Experience what it’s like to live in Paris, France, right now!
• Visit unique, one-of-a kind stores where the store owner has created their own personal space.
• Explore neighborhoods where tourists are few and far between.
• Find out how to act in the stores to get good service.
• Pick-up at your hotel or apartment in Paris is included.
You’ll discover neighborhoods and stores that Parisians know about, but that are simply unheard of or “invisible” to the average tourist.
I speak fluent French, so I can interpret for you during the tour. I do not take a commission from any of the stores.
Born and raised in New Jersey, I’m a discount shopper from way back (of course!). When I arrived in Paris in 1991 it was really a shock to see how high the prices were. So I made it my business to discover the best buys and bargains in Paris. Yes – they do exist!
And then, while wandering around Paris, I discovered the stores. As I researched my shopping guide, I chanced upon fabulous stores hidden away in each neighborhood.
Before the tour, I send you an information sheet by email that explains how the tax refund works, about Best Buy shopping strategy, plus size conversions and some shopping vocabulary.
There is a substantial market in Paris for designer resale clothing, including haute-couture designers and well-known French ready-to-wear collections. The stores that sell these clothes are called depôt-ventes. They get much of their stock from well-to-do French women who sell off their designer clothes as soon as the season changes, even if they have hardly worn them. On this tour, we visit some of the best-known depôt-ventes in Paris!
Rue des Francs Bourgeois
This street is a main artery leading to the Place des Vosges, a monumental square inaugurated in 1612. Today you will find a wide assortment of stylish shops selling everything from fashionable hats and “in” clothing to an outstanding designer resale store where much of the clothing comes from French models and fashion reporters.
As we climb the hill toward Montmartre cathedral, we’ll discover a real village atmosphere. Although it’s a tourist mecca, people actually live and work in Montmartre, and the stores reflect this balance of hard reality and artistic creation. An abundance of small stores runs the gamut from bargain basement clothing to original designer jewelry. We’ll also find a lot of original designer clothing and accessories, plus antique perfume bottles, home decoration items and art galleries. We’ll even visit a store where all the gift items have the form of an angel!
The Puce (flea market) in Saint Ouen, just to the north of Paris, is the biggest in the world. Originally, the market was created by people who lived on the “other” side of the city walls – now gone – and who survived by selling used items and old clothes. Today, all the stands are run by licensed dealers. The Puce de Saint-Ouen is organized into sub-markets, each with it’s own personality. As we pass from market to market, we’ll experience a place far away from the “real” world. And the more we wander, the better it gets!
Best Buy Madeleine
We’ll make the rounds of this charming neighborhood to discover what it has to offer in gourmet food, gifts, perfume, children’s clothing, shoes, French country home furnishings, designer discount clothing and more. We’ll discover a store that sells 35 varieties of honey and also visit the largest wine store in France.
Sacré Shoes and Fashion
Treat yourself to shoes – shoes galore, up and down the street, ranging from sturdy total comfort to the latest heights of high fashion spiky heels and lethal toes – all there for you! Then throw in some fabulous bags and purses, a hint of upscale fashion plus some original jewelry, and voilà – the Best Buys Sacré Shoes and Fashion tour just walked in the door!
When should I make reservations?
It’s best to wait to book your tour until after you finalize your travel plans, but at least three weeks ahead of time makes it easier on everyone! Last minute reservations are sometimes available, so be sure to check with me. Of course, the earlier you book your tour, the better chance you have of getting the date and time you want!