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This summer season, get ready for the annual summer sales from Wednesday, June 24th to Tuesday, August 4th.

Every year in France, the government regulates sales, or “soldes” in French (as you’ll read it in the front windows), for the winter and summer seasons that typically last from five to six weeks with fixed dates.

Weekday mornings are the best time to shop

As regulated, the clothing on sale must be identical to those sold during non-sale periods, and the old and new prices should be clearly written and comparable on the tag.

Tip: Although the prospect of finding the perfect pair of pants before someone else seems terribly exciting, we advise that you avoid the first few days of the sales due to the high intensity and volume of shoppers who will flood the stores. As the official sale lasts for several weeks, it is certain that you will find something great for you, whenever. Of course, weekday mornings are also the best times to shop as they are the calmest hours.

> Want to shop on Sunday? Check out the 7 zones where shops are open

Many of the bigger shops will have longer opening hours for a few days to accommodate the crowd, including BHV/Marais and Galeries Lafayette.

> Shopping at BHV/Marais in the late hours? Head up to the Perchoir Marais on its rooftop for a drink afterwards.

> What is the Valued Added Tax (VAT) and why you should pay attention to it (from the Paris Visitor Bureau): VAT recovery is possible for the attendees who come from a country outside the European Union. You have to be over 15 years of age and have spent a minimum of €175 ($212) in the same store within the last 3 months. For a VAT refund, you can ask for a “Tax Free Shopping France invoice” when you shop in any major store or “Tax free for tourists” boutique. The amount to be refunded is shown under the heading “montant de la détaxe”. You should have your invoices stamped at airport customs on leaving the EU and return the validated pink copies within three months using the stamped addressed envelope given to you at the time you made your purchases.

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