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What are Duty Free Stores and Duty Free Shopping? A Simple Explanation for Kids

Part 1: What is a Duty Free Store, Where to Find One, How Duty Free Shopping Works

What are Duty Free Stores and Duty Free Shopping? Easy Peasy Finance for Kids and Beginners

Part 2: Should You Buy From Duty Free Stores, What to Buy and Avoid at a Duty Free Shop

What to Buy and Avoid at Duty Free Stores: Easy Peasy Finance for Kids and Beginners

Introduction to Duty Free Shopping for Kids and Teens

This video explains the concept of duty free stores in a simple, concise way for kids and beginners. It could be used by kids & teens to learn about duty free shops, or used as a money & personal finance resource by parents and teachers as part of a Financial Literacy course or K-12 curriculum.

What are Duty Free Shopping or Stores - A Simple Explanation for Kids Teens Beginners
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Suitable for students from grade levels:

  • Kindergarten
  • Elementary School
  • Middle School
  • High School

The topics covered are:


What is a duty free store?

Duty Free Stores or Shopping for Kids Teens Beginners
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Duty free stores are stores where you don’t have to pay tax on the products you buy, in the country you buy it, as long as you take it out of the country for use.

This includes sales tax, value added tax (VAT), import tax, local tax, etc. However, you might have to pay taxes if the value of the products exceeds the duty-free exemption limit of the country you are traveling to.

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Some popular duty-free items are luxury fashion accessories, electronics, fragrances, cosmetics, alcohol, tobacco and chocolates.

Where can I find duty free stores?

Most duty free stores are located in international airports and seaports, but they can also be onboard cruise ships and international flights.

Some common duty-free retail chains include Dufry, DFS Group, Duty Free Americas and World Duty Free.

Buying from duty free stores is called duty free shopping.

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How does duty free shopping work?

You can visit a physical duty free outlet to make your purchases, or order online and pick up your order from the store before leaving the country.

You may need to show proof of travel like a boarding pass so the store can determine your allowance and avoid selling products prohibited in your destination country.

Duty free items are generally exempt from size restrictions, so you are allowed to bring larger liquids in your carry-on.

Should I buy from duty free stores? What should I keep in mind?

While not paying taxes can seem like a great deal, you may not always save money. Duty free stores often markup their products significantly – negating the tax savings.

Duty Free Shopping - Should You Buy from Such Shops
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Also, the prices at duty free shops can fluctuate frequently based on exchange rate changes. This can work in your favor if the local currency is weaker than your home currency.

If you are just shopping to spend leftover currency, you can certainly go for some impulse purchases.

But, if you are planning to make expensive purchases, it’s best to compare their prices online in advance across duty free stores, and regular stores in that country and your home country – so you know if you’re actually getting a good deal.

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Finally, don’t forget to use a credit card with zero foreign transaction fees for your purchase!

What items should I buy and avoid at duty free stores?

Duty-free stores are a good place to buy products that are exclusive to the duty free market or those that are not available back home. Other popular choices are items that are taxed heavily in your home country.

Duty Free Stores - What to Buy and Avoid
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Luxury goods like designer handbags, watches and sunglasses, as well as cosmetics and fragrances can be hit or miss.

Sometimes they are deeply discounted and can be a great deal with no added taxes. But, often you may find better prices in regular stores.

Cameras, gadgets and other electronics are not the best purchases from duty free stores. Not only are online prices almost always much better, but the products themselves might also be outdated.


Download Transcript: Ideal for Use by Teachers in their Lesson Plan to Teach Kids & Teens

Part 1: What is a Duty Free Store, Where to Find One, How Duty Free Shopping Works

Part 2: Should You Buy From Duty Free Stores, What to Buy and Avoid at a Duty Free Shop


What are Duty Free Stores and Duty Free Shopping
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