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Airport duty free UK: warning to holidaymakers shopping at airports - and is it cheaper than online?

Can you really bag a bargain at the airport?

Holidaymakers have been warned that buying duty free items at the airport could cost hundreds more.

People have been advised to shop online rather than looking to bag bargains at the airport as it could save you up to 40%.

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New research found that nearly three quarters (74%) of products are cheaper online than in duty free shops across UK airports.

The research details how much cheaper certain products are online compared to duty-free.

How was the research conducted?

The research was conducted by PriceSpy, a price and product comparison site.

It reviewed more than 300 products in duty free stores including perfume, make-up, sunglasses, toiletries, watches, skincare and electronics across three UK airports.

It compared the average price of each item to its cheapest price online.

What items are much cheaper online?

Travellers could save the most on watches - they cost £26.40 more on average in duty free stores than if you purchased the item online.

You could also save £7.58 on average if you buy perfume online compared to at the airport.

Meanwhile, sunglasses and toiletries in duty free shops cost £5 more on average than buying online.

What’s been said about the price differences?

Liisa Matinvesi-Bassett, country manager UK at PriceSpy said: “It is interesting to see proof that duty free doesn’t necessarily offer the best prices.”

She added that there has “long been a myth that when travelling abroad, duty free can offer the best price on luxury item but many are becoming aware that this is not the case.”

She urges those going away to think about what they need to do to avoid last-minute purchases at the airport.

By checking online first, you can make sure you always get the best price when you shop duty free.

Ms Matinvesi-Bassett said: "Our research highlights people really need to do their price due diligence, to make sure this is actually the case.

“It’s been a tough few years and we’re so glad that people can go away once more, but by being savvy with your money you can make your holiday extra special with a little extra spending.”