Paris Trip Designer Shopping Haul + How to Calculate VAT Refund!

To my dearest:

I’m going to share something exciting with you all about my trip! And yes, probably something you all are most curious about! It is my shopping haul in Paris! So get excited to see some goodies! I’ll also be sharing with you all the items that I passed up on this time, but are still on my list. As an added bonus, I’ll also be sharing the current price point, how much I saved per item after VAT and how to calculate it.

Before I start, I just want to be up front about a few things. Being a fashion blogger, I saved for a long time before taking this trip and saving for these items. So while, I did splurge a little, and I know that not everyone agrees on the value of these items. Know that I worked hard and saved pennies for a long time for this and I spend responsibly. Plus, I myself, believe in the investment of these quality pieces in the long run!

grand pigalle paris shopping haul chanel celine gucci

First, let’s talk VAT refunds for Paris. Remember, in order to qualify for VAT refund, you must spend over €175 on your receipt. And now, onto how to calculate – it seems complicated, but it’s pretty simple when you get used to it. When calculating – Take the current exchange rate and you get 13% of that back. So just multiply the money you spent in USD by (0.87) and you will get the true price you will pay for the item.

If your item is €200, google the current exchange rate.  At this time it would equate to $230.94 * (0.87) = $200.92 which will be the price you pay. This means you get $30.02 back as VAT refund.

So now, onto sharing my purchases!

gucci marmont card holder

Gucci Marmont Card Holder

I’ve actually been eyeing this piece for quite some time. This is more of a need rather than a want. I was supposed to buy this back on my trip in March to SF and LA after the pageant. But I decided to hold off on it at the time. I’ve been wanting a medium sized card case that was slim but perfect for flat lay photos at the same time. (Yes, taking gorgeous flat lays with this was a stern reason of wanting this piece. Oh the blogger way of thinking. Haha. Now you know.) I looked at several pieces. With the CÉLINE being too small, and the Chanel and YSL ones being too big and bulky. This one was the perfect size for me. And so this trip, I finally picked it up.

The price for this is €190 vs. $250 (plus NYS tax = $272)
Conversion – $227 * (0.87) = $198 // VAT Refund Amount: $29
Total Amount Saved: $74

chanel nude quilted espadrilles

Chanel Espadrilles

This is also a piece I’ve been eyeing for a while. I’d say about two to three years? However, this model was not the one I intended to buy. I wanted the classic black lambskin ones. However, I decided to put that further down the list and grab these instead. Why? Probably cause classics will always be there and I see them on everyone. And these are a little more unique and different. And I’m not sure if they’ll stick around after the season. It’s also summer season, so nude was all the more seductive to me. Who knows? But yes, I really do love these and intend to wear them more casually or as traveling shoes. People always say how comfortable Chanel Espadrilles are, once you break them in. Well, I must test them out for myself!

The price for this was €550 vs. $725 (plus NYS tax = $789)
Conversion – $636 * (0.87) = $553 // VAT Refund Amount: $83
Total Amount Saved: $236

celine classic box small red

CÉLINE Small Classic Box

Ah yes, this was my “big” purchase. And yes, I saved up a long time for this. I try to ration my collection process of purses. So, it was hard for me to decide which bag to get this time around. However, with the classic box’s price raise in the US every season. I knew I had to jump the bandwagon sooner, rather than later. I was torn between a small in red or a medium in black. If you know me, you know that I gravitate towards small bags more. And yes, the smaller one won the battle yet again! But I assure you for a good reason. I figured the medium box could wait since it’s more classy in my opinion and I’d mature well into it a couple of years down the road. Simple as that. And, the savings for this bag is ridiculous though when you compare prices from US to Paris. Definitely hold off on buying it in the US if you’re making a trip to Paris soon, because you’ll save yourself a whole lot of money!

The price for this was €2400 vs. $3250 (plus NYS tax = $3535)
Conversion – $2868 * (0.87) = $2495 // VAT Refund Amount: $373
Total Amount Saved: $1040

chanel earrings

Chanel Earrings

Okay, this was the one unplanned “accidental” purchase I made. Really didn’t mean to, but also did not want to pass it up either. I really liked these after trying them on. And when the SA told me how much they cost. I just couldn’t resist. I had to add them to my collection.

These were €280 can you believe it? That makes it under $300 after VAT refund. A price I have never really seen in Chanel earrings in the recent years. The cheapest price point usually falls around $375 plus tax. So yes. These were very reasonably priced! Even my usual SA gasped when she saw these and learned of the price! She also questioned how these could be such a steal! She also noted that she has not seen these in the US store directory. So I guess I lucked out!

PS: My Chanel SA for jewelry and accessories is Bonnie at Chanel Soho. She is so knowledgable and just such a sweet heart. Definitely go ask for her if you’re shopping in Chanel New York. I’m a loyal shopper of hers and that says a lot.

