Monday, March 08, 2010

Our mission at Louis Vuitton

I don't want to talk about how hubby broke his ankle and created all kind of inconveniences in our life. Instead I want to blog about one of the missions I have in Paris: buying bags at Louis Vuitton.

On the way to Louis Vuitton shop located at Champs Elysee Paris, I got approached by a Chinese, asking if I could help her buy some LV bags. Apparently each Chinese is only allowed to buy one LV bag. I firmly turned her down. It reminded me of my painful experience the second time I was in Paris. Same thing, I was approached by a Chinese woman, she gave me 1300 euros in cash so that I can buy 3 LV bags for her. I believed her story that she has a lot of request from her family but can only buy one so I helped her. Later I realized I took a huge risk, as she could have given me fake cash, and it is a known illegal act as these bags will be sent to China and be produced in mass to be sold in the black market. I was naive and I certainly won't help these people making fake LV bags anymore.

Asians are crazy about LV bags. People pay hundreds or thousands euros just for one bag. When we entered the shop, it was full of Asians. There are a lot of Asian sales persons too. The process was efficient, we were greeted by a sale assistant, she checked the models we wanted then get another person to help us. We wanted to buy two bags for each model but they refused to sell us! Yes, one person can only get one model, as they need to save the rest for other customers.

Why do people want to buy LV bags in France when they can buy those bags in their own country? Well, it is a lot cheaper to buy the bag from France due to the tax return (sales tax is 19.6% in France, but you only get around 12% back and the shop retains the remaining as processing fee). Besides if you buy the bag from your own country chances are the selling price includes import tax from the government. For example, for one of the bag we bought, the selling price was RM5500 in KLCC and 900 euros (about RM4100) in France, an immediate saving of RM1400! With the 12% tax return (108 euros = RM490), the total saving could reach RM1890.

I sent my aunt to the airport and helped her through the tax refund office. She needed to present her passport, her plane ticket (or e-ticket) and the refund form she got from LV shop. The officer stamped the form and I put a copy on the envelope that came with the form and mailed it on the mailbox located just in front of the office.

It was a weird experience to have spend so much money on bags. I felt rich at some point but I was aware that it was not my money that I was spending. The customer service at LV shop is not always courteous as they refuse to sell you bags. Since the Chinese has ruined their reputation by making copies on these bags, the sales persons are on alert and since we are from Chinese origin, the buying process was not as pleasant.


  1. I believe there are also a lot of japanese and koreans asking passerby to buy the bags for them -many of them buy from Paris as it is a lot cheaper and then bring it home to sell in their country. Many stewardesses are also doing this side business!
    When you buy an LV, the cashier asks for your passport and takes down your details so they have a record of what you have bought! And as a Malaysian, you can buy a maximum of 3 bags but not of the same design.

  2. Oh I didn't know Japanese and Korean do this. Wow you know it so well you must have some LV bags yourself then :-)

  3. I used to be the LV "supplier" for my beautician who is crazy abt LV bags - always asking me to buy for her when I go to France, which is why I know... personally am not an LV fan :P

  4. I'm not a LV fan too and still don't get it why they are crazy abt it except the bag is of very good quality and craftsmanship.

  5. most people from malaysia would go to france or uk to buy louis vuiton handbags, this is because it can be much more cheaper than if you were to buy at klcc or starhill.

  6. KLCC LV sells FAKE LV bags. A few of my friends went to LV france with their LV bags bought in KLCC and was told it was fake and was cut right in front of their eyes. One even came back to KLCC to demand for their money back. Instead the manager gave them 2 bags LV as per not to lodge an official complaints.

    I wonder if the 2 free bags that she received are fake as well.