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Going to the US - the Cheapest alcohol is NOT duty free

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jlou

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May 30, 2004
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If you are going to be able to get to a supermarket, skip the airport duty free and buy your grog at a supermarket - in California, Vons or Ralphs.

Here are some examples:

One example: Veuve Cliquot:

Duty free at airport US$50
Vons US$36.99 less 10% if you bought at least 6 bottles of wine or spirits (6 x 750ml is the exact allowance for 2 pax returning to Aust)

a 750ml Smirnoff was US$10 less 10% if you buy 6 bottles total.

The savings against the duty free were significant - incredible compared with the prices in Australia.

If you join their supermarket club (can be done online) you get even bigger discounts. Our hotel had a membership so we just punched in the phone number at the checkout, no questions asked.

Incidentally, most duty free sell 1 litre bottles although some (NZ for example) do 1.125L. As the lnew imit is 2.25litres, before grabbing 2x 1 Litre bottles, see if it works out better to buy 3 x 750ml as you will get an extra 250ml.
 

infoworks

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If you are in the US, also try Sam's Club or Costco outlets...some of their country selections alone are bigger than a small bottle shop in OZ.

Don't buy duty free outbound US...it is expensive.
 

BlacKnox

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Different country; yet recently in Bali I was surprised at the cost of red wine. Everything was cheap, including food & beer, though wine (imported) was more expensive than Japan, let alone Australia. Sorry, can't remember the cost of spirits (except Campari seemed really expensive). If you're going to Bali - Buy your (good) red wine before!
 

serfty

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BlacKnox said:
Different country; yet recently in Bali I was surprised at the cost of red wine. Everything was cheap, including food & beer, though wine (imported) was more expensive than Japan, let alone Australia. Sorry, can't remember the cost of spirits (except Campari seemed really expensive). If you're going to Bali - Buy your (good) red wine before!
Went to Bali twice; in '89 and '91.

Second time took I took in duty free limit in Red wine. I did consider a wine cask, but it was a honeymoon :p

For goodness sake; a bottle of Mateus Rose cost ~$30 back then :shock:
 

clifford

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infoworks said:
If you are in the US, also try Sam's Club or Costco outlets...some of their country selections alone are bigger than a small bottle shop in OZ.

Don't buy duty free outbound US...it is expensive.
Very interesting, infoworks. I am also a card carrying member of Safeway and Albertsons (the biggest Supermarkets in CA).

As for duty free ex LAX, they have become quite competitive. I was there a few days ago and saw 2x 1 litre bottles of good quality spirits for USD 25 (for 2). No matter how cheap Sams Club, et al, might be on the day, you'll be hard pressed to beat that.

Also, I bought my wife some cosmetics at the LAX duty free, and I am sure that they are currently the cheapest in the world there. And I do travel through SIN, BKK, etc, etc all the time, so I do compare.

Let's have some factual info, please.

:)
 

luckydog

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Aug 7, 2004
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LAXreta

I have also found LAX duty free to be quite competitive.

When buying Chanel #5 Perfume (which is the expensive one) for my wife, DFS at LAX has the best price compared to Duty Free in Aust, retail in Australia and 4 different dept stores in the US. Also much better price than Qantas in-flight.
 

infoworks

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Not wishing to be defensive, but I can only post my experience, and I defer to your more recent experiences. Although I go to the US 2-3 times a year, I don't always go through LAX (SYD-ORD is main run) and sometimes to YVR, I end up through SFO, and I don't always look.

Mostly I am under pressure to bring Oz wine for friends, even though they can buy good stuff at good prices!!!

I still find outbound SIN duty free fairly good value, especially with PPS discount.
 

HardieBoys

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Different country: Hong Kong

Many spirits are much cheaper to buy in supermarkets, however, Aussie wine is much, much cheaper duty free than on the ground in HK.
 

serfty

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HardieBoys said:
Different country: Hong Kong

Many spirits are much cheaper to buy in supermarkets, however, Aussie wine is much, much cheaper duty free than on the ground in HK.
'tis the opposite in OZ; You can generally get good wine far cheaper in places like "Dan Murphies" than at any of the major Duty Free chains.
 

infoworks

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HKG duty free, in my experience, is not as cheap as SIN or even SYD.

The best deals used to be on XO Cognac going in and out of Macau...but that was a long time ago!
 

NM

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serfty said:
HardieBoys said:
Different country: Hong Kong

Many spirits are much cheaper to buy in supermarkets, however, Aussie wine is much, much cheaper duty free than on the ground in HK.
'tis the opposite in OZ; You can generally get good wine far cheaper in places like "Dan Murphies" than at any of the major Duty Free chains.
Perhaps that is because it is "Aussie Wine". In Australia, there is no import duty on Aussie Wine, just GST (and WET??). Aussie wine sold in Hong Kong (not DF) will include any local import duty component.

