Paris trip - something nice to buy while I’m there

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Crmck26
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Paris trip - something nice to buy while I’m there

Post by Crmck26 »

Dear Bogleheads,

Going on a trip in a few days to Paris. Any recommendations for men’s gifts or retailers I should visit? I want to get something “nice” for myself after a lot of hard work and to commentate the trip. Maximum spend would be €2,500. Never been so very uncharted territory for me. Can be anything, but one thing I do not own is a leather jacket.
jebmke
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Re: Paris trip - something nice to buy while I’m there

Post by jebmke »

if it were me (and if I still drank wine) I'd get a case of red wine or champagne that isn't available in the US.

When I was traveling a lot, the best value by far in leather jackets was in Buenos Aires; I still own two I bought there -- but I never wear them.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.
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CalPoppy
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Re: Paris trip - something nice to buy while I’m there

Post by CalPoppy »

I don’t have much to offer for Paris specifically (I bought nice glasses there that I enjoyed for years before they broke), but I had a leather belt custom made in Spain that I really enjoy. It reminds me of the trip, and I will likely have it for the rest of my life.
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eye.surgeon
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Re: Paris trip - something nice to buy while I’m there

Post by eye.surgeon »

I enjoy watches, albeit not highly expensive ones. I bought a modest watch in Switzerland to remind me of my trip.
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valleyrock
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Re: Paris trip - something nice to buy while I’m there

Post by valleyrock »

I think food and tacky will do:

Baguettes
Eiffel tower snow globe
Mona Lisa postcard
rjbraun
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Re: Paris trip - something nice to buy while I’m there

Post by rjbraun »

The idea of a small memento from a trip can be nice, but as you will be in Paris in just a few days and seemingly may not already have some ideas in mind, I would suggest something "small", perhaps an Hermes tie (if you wear ties and have "classic" taste /style).

Personally, looking back on my prior travels (including several times to Paris) I kind of feel like there were instances where I was too preoccupied with shopping. Not only could it make packing to return home challenging, but stuff that looked great while abroad might not have back home.

Anyway, just a thought. And unless EUR 2500 is a trivial amount to you, I think all the more reason to maybe just have a more modest idea in mind, so that you will at least bring home one nice souvenir. And if you then come across something that you just love, you will still have a decent budget left to spend.

Bon voyage!

Eta: I realize that an Hermes tie is extravagantly-priced, but I guess I was "anchoring"(?) the cost against OP's EUR 2500 budget. :happy
hunoraut
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Re: Paris trip - something nice to buy while I’m there

Post by hunoraut »

Charvet shirts, a high end retailer at place vendome
hunoraut
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Re: Paris trip - something nice to buy while I’m there

Post by hunoraut »

Theres also John Lobb shoes. It was originally a british company but has had a long history in Paris.
Luke Duke
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Re: Paris trip - something nice to buy while I’m there

Post by Luke Duke »

A Royale with Cheese
Jayhawk11
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Re: Paris trip - something nice to buy while I’m there

Post by Jayhawk11 »

Try buying a Goyard wallet (or other leather personal good). Can't buy them in the U.S. so I understand their bags are quite a status symbol. Was there a few months back and it seemed to be popular! (Try the one in the "mall" the storefront line can get long).
dred pirate
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Re: Paris trip - something nice to buy while I’m there

Post by dred pirate »

I am not an art aficionado by any means, but I always like one nice souvenir, vs several small kitschy items - in Paris I bought a nice painting by a local artist (hopefully it was actually painted by the guy who sold it to me - lol) - sizes range from small to large, depending on budget and desire
bombcar
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Re: Paris trip - something nice to buy while I’m there

Post by bombcar »

The problem with something in that budget is you can probably buy it online even if it is "actually Paris-made" (just like the US, Paris has tons of "designer clothes shops" that are just Chinese-made items).

Artwork is probably a good option, and Paris does have quite a few art galleries for most any price range.

This is a US outlet - but genuine Picasso prints (not paintings) are in that range: https://picasso-prints.com - so you could find something you like at a Paris gallery and just buy it.

https://www.parisgallerymap.com might be a starting point.

The other options are custom clothes, shoes, belts, etc - but none of those strike me as quintessentially "Paris".

If you do buy something, be sure you can pack it well for the trip home or pay to have it shipped.

