT on the items yet. So there is no tax-refund needed.

You can only get your bags or other items Duty-free if you’re travelling from Heathrow Airport to countries outside of the EU.

 

If you are travelling within the EU countries, then the following rule will be applied (this means if you are travelling from Heathrow airport to other EU countries):

2. Prices with VAT, then tax-refund: these prices are higher than the Duty-free prices. The prices are the same as buying from the London boutiques, but the tax-refund process is much smoother and faster.

So how does this work comparing to the Duty-Free?

First your items will be taxed with VAT. Then the Shopping Assistant will help you remove the VAT by filling in the tax-refund form. The tax-refund process will only take a few minutes (much faster than buying via the boutiques).

 

IMPORTANT NOTE: Only NON-EU citizens are eligble for VAT refund.

 

Like we’ve said before, the prices are the same as in the boutiques. But the SA of the Heathrow airport can help you speed up the tax-refund process and remove the hassle of getting a stamp from the custom and so on. The tax-refund will be immediately deducted from the prices.

But why is the bag more expensive than Duty-free?

Because of the tax-refund, you will get less money back. There is a fee for processing your tax-refund form, of which will be deducted from your total return.

8. The price differences between Duty-free and no Duty-free

To summarize what we’ve discussed in the previous chapter: if you are travelling from Heathrow airport to a country outside the EU, you can get the price with duty free.

If you’re travelling from Heathrow airport to a country inside the EU, then you have to pay the regular price, which is price + VAT. The VAT can be deducted via the tax-refund process.

8a. The prices with Duty-free

Let’s take a look at the Chanel Bag prices with Duty Free. Then compare them with the prices with VAT and tax-refund.

The Chanel M/L Classic Flap Bag currently retails for £3990 GBP with VAT (price as per April 2018).

 

Duty-Free price at Heathrow Airport: £3325 GBP
The total discount is: 16.67%

 

Now let’s take a look at the price with VAT, then deducted with tax-refund.

8b. The prices with VAT refund

Important note: Only NON-EU citizens are eligble for VAT refund.

 

If you cannot get the Duty-free, because you are travelling within the EU, then you will get the price with VAT. The SA will help you get VAT back via the tax-refund process.

Here’s the calculation for the price with VAT refund:

The Chanel M/L Classic Flap Bag currently retails for £3990 GBP with VAT (price as per April 2018)

 

Retail price with VAT £3990 GBP
Tax-refund: £538 GBP
Price VAT excluded: £3452 GBP
The total discount is: 13.5%

 

8c. The conclusion

If you buy the Chanel M/L Classic Flap Bag today, you will get a lower price if you buy with Duty-free. In fact, you will get 3.20% cheaper than if you buy the item with VAT refund.

But if you can’t purchase the bag at Heathrow Airport with Duty-free, then basically it’s the same as buying at the regular Chanel boutique in London. If so, then why go through the hassle to buy at the airport?

The reason is because of the ‘no hassle’ tax-refund process. The SA can help you with the tax-refund very quickly, without you going through the pain of getting the stamp from the custom, walking to the tax-refund counter and so on.

However, if you want better stock, then you should visit the boutiques in London. London has more boutiques and more selections than the airport.

If you have more details, or want to add new information, please post via the comment below. We will update this post as soon as possible. And it will be very helpful for the community. Thanks!

5 Comments

  1. Mrs T April 15, 2018 Reply

    I am a UK citizen and will be travelling to asia this year from Heathrow airport. Will I be eligible to purchase a chanel bag duty free?
    14.04.18
    Thanks for your help!

    • Toby April 17, 2018 Reply

      If you fly to Asia from Heathrow airport, then you can buy duty free.

      • Toby April 17, 2018 Reply

        Even if you’re an UK citizen

  2. Babi April 13, 2018 Reply

    Sorry the text is so confusing. In order to make it the text clearer I have 2 suggestions.
    1. Put a time stamp in your posts. Sometimes we do a research and one have no idea if the info is updated since there is no date in it.
    2. In this specific post you should make it clear the difference between duty free (any traveler) and vat (person who doesnt live in GB an is flying outside UK/Europe). Aiport in Europe have different rules because some countries are part of European union and others are not and then there is GB…
    So Vat doesn’t apply for European Union citizen. For me is quite confusing. And with the whole Bretix going on is much more confusing to figure the whole thing out 🙁

    • Bragmybag April 17, 2018 Reply

      Hi Babi, thank you for the comments, we will look into it and create the necessary changes.

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