The price for this was €280 vs. US PRICE N/A (estimated $350 plus tax = $381)
Conversion – $324 * (0.87) = $282 // VAT Refund Amount: $42
Total Amount Saved: $99


Items I passed up on this trip were the Chanel Black Classic Espadrilles, Louboutin Apostrophy’s, Hermes Twilly, and Goyard small pouch. They’re still on my collection list though. So, one day right?

paris shopping haul grand pigalle

So what do you think of my purchases? Which one is your favorite? And would you like me to review the items? If so, which one are you most interested in? Write back and let me know!

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Sincerely Ophelia
Latest posts by Sincerely Ophelia (see all)

This post is not sponsored.

PHOTO of me by Scander. Other photos, property of Sincerely Ophelia


  1. Melissa
    May 30, 2018 / 4:44 PM

    First, I’m so jealous you went to Paris! Its totally on my bucket list. And second your haul is amazing!! I hope you are loving every bit of it!

  2. May 30, 2018 / 9:43 PM

    I love the lamb skin espadrilles ! Such a good find with the earrings!!

  3. May 31, 2018 / 12:40 PM

    Thank you so much for the guidance to calculate the VAT refund. That’s so beneficial for someone like me who’s normally too lazy to calculate anything even though I realize that this would benefit me if I knew how to do it. Thanks for sharing this! 😀

  4. May 31, 2018 / 2:32 PM

    Thats awesome that you have figured out how to save on these big purchases! I had no idea about the VAT, is that something that you can take advantage of throughout the world or just Paris?

  5. May 31, 2018 / 3:43 PM

    I am sure this article has helped many of your readers to calculate the right VAT amount. Nice informative blog.

  6. Marcie
    May 31, 2018 / 10:14 PM

    Ok those Chanel earrings are so pretty! I can see why you had to splurge!

  7. Luci Cook
    June 1, 2018 / 10:59 AM

    I didn’t know the amount that you can get back, that really adds up. I really like the earrings. Really nice but simple.

  8. June 1, 2018 / 12:16 PM

    So many beautiful items! I’m so happy you got so many great deals too!

  9. June 1, 2018 / 3:12 PM

    You are so clever to make such savings on your purchases! I think my favorite item in your haul was the card holder (it is simply gorgeous!). Great job on finding a deal!

  10. June 1, 2018 / 3:31 PM

    Wow that is a great savings! I love those earrings and how they have the Channel logo over the gem. what craftsmanship! Glad you had fun in paris.

  11. June 1, 2018 / 4:52 PM

    I literally want everything that you bought in Paris! You seriously have such good taste. So interesting about the VAT tax. Good to know for my trip to Paris next year!

  12. Shaily
    June 1, 2018 / 6:31 PM

    The post is a great insight into the VAT refund. It’s great to know how small calculations make a big difference. I love your shopping list items, especially the classy earrings and the red bag.

  13. June 1, 2018 / 8:27 PM

    Lovely picks dear, especially that Celine red bag. You really can’t go wrong with the classic.

    Jessica |

  14. Leigh Ann
    June 1, 2018 / 11:25 PM

    Wow, what a dream shopping trip! I’ve traveled to a Europe several times and never really understood what the VAT was. I had no idea, thanks for explaining!

  15. June 3, 2018 / 3:42 PM

    All your pictures are always absolutely stunning. You’ve given me a some real #shoppinginspo now 🙂

  16. June 4, 2018 / 2:46 PM

    Wow that is a haul! Love Chanel and all the accessories what a lucky girl you are I need some Chanel in my life. Those shoes and the bag I need!

  17. June 4, 2018 / 11:04 PM

    You looked happy with your purchase. I hope you really get to enjoy your haul. They all look fabulous!

  18. June 4, 2018 / 11:37 PM

    Wow… love love your haul, especially the Chanel Espadrilles, it will be cute on all kind of outfit!

  19. mary yowell
    June 5, 2018 / 8:54 AM

    I love this haul! Oh I totally understand the the blogger way of thinking! Would this look good in photo? I’m happy to hear that you were able to pickup some things you have been wanting! The card holder was my fave!

  20. June 5, 2018 / 7:44 PM

    I love the Chanel Earrings! I think it looks really awesome. The other stuff in the haul looks really elegant and sleek as well!

  21. June 5, 2018 / 8:43 PM

    So many lovely things. Now I want to go shopping.

  22. joygurtiza
    June 6, 2018 / 8:25 AM

    Wow, who would have thought of calculating VAT refund when shopping. Thanks for this insightful post. 🙂

  23. June 6, 2018 / 1:23 PM

    Such an informative post! I never really knew how VAT works. Glad I got a clearer sense of it now which makes me feel ready to shop in Paris! 🙂

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