Against all odds, shopping in Paris can be tricky, especially if you’re not prepared. Jules&Julie shed some light on everything you need to know about paying, negotiating and returning a purchase.
Shopping in Paris: the basics
Means of payment
Every store accepts the following means of payment: credit cards (VISA, MasterCard and American Express) and cash (euros only).
Good to know:
If you go to a foreign exchange counter, it would be adviseable to avoid receiving €500 bills, as many stores don’t accept them.
Foreign checks can sometimes be accepted (in department stores or international shops), but it’s better to be able to complete your purchase with another means of payment.
Always have some cash on you, because stores often require a minimum purchase if you’re willing to pay with a credit card. This goes for spending money at a boulangerie, a pharmacy, or if you’re hopping onto a taxi, as they don’t all necessarily accept credit cards.
Negotiating an item in-store
At first glance, you are expected to bargain only if you’re shopping at a flea market or a yard sale. But in fact, negotiating is not uncommon at all, especially if you’re buying several articles at a time, and therefore spending a large amount of money. Then, you can request speaking to the store’s manager and see if he’s willing to offer you a discount (which will usually be around 10% off).
Negotiating is also accepted if the item you’re purchasing has a flaw, or if you offer to pay cash (this goes if you’re shopping at a flea market or in a small boutique).
Exchanging or returning an article
Usually, purchased goods can be exchanged or returned (and refunded) within thirty days after a purchase.
Jules&Julie’s advice: be careful and make sure to keep the tags intact and the corresponding receipt. Without them, you won’t be able to return it.