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Heading to London for a shopping spree? Shopping on Oxford Street is a rite of passage for many visitors to London. Home to the flagship stores of many of the world’s largest brands, the choice on offer is amazing but can also be incredibly daunting.
Here are 5 tips for making the most of your day shopping in London in the area around Oxford Street.
Tip 1 – Plan your Oxford Street shopping mission
Know what stores you want to visit and plan a route accordingly. Your feet will thank you for this.
Tip 2 – Arrive early
Some stores open at 9.30 and most are open by 10. They are virtually empty before midday when things become a bit testy for those of us not keen on crowds.
If you are ok with waiting for changing rooms, assistance with sizes and to pay for your goods then go right ahead and shop in the afternoon.
Tip 3 – Grab a bargain
A little bit of forward planning can save you some serious cash. If you know what stores you want to visit sign up for their email offers as there are usually discount offers available throughout the year.
Britain has a hefty VAT of 20% on goods and services. Visitors from outside the EU can often claim this back if they are prepared to do the paperwork – more info on this process here.
Tip 4 – Take a break
Have a lovely afternoon tea at Fortnum and Mason or lunch at one of the many cafe and restaurant options at Selfridges to break up your day.
If you feel like a culture break you could head to the lovely Wallace Collection just behind Selfridges on Manchester Square where there is also a wonderful cafe.
Tip 5 – Order online
If it all gets too much or you have too much ground to cover in a limited amount of time you can pre-order online from most brands and they will deliver to a store near you within days.
British returns policies are very flexible – more like the US than in Australia. Returning unsuitable items is generally not a problem. So if the item doesn’t work for whatever reason you can simply pop back the next day and get a refund.
Have fun shopping! If you need to refuel while out and about read my take on quick and tasty eating options in central London.
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