OWL Magazine Korea

Shopping at Duty-Free Stores During Overseas Travel

For travelers embarking on overseas journeys, there’s a certain privilege bestowed upon them – the access to duty-free stores. Stepping out of our country for a while grants us this benefit.

In reality, duty-free stores are easily accessible when traveling abroad. You can easily spot them at Incheon Airport, and they’re also readily available at airports overseas.

“Overseas Travel: Buying Goods at Tax-Excluded Prices”

Duty-free stores, as the name suggests, sell goods at prices that do not include taxes. However, while you can purchase items without taxes at these duty-free stores, if the amount exceeds a certain limit, you’ll need to pay taxes at customs for the excess amount.

These regulations vary by country. In South Korea, for example, the previous limit for duty-free shopping upon departure was set at $600. However, starting from January 1, 2023, the limit for duty-free shopping at Jeju Airport has been increased from $600 per person to $800. For amounts exceeding this, taxes are imposed according to regulations.

However, it’s important to note that while South Korea may offer duty-free benefits for departures up to $800, the duty-free laws of the country you plan to visit may differ. In countries like the Philippines, the duty-free amount is set at 0 KRW. This means that even if you purchase duty-free items in South Korea, you may encounter situations where you’ll need to pay taxes locally, which can be quite unexpected.

“Where Can You Purchase Duty-Free Goods?”

So, where can you buy these duty-free items? Here are some key places to consider:

  1. Using Online Duty-Free Shops: Select items from online duty-free shops, enter details like date, departure time, departure location, and passenger information, then make the payment online. Collect the items at the airport or port.
  2. Duty-Free Shops in the City: You can find duty-free shops at major locations in the city. Similar to using online duty-free shops, provide details like date, departure time, departure location, and passenger information, then collect the items at the designated location.
  3. Airport Duty-Free Shops: After passing through immigration, you can purchase items at designated spaces by presenting your flight ticket and passport.
  4. Onboard Usage: After boarding the plane, you can purchase duty-free items through flight attendants provided by the airline.

While there are several options for purchasing duty-free goods, using online duty-free shops is often the most convenient and cost-effective method.

“Purchasing Items from Online Duty-Free Shops”

With online duty-free shops, you can easily browse and select items online, and you’ll find various benefits available. In particular, these shops offer various events where you can accumulate points. You can use these points to receive discounts when making online purchases. The discount rates can be quite substantial, which is why many people prefer using online duty-free shops and collecting their items at the airport.

“Representative Online Duty-Free Shops”

Thinking about representative duty-free shops in South Korea, names like “Lotte Duty Free,” “Shinsegae Duty Free,” and “Shilla Duty Free” come to mind. Here is a list of major duty-free shops:

  1. Lotte Internet Duty Free: http://kr.lottedfs.com/main
  2. Shinsegae Internet Duty Free: http://www.ssgdfm.com/shop/main
  3. Shilla Internet Duty Free: http://www.shilladfs.com/estore/kr/ko/?uiel=Desktop
  4. Donghwa Internet Duty Free: https://www.dwdfs.com
  5. Grand Internet Duty Free: http://www.granddfs.com
  6. Doota Internet Duty Free: http://www.dootadutyfree.com

If you’re planning a trip, it’s helpful to log in to the duty-free shop websites ahead of your departure and participate in various events to accumulate points.

“When Can You Use Online Duty-Free Shops?”

When can you start using online duty-free shops? You can only utilize them when you have a planned trip. Looking at two major duty-free shops, “Shilla Duty Free” and “Lotte Duty Free,” you’ll notice that they specify periods starting from 2 months and 1 month before departure, respectively.

  • Lotte Duty Free: Available for shopping starting 1 month before departure.
  • Shilla Duty Free: Available for shopping starting 2 months before departure.

With set time frames, you can diligently accumulate points from the available time and enjoy various discounts when shopping.

Using online duty-free shops and taking advantage of the various discount benefits they offer can add an extra level of excitement to your trip. It’s a good idea to explore and make use of such services.