Pack Those Bags and go Shop the January Paris Sales!

Pack Those Bags and go Shop the January Paris Sales!
Lovers of Paris need little coaxing to hop on a plane and visit their beloved city—at any time of the year. January, however, offers an incredible incentive: the eagerly anticipated January Paris Sales. Not your typical sales season, these sales are massive. And the great values you can bag may more than compensate for a weak dollar. Perhaps the best reward is that victorious glow gleaned from finding that special something you adore—and at a great price. And there is much on offer to tempt both female and male shoppers. In the inimitable French blend of public oversight and private commerce, the sales are usually scheduled by the French government for four to six weeks, starting around January 10th. The sales are carefully controlled to make sure that it is indeed last season’s merchandise going on sale, and not low-quality merchandise that is being dumped on the market simply as a way of unloading unwanted goods. The sales are not just limited to clothing and accessories, but also include housewares, furniture, and home accessories. While cosmetics and fragrances are not on sale per se, this is a good time to take advantage of special promotions, especially on gift packs of fragrances and scented lotions that went unsold over the holidays. Consider your timing carefully to get the best of what you want when it is available. If you are focusing on finding a great selection of designer labels, say by Gucci or Prada, it’s good to get to Paris during the sale’s early days. There are often very long lines outside the designer’s department store boutique, as well as at individual stores around town. However, if you wish to get into private sales, to get the best selection and deals, and also avoid the lines, it’s best to work through a private shopper, such as Rachel Kaplan’s French Links Tours. Kaplan is a shopping maven extraordinaire. She has authored the acclaimed Best Buys to French Chic, The Insider’s Savvy Shopping Guide to Paris and knows the best sources for clothes, accessories, art, antiques and much more—from the Grands Magasins, to the most branché boutiques all over town. She can even get her guests into the wildly popular Hermes Sale that is usually held the 3rd week in January. Individual guiding is available as well as a special weeklong small-group tour a href=”” mce_href=”” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”> beginning January 15th (book by Dec. 20 for the Paris On Sale group tour). Just a few more tips. Shop carefully and try everything on, because there are no returns during the sales. Don’t ask for gift wrap because it won’t be offered during the January sales period. Many basics in black by leading designers won’t necessarily be available. Often they are more keen to unload seasonal looks that won’t be designed again. But given these caveats, the scope of fabulous goods on offer is amazing—and even better, much more affordable! Pack those bags—but leave plenty of room for all those treasures. Sally Peabody is a travel advisor and writer specializing in Paris  Her company, Your Great Days in Paris, advises independent travelers on getting to their best in and around Paris–on and often the well-traveled path. Read Sally’s bio for more information on her services.
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