Cheap Shopping in Paris| Blog

Shopping in ParisAs one of the world’s fashion capitals, you’d expect to find at least a few good budget shops and designer outlet stores in Paris. Parisians know that finding the perfect pair of slacks from a discount designer shop or antique lamp from a flea market istout un art— a genuine art. Particularly if you’revisiting Paris on a limited and strict budget, make sure to bookmark this page for great ideas on cheapshopping opportunities in the city. When we say “cheap”, though, we don’t necessarily mean that quality has to be taken out of the equation. Locals pride themselves on finding fine clothes or home items for next to nothing. Read on for just a few of their secrets.

Discount Shopping Haven #1: Vide-greniers (Attic Sales)Attic sales are popular in Paris.

The epitome of bargain shopping has to be yard sales. While you wont find any front yards in the middle of Paris, the French do have their own version of getting rid of old household items:vide-greniers literally, emptying the attic.Often taking over several blocks in designated neighborhoods,vide-greniersfeature secondhand clothing direct from the merchant, from very used to practically new. Those motivated to dig will certainly reap rewards, often scoring brand-name items for a fraction of the original price dont be afraid to bargain here.

Discount Haven #2: Summer and Winter Sales

Annual sales in Paris, FranceTwice a year, stores in France slash the prices of a majority of their off-season clothing and open the doors to swarms of eager shoppers. Every January and July, as much as 75% is taken off retail items, for a month of bargain hunting in most stores in the country (home furnishings, books, antiques and any number of items go on sale in addition to clothing).

One word of warning– make sure get to shops fast. French people mean business, and if you wait until the end of the month to pick up that coveted peacoat or swimsuit, there is a good chance your size will be gone. The benefit of waiting it out, however, is getting the really cheap prices.

Discount Haven #3: Vintage Shops in Paris

Next up in our guide to cheap shopping? The hallowed vintage store. There are dozens of such shops in Paris far too many to name here. The easiest place to start is by visiting three neighborhoods where youll find a plethora of quality vintage items on sale. InMontmartre, rightbehind the Abbesses metro station,Chine Machinestands apart as being one of the few vintage shops in the area with a dynamite customer service and appropriately priced, funky clothes for women. Near Hotel de Ville and theCentre Pompidouis another top spot for loads of vintage shops.FreePStaroffers a no-fuss, decently-priced selection (jeans, shirts and shoes for 10-20 euros, belts and scarves between 1 and 3 euros) and has three locations, all within walking distance from one another. Around metro Jacques Bonsergent, youll find another cluster of great vintage stores.

Discount Haven #4: Trendy Global Chains

Trendy global chains like H&M can be reliable spots for deals in Paris.

If youre not really into rifling through bins of secondhand clothing or last years fashions, check out global fashion chains such asZara, H&M, and Promodfor year-round, low-end prices on the latest styles. While each store has its own slightly different style, they all have sections for trendy, casual or professional wear, and all of the collections at these global chains are inspired by runway trends.

Where to find them:You’ll find at least one branch of these chains in most of the major Paris shopping districts, especially on Rue de Rivoli (1st and4th arrondissements), at the Forum des Halles, on theChamps-Elyseesand at thesethree popular shopping malls in Paris.

In addition to the familiar stores mentioned above, I especially recommend you check out these popular French and global chains:

Discount Haven #5: Flea Markets

Flea markets can be great sources for original gifts in Paris.Flea markets are another great way to find bargain items in Paris– and are part of a true cultural tradition. The most famous of the “puces” (literally, fleas) is the outdoor market at Clingancourt/St Ouen. Stepping out of the mtro at Porte de Clignancourt can be overwhelming at first, but it will be well worth your while to check out the markets here. There are 14 markets englobed in the March aux puces, as it is known locally, and they offer enough variety to strike just about anyones fancy. From cheap, imported goods to antique wears and used clothing, strolling through the massive March aux puces is a great way to spend an afternoon. Just be sure to take care of your belongings here– andbeware of pickpockets.

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