The French sales period, SOLDES, is the BEST time to shop in Paris. Like many things in France, the timing of the biannual sales are regulated by the state. For 2017, the sales periods in Paris are: winter 11th of January until the 21st of February and in summer the 28th of June to the 8th of August (the dates can vary slightly in different regions of France).
During the sales period, products can be marked down 3 times: 1er démarque, 2eme démarque and 3eme démarque. Each time, the cost of goods can be reduced to up to 70% in the third mark down.
As a tourist, the best areas to shop would be the Champs Elysées, Rue de Rivoli in the Marais, les grands magasins/ department stores (such as Printemps & Galeries Lafayette) and, my personal favourite, Rue de Saint Honoré in the 1st arrondissement. These areas have a mix of shops with French brands, chain stores, luxury brands and boutiques.
I’ve been lucky enough to be in town during the summer and winter soldes, and the bargains are amazing. Living in the southern hemisphere is a bonus as I’m able to shop for the upcoming season! Only con is that the shops are absolutely packed, not just with people, but with shelves and shelves of products.
My top tips are:
- Be prepared.
- Do have a look online to see what to look for.
- Check for the shop’s opening and closing times.
- Give yourself enough time (ie don’t be in a rush, there are piles of stuff to search through!).
- Make sure you have your ID in case of checks in store for your credit card, as well as for the DETAXE (tax refund scheme) paperwork.
- If you find what you are looking for, take it!
- If you can’t find it in the store, try looking online to see if another store has it in stock, or if available online, to purchase.
- Be efficient: lines to the changing rooms are long so make sure you take in whatever you can.
- Dress comfortably: flats shoes and an easy outfit to change in and out of are helpful!
- Make sure you have enough luggage/luggage allowance to fit all your purchases 😃
For more information for dates of Soldes periods around France see: Le portail de l’Économie et des Finances
For more shopping ideas: Paris Info Site officiel de l’Office du Tourisme et des Congrès
Bonne chance! (Good luck!)