If you are frequent air traveler, you will notice that fair pricing is a rare thing at airports. A captive audience of consumers is deliberately targetted with marked up prices of goods. Admittedly, at airports, costs of retailers rise, but the hike in prices is totally abnormal. For those who can afford it, it is a no-brainer and all tehy have to do is flash their credit cards. For the rest, this is what you must do to ensure you do not pay till it hurts. Therefore, you should do some research ahead of time and compare costs to save money. Here are 5 things you should never buy at airports.
1. Duty free goods: There is a possibility that once in a while you may be fortunate enough to snag a duty-free deal, but that depends on your airport. Prior to going for such deal, you should know that duty-free in no way ensures a good buy. “Duty-free is almost never a deal for the casual shopper out to get a bargain,” said Jason Clampet in a report from USA Today. “You’ll find that electronic goods, beauty products and luxury items such as designer purses usually cost less at home or online,” advised Clampet.
According to Smarter Travel report, Consumer advocate Ed Perkins saw significant markups on items such as iPads and liquor, compared to retail prices (with local shopping taxes included) available elsewhere. The solution? When making duty-free purchases, do a little homework. Go online ahead of time and do some cost comparisons beforehand, Smarter Travel advises. Image source: Reuters
3. Foreign Exchange: Airports are not the best place to exchange your money because currency exchange desks often hit travelers with sky-high transaction fees. No doubt, it is very convenient, if you’re willing to pay the price for that. Smarter Travel suggests that good strategy is to get foreign currency by taking out money at an ATM in your destination; this way, you will likely get the best interbank exchange rate, which is usually much better than rates offered at airport exchange counters. Also, you could contact your bank before your trip and get foreign exchange from there. Image source: Reuters
4. Neck pillows: Travelers are at the mercy of anti-consumer pricing schemes, especially when it comes to particularly convenient travel products like neck pillows. The report suggests that you should order your neck pillow online ahead of time, and keep an eye out for special offers and sales. Image source: Youtube
5. Souvenirs: According to Smarter Travel, you should plan ahead and be sure to buy your souvenirs before you’re at the airport, waiting for your flight home. Airport souvenir stores usually hawk severely marked-up merchandise that can be found elsewhere for a lot less. The report also cautions that the wares tend to be quite unoriginal. Image source: Reuters