Airports are one of the favourite shopping places for flyers. However, most of the times, they end up shelling out more money than they would have, had they shopped from outside.
Here are 10 things you should never buy at airports:
1. Electronic goods
Even if you have left your mobile charger or headphone back home or at hotel, avoid buying them, for in that case, any electronic good out of impulse, from overpriced airport kiosks.
Shopping comparison portal DealNews official Lindsay Sakraida says: “Our research shows that electronics are, on average, 34 percent more expensive at the airport than what they would find online.”
Whether you are hungry or want to kill time, don’t buy food from airport restaurants. They are mostly overpriced, and also not-so-delicious. USA Today suggests you bring home food or pick affordable snacks like fruits.
Instead of going for overpriced, packaged drinking water, carry an empty water container, preferably made of glass or aluminium. Since liquids won’t pass through security checks, you may later fill up the bottle at a water fountain.
We all want to bring home souvenirs from places we visit for our friends and family. But don’t buy them at airport gift shops. “There is an astronomical markup on souvenirs at the airport,” a seasoned business traveler Peter Yang was quoted as saying in an article in Reader’s Digest.
Instead of being at the mercy of anti-consumer pricing schemes at terminals, plan well ahead. Get your neck-pillows online and also avail special offers.
“The ones they sell in the airport are overpriced and have been touched and tried on by many travelers walking through the airport.” Arik Kislin, co-owner of the Gansevoort Hotel and Alerion Aviation.
Don’t try getting Over-the-Counter (OTC) medicines at the airport. Their prices are always inflated, while now-a-days, you will get a 10-17% discount on medicines at regular chemist shops.
7. Magazines (while abroad)
Grabbing the latest copy of National Geographic at the newsstand of your home terminal might not be a big pocket pinch, but be careful when abroad. Most of the times, it has been found that imported US magazines are sold at a price much higher than the recommended price list and that too, you are unlikely to get the latest copy. Generally, travelers pay more to browse through the pages of a month-old magazine.
Well-packaged chocolates are a weakness of many. But check your taste-buds while at airport, else you will end up paying twice or thrice as much price for the same chocolate than you will get it for at the supermarket.
The expensive perfume that you are getting from duty-free shop at the airport might be fake. According to Duty-Free Buzz blog, it’s not that fake perfumes are sold only at airports, but chances are high that the retailer at the duty-free shop has no idea about the counterfeit version.
10. Foreign currency
You might be charged higher and yet not get the best exchange rates at the airport. Consumer advocate Jennifer McDermott says: “It’s well-known that travelers are arriving unprepared, and given the lack of competition among currency exchange booths at the airport, those booths tend to charge high fees and far from the best exchange rates.”
Sreya is based in Kolkata. She is a Senior Editor of Big Wire.