It is generally better value to buy a high-duty imported product duty-free (such as alcohol) than to buy a local product at the same DF shop.
 

infoworks

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NM said:
serfty said:
HardieBoys said:
Different country: Hong Kong

It is generally better value to buy a high-duty imported product duty-free (such as alcohol) than to buy a local product at the same DF shop.
I agree...go for the expensive spirits...they are the best deal usually.
 

clifford

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NM said:
serfty said:
HardieBoys said:
Different country: Hong Kong

Many spirits are much cheaper to buy in supermarkets, however, Aussie wine is much, much cheaper duty free than on the ground in HK.
'tis the opposite in OZ; You can generally get good wine far cheaper in places like "Dan Murphies" than at any of the major Duty Free chains.
Perhaps that is because it is "Aussie Wine". In Australia, there is no import duty on Aussie Wine, just GST (and WET??). Aussie wine sold in Hong Kong (not DF) will include any local import duty component.

It is generally better value to buy a high-duty imported product duty-free (such as alcohol) than to buy a local product at the same DF shop.
It's interesting, NM, that I can buy good quality Aussie wine in US supermarkets for less than I can in Oz. (and I do!).

:0
 

clifford

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NM said:
serfty said:
HardieBoys said:
Different country: Hong Kong

Many spirits are much cheaper to buy in supermarkets, however, Aussie wine is much, much cheaper duty free than on the ground in HK.
'tis the opposite in OZ; You can generally get good wine far cheaper in places like "Dan Murphies" than at any of the major Duty Free chains.
Perhaps that is because it is "Aussie Wine". In Australia, there is no import duty on Aussie Wine, just GST (and WET??). Aussie wine sold in Hong Kong (not DF) will include any local import duty component.

It is generally better value to buy a high-duty imported product duty-free (such as alcohol) than to buy a local product at the same DF shop.
It's interesting, NM, that I can buy good quality Aussie wine in US supermarkets for less than I can in Oz. (and I do!).

:)
 

straitman

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clifford said:
NM said:
serfty said:
HardieBoys said:
Different country: Hong Kong

Many spirits are much cheaper to buy in supermarkets, however, Aussie wine is much, much cheaper duty free than on the ground in HK.
'tis the opposite in OZ; You can generally get good wine far cheaper in places like "Dan Murphies" than at any of the major Duty Free chains.
Perhaps that is because it is "Aussie Wine". In Australia, there is no import duty on Aussie Wine, just GST (and WET??). Aussie wine sold in Hong Kong (not DF) will include any local import duty component.

It is generally better value to buy a high-duty imported product duty-free (such as alcohol) than to buy a local product at the same DF shop.
It's interesting, NM, that I can buy good quality Aussie wine in US supermarkets for less than I can in Oz. (and I do!).

:)
Agreed!

The cheapest (good) Ozzie wine I have bought was in West Palm Beach Florida. :D :D :D
 

NM

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clifford said:
It's interesting, NM, that I can buy good quality Aussie wine in US supermarkets for less than I can in Oz. (and I do!).

:)
Yes, some good deals over there too. But I just purchased Gallway Pipe to take over next week for a Port-loving Brit living in Texas. Just A$19.95 a bottle, so one for him and two for Mrs NM :D . Three bottle of Gallway Pipe for under $60 is a good deal in my books.
 

paul4471

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AUK & LAX

I generally find Aukland to be one of the cheapest places in the western world for "duty free" alcohol. Although that said I did pick up a twein pack of Bacardi (1 litre's) at LAX T3 on recent flight back to Aus for $23US which seems pretty good to me.

The reality is that different countries have better/worse prices for different brands so it all depends what you are drinking (as I said AUK seems generally very good and yet Bundaberg was cheaper duty free in Aus - maybe not surprising)
 

Kiwi Flyer

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NZ isnt bad. There's always promos and specials on too.

At the moment I think SIN is cheaper than NZ for some drinkies, due to the exchange rate I guess.
 

serfty

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Kiwi Flyer said:
NZ isnt bad. There's always promos and specials on too.

At the moment I think SIN is cheaper than NZ for some drinkies, due to the exchange rate I guess.
A bit out the way for most, but the cheapest place I have foound for Sprits/Tobacco is Macau! A nice little boat trip from Kowloon 8)
 

ozstamps

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I generally find Bottle shops out on the road in the USA have dirt cheap prices for things like US bourbon brands - FAR lower than at airports.

I was in Burma last month and cartons of USA made Marlboros in supermarket were $US!0.

I left it to airport where they were US$14 "Duty Free". :twisted:

Go figger
 
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