Tuesday, January 24, 2012

How so, Diptyque?

While in Paris I tracked down the Diptyque store with no problem as the address is located on each of their wonderful candles, 34 Boulevard St-Germain. While there, I suffered from more than a little sticker shock though. The candles, which we all know aren't inexpensive here in the United States, cost more Euro than US dollars such as at bluemercury where I normally purchase them, let alone the exchange rate. Anyone have any clue as to why? I left without a souvenir and spent my money stocking up at Mariage Freres instead, which is 1/2 the price in Paris when compared to the US retailers!

12 comments:

Paisley Curtain said...

Sometimes you get a tax break for exports and hence same item may cost less tin international market than in the domestic. Or they may be making better quality items for domestic use compared to the ones for international market.

I have recently discovered that Persian rugs cost more in Iran than here in USA :) Some time you never know what is the cause.

Blue said...

Perhaps a higher tax on luxury goods and Diptyque products might fall in that category. Europe has a value-added tax (VAT) on most or all items and is figured into the price on the label.

ArchitectDesign™ said...

That tax is DEADLY! For comparison sake: the candles were generally the same price Euro as they are dollars - 60. So with the conversion rate of 1.41 when I visited in December, the $60 candle was essentially $84.50. $24.50 in tax, let alone the S&H and taxes required to get it to the states? Crazy!!

Karena said...

That is just astounding, the stores are sure to lose business...one would think!

xoxo
Karena

Art by Karena

Windlost said...

I can't buy Diptyque here, so we visited the Paris store also (the small one in the Marais). I found the prices shocking, so I didn't buy myself a candle! We did have a lovely sales clerk who spent about a half hour with us talking about all the candles and letting us smell them! He gave us a huge bag of about 20 perfume samples when we left. I am still using them...! I did not know it is cheaper in the US. I will have to buy myself a candle next time I am the US (David makes civil war trips regularly). :)
Oh, Mariage Freres is such a treat also! Thanks for the info on the Diptyque.

Terri

Parnassus said...

I know what you mean about the vagaries of importing/exporting. Some Taiwan products I was surprised to discover were cheaper in the U.S. than to buy in Taiwan. And oddly enough, vice-versa.
--Road to Parnassus

Blue said...

Years ago I decided I would never compare what I paid at home with what I would pay in the place where I was staying. So for me $1 = £1 = E1. If I want it, I get it - if not, I don't. Given modern global marketing there's little that is not ubiquitous.

Francine Gardner said...

Being an importer of french goods, I know the sticker shock feeling. I have candles in my Interieurs showroom that reach $80, but their scents is divine. Dyptique is wildly distributed, and perhaps, they do have an agreement to support the US market and the franch manufacturer is taking a cut in their manufacturing mark up to edge the week dollars

Thomas at My Porch said...

I kind of agree with Blue. Although if I can get something cheaper at home and I know it, I don't buy it abroad. The Gramercy Park Hotel in NYC has a signature candle that is the best smelling candle I have ever come across in my life. We bought one before we checked out and I remember thinking it was expensive--probably around $70. So a few years later when I wanted to make this candle the signature scent of my library I decided to order two more from the hotel. I am not sure if they raised the price because they knew they could, or because I wasn't a guest at the time of the purchase, or it was always so expensive but the price these days for hat candle is $150! I was so embarrassed by my sticker shock that I still bought two of them. But once they are gone I will have to find a cheaper signature scent.

smilla4blogs said...

Maybe the candles burn longer when your purchase them with the euro...that, and the VAT!

Andrew @ NOTED said...

Bonjour! Not at all surprising as everything in Paris is precious and expensive--even the beer! Retailers viciously multiply over their costs. I always go on a shopping spree in the States to save from Paris' exorbitant price-gouging, a nasty fact of life here.

Linds said...

I'm headed to Paris next week and have been so anxious to visit the Diptyque store there. Thank you so much for shedding some light on the price difference - I definitely will just visit the store by my apt in NYC to avoid the dreaded Parisian VAT. Anyone know if this is the case for some designer prodcuts as well? (Louboutin, YSL...?)