See https://www.cbp.gov/travel/internationa ... exemptions if you want to get really fancy about duty, but unless something looks exceptionally strange customs won't care.
SpaghettiLegs
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Re: Paris trip - something nice to buy while I’m there

Post by SpaghettiLegs »

I’m a bike rider and would no doubt visit the Alex Singer shop, get fitted and order a bike frame.

https://www.cycles-alex-singer.fr/
UpperNwGuy
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Re: Paris trip - something nice to buy while I’m there

Post by UpperNwGuy »

Go to the Hermes boutique near the Place de la Concorde and start shopping. Don't forget to bring your credit card.
rule of law guy
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Re: Paris trip - something nice to buy while I’m there

Post by rule of law guy »

most anything you can buy luxury wise in Paris you can get in NYC. so go to NYC

....ok, strike that, but the things from Paris that you cant get in NYC or most other places in US are super high quality oysters (yes, the oysters in Paris are matched only in norlins), delicious steak tartare, cheese, baguettes, croissant, wine and ambiance.

for example as to ambiance, go to one of the large department stores in Paris and it is an experience unlike anywhere other than Harrods in London. have a cafe at an outdoor cafe and people watch. walk along the Seine, walk in the Marais early in the morning and watch the shop keepers clean their environs with brooms out of the 18th C. I could go on

that something nice in Paris will be memories
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Watty
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Re: Paris trip - something nice to buy while I’m there

Post by Watty »

Over and over again people have come to the conclusion is that you usually get more out of your money by spending money on experiences instead of stuff.

It is not something I would be interested in but you might consider spending most of that money on higher end hotels and restaurants while you are in Paris.

I don't have a clue about in Paris but you might also splurge on things like hot air balloon rides, charting a boat, helicopter rides, taking a jet ski down the Seine pretending to be James Bond, exclusive guided tours, etc. When I was there I was surprised to see people taking a zip line from the Eiffel Tower.

Personally I would use the €2,500 to take a longer trip.
Random Poster
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Re: Paris trip - something nice to buy while I’m there

Post by Random Poster »

A postcard sent to yourself and perhaps a book or drawing from one of the many vendors on the various sidewalks. Should all be a bit less than 2,500 euros.
Most experiences are better imagined.
hunoraut
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Re: Paris trip - something nice to buy while I’m there

Post by hunoraut »

Watty wrote: Tue May 14, 2024 7:27 pm Over and over again people have come to the conclusion is that you usually get more out of your money by spending money on experiences instead of stuff.
Theres something to buying items from a place of its origin, even if its not uniquely distributed there.

For example bohemian glasses in czechia, royal copenhagen porcelain in denmark or hollohaza in hungary, pelikan pens in germany from its factory in hanover, etc.

You can buy some of these from anywhere through the internet. Having a permanent keepsake is also a part of memory/experiences.

For a cheaper novel item in france I like buying copper canele moulds. Its a pastry really from bordeaux, but also available in paris.
MH2
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Re: Paris trip - something nice to buy while I’m there

Post by MH2 »

Crmck26 wrote: Tue May 14, 2024 9:32 am Dear Bogleheads,

Going on a trip in a few days to Paris. Any recommendations for men’s gifts or retailers I should visit? I want to get something “nice” for myself after a lot of hard work and to commentate the trip. Maximum spend would be €2,500. Never been so very uncharted territory for me. Can be anything, but one thing I do not own is a leather jacket.
They sell men's shoes, but Meermin has a great reputation and a retail store in Paris.
bagle
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Re: Paris trip - something nice to buy while I’m there

Post by bagle »

Luke Duke wrote: Tue May 14, 2024 12:00 pm A Royale with Cheese
+1

Very un-Boglehead response, but if you really want the best in men's retail. For leather jackets, Chapal and Seraphin. Chapal has run it's own tannery for 200+ years and supplied the US Air Force. The Air Force A2 is evidently the most copied jacket in the world, but the original here costs more than your budget.

https://www.permanentstyle.com/2024/05/ ... guide.html

https://chapal.fr/en/

https://chapal.fr/en/produit/usaaf-jack ... y-leather/
investor997
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Re: Paris trip - something nice to buy while I’m there

Post by investor997 »

I just returned from Paris. I needed a new wallet and my wife and BIL suckered me into buying one from Louis Vuitton. Cost was 380 euros. I'll get back about 40 euros from the VAT tax refund (you show the store your passport and they give you the paperwork with a barcode you have to scan at a kiosk at CDG upon departure). The cost of the same item in the US is $480+tax, so getting a ~20% discount is my lame way of justifying this frivolous, non-Boglehead purchase.

Keep in mind the limits for US Customs. You have to declare these goodies upon arrival back home. Anything more than $800/person in declared value is subject to paying customs tax depending on the mood of the agent. If you have Global Entry, don't risk losing it by getting caught trying to sneak this stuff past them.
rjbraun
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Re: Paris trip - something nice to buy while I’m there

Post by rjbraun »

investor997 wrote: Thu May 16, 2024 12:44 pm I just returned from Paris. I needed a new wallet and my wife and BIL suckered me into buying one from Louis Vuitton. Cost was 380 euros. I'll get back about 40 euros from the VAT tax refund (you show the store your passport and they give you the paperwork with a barcode you have to scan at a kiosk at CDG upon departure). The cost of the same item in the US is $480+tax, so getting a ~20% discount is my lame way of justifying this frivolous, non-Boglehead purchase.

