Do you have an idea of how to make the most of the Paris Winter Sales? Do you know how and where to get the best deals? And what about how to beat the crowds?
For any shopaholic, Paris is a great place to be, but come the Winter Sales, it’s undeniably THE place to be! So many clothes, decorations, jewelry, cosmetics, perfume, all at prices defying the primary rules of supply and demand.
Needless to say that if you are looking for something to buy for your children (or to do some holiday shopping or just shopping in general), it’s the perfect moment!
The best deals are around the corner, but here’s the downside: you’re not the only one waiting to get what you have been dreaming of for so long at unbeatable prices. And having to use your elbows to get to the cashier because of the dense crowds is never a pleasant feeling.
Luckily for you, we have done all the work on how to find and make the most of the Paris Winter Sales when traveling to the City of Lights with your family. From preparing for your shopping spree in the best areas in Paris to satisfing your thrist for the latest fashions, find out all you need to know about Paris Winter Sales.
So, keep calm and… shop!
PARIS WINTER SALES MADE EASY
How come we always remember the unbeatable prices during the Paris winter sales, but never remember how unpleasant it is to have to do our shopping among thousands and thousands of other people?
Every year, we hear the same thing: “I got this item with a discount of 70%, but I really had to wade through a dense crowd in order to be able to get to the item and then pay for it. I’m never going shopping during the sales period ever again”.
Here’s what everyone should do to make the upcoming 2017 Paris Winter Sales as pleasant and enjoyable as possible, without having to wait for the last day (and walk out empty handed as everything has already been sold!).
1. Know what you want before the start of the Paris Winter Sales:
The worst approach is to think you’ll have the time and space to freely wander in boutiques and try out what you want during the sales period. We know that’s part of the shopping experience, but instead of doing it during the sales, why not do it BEFORE the sales?
Take a bit of time beforehand to find out which boutiques you are interested in, the items you would like to buy and, for clothes, the size that suits you best. This will save you a lot of time and patience: all you’ll need to do on the early days of the sales period is head out to these boutiques, take the item you’re interested in, pay and leave.
You can’t go wrong with that.
2. Select the shopping areas that match your style:
There are many shopping areas in Paris, as you’ll see in the sections below, but they each have their own specialty. For example, it would be difficult to find affordable fast fashion at the luxurious Place Vendôme.
Additionally, it’s important to make this selection in order to save precious time. Do one neighborhood at a time to avoid back and forth transportation, otherwise your patience will wear thin.
3. Choose the right time to save time:
Clearly, on the first day of the Paris Winter Sales period (traditionally a Wednesday), shopaholics tend to queue before 8AM in front of the big department stores. We would not recommend going during that period.
We would generally recommend going shopping on a weekday (except Wednesday afternoon when kids are off school), preferably avoiding the lunch break, as that’s the time a lot of working people take 1 hour to shop. Try to avoid Saturdays as much as possible.
4. Dress to undress:
If you have a lot of clothing items to buy, it is wise to dress intelligently in order to undress quickly. That saves both your time and the time and patience of others waiting outside the fitting room. It’s winter, so do dress warmly, but avoid clothes that are difficult to get on and off (e.g. buckles, laces, belts, an overabundance of layers, etc.). Remember, you want to be efficient here!
5. Buy the right item:
During the Paris Winter Sales, the prices are definitely attractive. But the service might not be that of ordinary days. Make sure you really try them on to make sure they fit properly and examine all the items carefully to ensure they are not damaged (many people have been handling these clothes, they might have tears as a result) before buying because many shops have a “no return & no exchange” policy. That means you might be stuck with an item that is missing a button or turns out to be the wrong size.
6. Shop at the very end of the Paris Winter Sales in order to get the most attractive price.
If you are really looking for the most amazing prices, shop at the end of the sales period. The boutiques and shops will be trying to empty their stock. You probably won’t end up snagging the trendiest and most popular designs, and there might be a lack of sizes still available, but anything you find will be insanely discounted!
It all comes down to this: be patient, be efficient, and above all else, have a plan!
THE BEST AREAS FOR YOUR PARIS WINTER SALES 2017 SHOPPING
Now that you know how to make your Paris Winter Sales 2017 shopping expedition as enjoyable and comfortable as possible, here are some of the best areas in Paris to look for the clothes or objects you have always dreamed of.
Grands Magasins, Madeleine & Boulevard des Capucines
- Type of shopping: department stores, fashion, home, cosmetics, jewelry, food
- Range: middle to luxury
The 2 most famous department stores are Les Galeries Lafayette and Le Printemps, which most Parisians refer to as “Grands Magasins” (big stores). Located next to one another, these 2 all-time competitors strive to offer the best brands to their customers. All the major luxury brands have outlets in both stores. And because Les Galeries Lafayette and Le Printemps attract so many shoppers, many other famous brands have set up their boutiques in this area. You’ll find a lot of food outlets on Place de la Madeleine (Hédiard, Fauchon, Maille, Patrick Roger), and the largest luxury watches wholesaler in Paris on Boulevard des Capucines (Bucherer).
