Is it worth buying anything from Duty Free? Should I buy a Shaver from Duty Free or wait for an OzBargain deal?


Seeing the deals we have on Ozbargain, I'm just wondering is it worth buying anything at all at Duty Free? Any Shavers, Alcohol, Perfume, Cosmetics? I'm heading to Singapore and back so is it better to buy from here or at Singapore Airport? Also what do I need to be weary of especially regarding liquids and cigarette limits etc.


Should I buy a Shaver from Duty Free or wait for an Ozbargain deal?


  • Singapore, even with the weaker aus dollar.

  • I personally think Singapore is expensive.

  • From my experience, flying back from Hong Kong earlier this year, you can't buy alcohol due to the restrictions on liquids in carry-on luggage (alcohol usually come in a bottle more than 100ml!) and that's including duty-free purchase after security check, not even in a sealed duty-free bag. There were warning signs at duty-free shop at the airport. Perfume is ok, as they come in smaller bottles; however, I still need to get rid of the box of the perfume and squeeze the perfume bottle into the resealable zip-lock back along with my eye drops, hand lotions…
    There is a secondary security check just before you board the plane, no chance hiding a big bottle of alcohol.
    As I said, it was in Hong Kong Airport, not sure about Singapore, better check first. Good luck.

    • Are you sure you can't get duty free alcohol on board? If so why do they sell it in the Departures Duty Free? Surely you are mistaken. However, if you buy the bottles from another airport and transit at Homg Kong they might not allow you to take those aboard.
      I have brought alcohol from Sungapore. No problems bringing it to Australia. However, it might not be worth the trouble now. But you can buy it cheaper than at Dan Murphy's at the Sydney airport.

      • I can confirm what NancyCat has said.

        • Can confirm same deal at Bangkok airport.

        • Surely you are mistaken.

          No, not mistaken. I can confirm this is the case too. Its a regulation enforced by Australia - unless the alcohol is delivered into a separate screening area at the departure gate, its not permitted.

          Singapore does deliver the goods past the screening area. Hong Kong and Bangkok do not.

          Therefore duty free alcohol from Singapore is possible, but not from HKG or BKK.


          this is what happened for me at the LCCT @ KL. they had my duty free waiting at teh departure gate all sealed up in a large clear plastic bag.

      • If you tell the HK duty free you're flying to Australia, they won't sell it to you (since it will be confiscated at the door). I've been through a few times and there's always someone who ends up having to throw away a bottle.

        It's apparently for 'security' reasons, but we all know at least part of the reason is so the uncompetitive Australian airport duty free can have an achohol monopoly.

    • Same thing happened to me in the New Zealand during a 2 hr stopover (staying IN the airport) from Buenos Aires to Sydney… apparently its well known and when all of us complained after having any liquids over 100ml taken away from us, they said that its not THEIR responsibility to let us know, that in Argentina they shouldn't let you buy it in the first place… lost a good amount of $$

  • Hi

    Anything you buy from duty free on the restricted size of customs isn't included in the $100.

    In saying that Alcohol is exceptionally priced in Singapore Airport and well worth getting from there.

    • Will it be seized at Customs in Sydney? Or before I board?

      • In Singapore? It won't be seized. You'll have to pay duty if you go over the 2250ml limit though. Your mileage may vary at other airports (such as HK)

  • Sorry I just read what I wrote, When you buy from duty free there is no 100ml restriction. there is a restriction of 2.25L per person in alcohol and it can be combined between all people traveling.

    When you get it duty free the store will have it for you at the departure gate in a sealed back, which you will be able to go through customs with. If you get perfumes these won't be included in the restrictions, these will also be put into a sealed back you can travel with.

    Also remember that if you have any purchases before you go, I think electronic or Jewellery you can claim the GST when you go through customs in Australia, up to 1000$ I believe. So if you get a new camera to travel with or watch you can get some money back.

  • Yeh, we bought a litre bottle of Cointreau on super special at KL as a gift for daughter in London. No problems with Customs. If you buy at your last stopover you should be okay. Most problems occur if you buy then have a stopover before continuing to Oz. You won't get the same deals at Sydney but if you're worried get your alcohol at the airport when you come back. Depending on what you want you'll still make a decent saving (price before you go so you know the retail).

  • Info on duty free restrictions is available at

    I don't find anything cheap duty free anymore, I can always find better bargains in sales… I'm not a big alcohol drinker though, so my comment doesn't apply to that.

  • Alcohol and tobacco are the only things to buy in duty free. Apart from those, everything else is not worthy buying.

    Especially, if you are coming down from Asian countries, buy the alcohol and tobacco there. In Australia, its day light robbery even if its in duty free.

    Also, the way I operate with duty free is, for example, If I usually buy a $50 retail price for a bottle in Australia, I keep the same budget of $50 for duty free alcohol shopping as well and get a much superior quality bottle to try something nice and different.

  • You can't get much cheaper in Singapore BUT you do get more variety not sold here, eg. Liquor, perfume gift backs, Korean/japan cosmetics, Uniqlo, mobile phones, apple stuff. For liquor, buy when you land, there's more stock in arrival halls compared to departures.

  • Don`t forget the restrictions on cigarettes has changed and you can only bring in 50 cigarettes.

  • if you're buying for someone female. some cosmetics. eg. bobbi brown eyeliner 2 pots with small brush cheaper ( think they worked out to about half the price I would have to pay in Australia) and also not available in this set in Australia.

  • Stop buying [email protected] airports. We have a still which is perfectly legal to make our own. Total cost for a 1.125ml bottle equates to apx. $11.00.- does not contain any nasties in the way of preservatives & is a beautiful smooth taste. When travelling one bottle goes with us packed in a suitcase- never had a problem @ any airport. Why pay ridiculous money when you can make it so easily & cheaper yourself?

  • Bought a few bottle of EDT in changi airport before and regretted it immediately after seeing the prices they sell for at chemist warehouse. Some brands like CK were about $20 cheaper each at CW. My advice: don't get them at SG airport.

  • Alcohol is really the only thing worth getting now since the duty free limit for tobacco was reduced. Don't forget any duty free purchases for alcohol need to be on the last stop before Australia. If you are stopping somewhere else before coming back to Oz it will be confiscated.

  • I was at Changi in late May, pricewise, the only duty free worthwhile is ciggarettes and alcohol, everything else is as much, if not more than aus prices. There is a limit of 2.25l of Alcohol per person, and a limit of 50 cigarrettes. I purchased a 1lt bottle of Johnny gold for $S49 and a 1lt Grey Goose Vodka for $S55 also 2 packets(50 ciggarettes) of Winifield for $S14. They seal this up and you pick it up after you pass a security check at your specific departure gate.

  • As a regular traveller, the only thing I buy duty free is alcohol. Alcohol is cheaper at Changi than Aus airports.

    At Singapore you need to buy it about 2hrs before your flight leaves. They will take down all your details including flight and will have it waiting for you just before you board. Same thing happens at most airports now.

    For everything else, I find better deals here, have a great trip ;-)

  • Alcohol made properly in a still WITH THE HEAD TAKEN OFF before distilling is perfectly safe. We buy the components to complete the process through a reputable company. The terrible tragedy in Queensland where people died was probably caused through unsafe brewing methods.

    • It was caused because they drank biofuel when they thought they were drinking homebrewed liquor.

      Pretty sure it's illegal to brew liquor without a permit though.

  • Dubai has the best duty free prices. I have no problems bringing back alcohol into Australia from Dubai. It is put into a sealed box signed with your name and stored as cargo, not as hand baggage. When you're back in Australia, you then collect it near the baggage carousel.

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