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VAT refund without the global blue and alike fees?

VAT refund without the global blue and alike fees?

Old May 3, 2020, 1:21 am
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: ZRH/LUX/LON
Programs: BA GGL/ VS Gold. Former: UA 1K (10 years+) , EY partners Plat, SQ PPS Club, SU Gold, LH SEN/HON
Posts: 770
Interestingly enough, the refund calculator disappeared from the Global Blue website. ( since April 2020 maybe).

In my experience, expect Global Blue to take 50% commission of your refund, and to skim off further from the forex difference. I always asked to be paid back in local currency, something that short changes them. Since no one is shopping, I personally home Global Blue, Premier Tax free don't survive - and a more reasonable scheme exists that doesn't skim so much from people doing shopping.

I have bought high priced items that totally bypass Gliobal Blue, it is possible, but you need to do the legwork.
OpenSky is offline  
Old Dec 20, 2020, 12:54 pm
Join Date: Jul 2020
Posts: 9
In the UK you can use a tax refund app called Airvat https://airvat.com/ that charges a flat 20% fee. The only limitation is that for receipts above 250 you would need to ask for a full invoice from the retailer so make sure to do this before making the purchase as they would be more helpful. In some larger department stores you would need to email the customer services desk with a request for an invoice so make sure to leave a few days as sometime they can take up to a week to respond. So basically it seems you either have to do some extra work yourself to save on the commission, or do it immediately in the shop with global blue but give up half of the refund.
NickSabev is offline  
Old Feb 8, 2021, 4:46 am
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 6
Italian shop owner here (albeit in a field unrelated to tourism)
Before 2018 you could invoice products sold to non-EU customers including proof of non-EU residence, then the customer made the Italian customs office at the port of departure stamp the invoice and send it back to the shop owner for archiving, then we could reimburse in full the VAT, after 2018 the system moved to a convoluted electronic central archive (Otello) that made VAT refund without 3rd party thiefs like Global Blue a hassle for every purchase not of thousands. It is not strictly mandatory to use such services, but the overwhelming majority of shops do.

Solution: in a privately owned shop, tell your problem and just ask for a discount... many times the shop owner is more than willing to do it instead of going through the VAT refund paperwork.

LordElrond is offline  

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