Keep in mind the limits for US Customs. You have to declare these goodies upon arrival back home. Anything more than $800/person in declared value is subject to paying customs tax depending on the mood of the agent. If you have Global Entry, don't risk losing it by getting caught trying to sneak this stuff past them.
Gosh, still only an $800 exemption. That has not budged for years. Probably decades.

Do you get nicked on the VAT tax refund? Or was the EUR 40 refund converted to USD in a straightforward and seamless fashion?
hunoraut
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Re: Paris trip - something nice to buy while I’m there

Post by hunoraut »

rjbraun wrote: Thu May 16, 2024 1:42 pm Gosh, still only an $800 exemption. That has not budged for years. Probably decades.

Do you get nicked on the VAT tax refund? Or was the EUR 40 refund converted to USD in a straightforward and seamless fashion?
Thats an extremely accommodative exemption relative to other borders. Probably given out of convenience /practicality but even then its generous math…
investor997
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Re: Paris trip - something nice to buy while I’m there

Post by investor997 »

rjbraun wrote: Thu May 16, 2024 1:42 pm Gosh, still only an $800 exemption. That has not budged for years. Probably decades.

Do you get nicked on the VAT tax refund? Or was the EUR 40 refund converted to USD in a straightforward and seamless fashion?
I have yet to see the refund hit my Amex card but as best as I can tell, the company processing the refund (Global Blue) is keeping about 9% of it. The VAT refund amount was 45.60 euros but my pending refund amount is $44.60.
investor997
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Re: Paris trip - something nice to buy while I’m there

Post by investor997 »

hunoraut wrote: Thu May 16, 2024 2:06 pm
rjbraun wrote: Thu May 16, 2024 1:42 pm Gosh, still only an $800 exemption. That has not budged for years. Probably decades.

Do you get nicked on the VAT tax refund? Or was the EUR 40 refund converted to USD in a straightforward and seamless fashion?
Thats an extremely accommodative exemption relative to other borders. Probably given out of convenience /practicality but even then its generous math…
As a data point, the customs guy at LAX must have been in a good mood because he let my wife through with $2500+ worth of Louis Vuitton bags without paying any customs tax. He said something like, "Today's your lucky day. Thank you for being honest."
Topic Author
Crmck26
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Re: Paris trip - something nice to buy while I’m there

Post by Crmck26 »

Thank you all for the replies.

For anyone interested went with €700ish watch from a small brand in Paris called Baltic. Fun experience customizing the watch and have something that will last at least two years (warranty lol) but hopefully a lifetime. Amazing city so far.
FIRWYW
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Re: Paris trip - something nice to buy while I’m there

Post by FIRWYW »

My 2c
As I have NEVER bought something on a trip that brought me long term memories and happiness but have paid for experiences that have, I would suggest DOING something fun to remember it by. If there is some private or upscale tour that temps you, fancy restaurant, play, musical, sports game- I would do that instead

(I do have a box of cheap to “relatively expensive at the time” trinkets from trips. They sit in a box unused. )
rjbraun
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Re: Paris trip - something nice to buy while I’m there

Post by rjbraun »

Crmck26 wrote: Wed May 22, 2024 2:27 am Thank you all for the replies.

For anyone interested went with €700ish watch from a small brand in Paris called Baltic. Fun experience customizing the watch and have something that will last at least two years (warranty lol) but hopefully a lifetime. Amazing city so far.
Nice, thanks for sharing!

Glad you're having a good time in Paris :happy
CuriousGeorgeTx
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Re: Paris trip - something nice to buy while I’m there

Post by CuriousGeorgeTx »

Enjoy the food. There isn't anything you would buy there you can't also find in any high end shopping center in any other major city in the world. You can pay more for it because it's on the Champs Elysee.
ETK517
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Re: Paris trip - something nice to buy while I’m there

Post by ETK517 »

While traveling in Italy, France, and Switzerland, I've purchased antique artwork and decorative items (lithography posters, maps, antique cowbells and alpinism tools, etc.) and handcrafted/artisanal products (Italian marbled paper notebooks and wrapping paper, toiletries, oils/vinegars, wine, linens, pottery, leather items), all at substantial discounts to what you'd pay for similar quality items in the US. But it really depends on what you're interested in. I tend not to buy things I can get in the US (or at least get in the US for the same price), but if you don't have such an objection you could get an Hermes wallet, for instance, which you'd use every day for many years.

Totally disagree that you will not find myriad items that can't be purchased in the US at all, or at least easily/at substantially inflated prices.

Also totally disagree on the trite BH dictate to purchase "experiences" and not "things." They're not mutually exclusive. And poking through interesting shops, learning about the history or manufacture of a product, and then getting to enjoy it for decades to come is an experience, and one that very well may stick with you more than a museum visit or whatever.
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