Champs-Elysées, Avenue Montaigne & George V
- Type of Shopping: luxury, fashion, cars, souvenirs, food
- Range: middle to luxury
The Champs-Elysées avenue is said to be “the most beautiful avenue in the world”. Not only is the view really nice on the Arc de Triomphe, but the shopping possibilities are endless. From high end boutiques (Cartier, Louis Vuitton, Hugo Boss, Tiffany’s) to affordable souvenir shops, you’ll find all you need here.
If you are looking for more luxury products, head out to the “Golden Triangle” on Avenue Montaigne, Avenue George V and Avenue François 1ere. You’ll find the most prestigious luxury brands there, but they are not the types of brands that offer a 70% discount (we wish!).
Place Vendôme, Faubourg Saint Honoré, Rue de la Paix
- Type of Shopping: luxury, fashion, jewelry
- Range: high end to luxury
Rue de la Paix and Place Vendôme is where luxury began in Paris. Cartier has it’s flagship store there, and all of the world’s most famous jewelers have a boutique there. Again, discounts are rare in these types of establishments, but it’s always nice to take a look at their beautiful creations. For luxury fashion items (e.g. Hermès), head out to Faubourg Saint Honoré. You will find all the Haute Couture brands, and chances are, you will be able to find something on sale during the Paris Winter Sales.
- Type of Shopping: hip, trendy fashion and decoration
- Range: middle
Nothing beats a Sunday in Le Marais district of Paris. It’s central, it’s beautiful, but more importantly, it’s one of the only places in the French capital with open boutiques on that day. People come here to find the independent, small, cozy boutiques, or the trendy home decoration shops. There are some great deals here during the Paris Winter Sales. And while you are at it, grab some falafel in Le Marais’ Jewish district on Rue des Rosiers. Finger licking good!
Le Bon Marché, Saint Germain
- Type of Shopping: classic French, luxury, fashion, decoration, art, department store
- Range: high end to luxury
The Saint-Germain district is one of the most iconic areas of Paris. Where the Lost Generation once spent time is now where a lot of Parisians hang out and go shopping. Bonus: you won’t find that many tourists there. The oldest Parisian department store is also located in Saint Germain. Le Bon Marché welcomes most of the luxury and high end brands for fashion and cosmetics. Another aspect of Saint Germain is its artistic tradition. You will therefore also find a lot of high end art galleries.
Les Halles & Rue de Rivoli
- Type of Shopping: souvenir, fashion, objects
- Range: low end to middle
Les Halles is considered the heart of Paris. Emile Zola, the famous French novelist, even called it the belly of Paris, since this was the place where the largest market once stood for centuries. Today, the main building has been completely rebuilt and turned into an architectural highlight (la Canopée). For shopping, you will find everything from streetwear to souvenirs to a variety of other small boutiques selling all kinds of different things (old record stores, gothic clothes…). The shopping mall underground is a good place to find common brand names such as Zara or H&M.
On the Rue de Rivoli, you will also find international brands, which offer very interesting and attractive prices during the Paris Winter Sales period.
Beaugrenelle, Rue de Passy, Franck&Fils & Passy Plaza
- Type of Shopping: fashion, food
- Range: middle to high end
If you are staying near the Eiffel Tower, your best and closest shopping area is the Beaugrenelle shopping mall. There, you will find all kinds of middle to high end brands for clothing (Aigle, American Vintage, Eleven Paris, Esprit…), accessories (Adidas Originals), electronics (Bose), furniture and more.
If you cross the Pont de Beaugrenelle bridge and walk uphill for 10 minutes, you will end up in Rue de Passy, one of the busiest streets of the posh 16ème arrondissement. You will find many boutiques there (COS, Zadig & Voltaire, Zara, Lauren Vidal etc.) as well as 2 fancy shopping malls: Franck & Fils and Passy Plaza.
La Vallée Village
- Type of Shopping: fashion, food
- Range: middle to high end
La Vallée Village is located next to Disneyland Paris. Sure, it’s not in located in the center of Paris, and it will take you about 45 minutes to get there with the train, but it is well worth it. La Vallée Village is nothing but a shopping village, where all sorts of high end brands have some sort of factory outlet. The prices are really interesting, especially during the Winter Sales, but make sure you follow our instructions on how to make the most of it, because if you don’t, it could very well turn into a disaster because of the dense crowds.
WHY DO THE PARIS WINTER SALES 2017 EXIST?
Paris winter Sales – Low prices
The sales happen twice a year (winter and summer). They last for a period of 6 weeks and take place in order to help the boutiques and department stores sell the remaining merchandise in stock of the past collection quickly and efficiently.
There are very strict rules that boutiques must comply with in order to participate. The goods on sale must have been on display for a at least a month in order to sell them at discounted prices. Depending on the stock, these goods can even be sold below cost, which is theoretically against the law in normal periods.
In other words, treat yourself and your children to something nice during the Paris Winter Sales 2017. You won’t regret it!
Should you want us to organize a shopping-themed itinerary for you, with your own private personal shopper, please contact us. Kids are more than welcome to participate of course, but should you want to go on your own, we can offer babysitting services.