Shopping in France

While attending the Olympics and Paralympics in France, you wish to benefit from the offers of the French market? Basic rules about shopping in France in this article.

From 15 June to 30 September 2024, certain stores in Paris can choose exceptionally to open on Sundays. This authorisation to derogate from Sunday rest applies to the following sectors: food retail, sporting and leisure goods, convenience stores, cycles and motorcycles, department stores, clothing, bookshops and stationery.

Wherever you are staying in Paris during the Olympics and Paralympics, you may therefore find shops opened on a Sunday.

However, in other French cities, the following rules apply:  Opening a business on Sunday: what regulations?

Yes, if you are a holder of a "mobility and inclusion" card bearing the "disability" and "priority" wording. Then your assistance dog may enter a shop. 

The current French regulations stipulate that :

  • information on prices is compulsory, whatever the sales method: in a shop, on the internet, at home, etc.
  • the trader must indicate prices in euros and inclusive of all taxes, in a visible and comprehensible manner.
  • the trader is obliged to inform you of the price of a good or service prior to the sale, even without an explicit request from you.
  • the trader must indicate any additional charges.

In a shop the retailer must :

  • inform you of the price of the product by displaying it directly on the product on sale or by means of a sign or notice placed close to it.
  • indicate the total price and also the price per litre or per kilo for pre-packaged food, hygiene or cleaning products.
  • display the total price and the unit price when selling a batch of products.
  • If the quantity of items is such that it is impossible to display the price of each product, the retailer must make a catalogue available to give you information on the price of each unlabelled item.
  • If the trader charges for a quotation or delivery service, he must inform you in advance.

Good to know: If you have a dispute with a trader, particularly over the display of a price in shop, you can use the Signal Conso platform.

Yes, if you explicitly request them.

However, the retailer will not automatically give you a receipt after you paid.

Since August 2023, 3 options are possible when you check out in a French store:

  • No receipt given, if you don't request it;
  • A printed receipt, if you specifically request it;
  • A digital receipt, if the seller provides this service and you request it: you will receive it by text message, by e-mail, by QR code or by message in your banking application.

Regarding the invoice, it is obligatory only for the provision of services of more than 25€ including VAT.

More information: All about billing

The provision of single-use plastic carrier bags for packaging goods at the point of sale, free of charge or against a fee, is forbidden in all shops.

At check-out, cashiers may give or sell customers only reusable plastic bags (i.e. thicker than 50 microns). Or alternatively bags made of materials other than plastic (fabric, paper, etc.), whether free of charge or not.

There are 2 main sales periods of a maximum duration of 4 weeks in winter and summer. Each French department decides of the dates by order of the Prefect. They set beginning and ending dates which are compulsory for all sellers.

Summer sales in 2024 start Wednesday 26 June at 8am. Therefore, the summer sales in France finish before the Olympic Games start. But also outside this period price reductions are possible.

Good to know: When a trader offers a reduction on the price of a product, her must display the lowest price charged in the 30 days preceding the offer. This new rule applies throughout the European Union to both online and offline sales.

If you are over 16 and live outside the European Union, you can benefit from a VAT (value added tax) deduction, whatever your nationality. To benefit from this deduction, you will need to give a proof of identity when you make your purchases.

This deduction applies to tourist and non-commercial purchases of more than €100 including VAT over a period of 3 days maximum from the same retailer. This tax relief excludes however certain items (services, cultural goods, weapons, etc.).

In practice :

  • either the item is zero-rated directly at the time of purchase,
  • or it is reimbursed at a later date. In the latter case, the retailer issues a tax-free slip, which must be presented to customs on departure.

If you use mobile applications for your tax refund or you wish to shop online, check the terms and conditions and the required documents (e.g. invoice with name).  Be aware that you will never get a 100% refund of the VAT because a commission will apply.


If you purchase in a shop, in principle there is no right of withdrawal, all sales are final. You cannot cancel your purchase unless you pay a cancellation fee. However, many retailers offer the possibility of exchanging and/or refunding the item within a certain period of time. Before buying, check with the shop owner.

If you are buying online, you might benefit from a cooling off right. Check our article "Online purchases during the 2024 Olympic Games".

When purchasing from a seller in France, you automatically benefit from the legal guarantee of conformity. However, please bear in mind that if the item stays in France, the legal guarantee grants it. That is unless you inform the seller that you are exporting the item, and he/she acknowledges this in your contract.

If the seller informs you about the possibility of an additional commercial warranty or a “service après vente”, inquire about the conditions and in particular the geographical scope. Will it apply when you take the item home?

Further information in our article on Guarantees and warranties.

During the Olympic and Paralympic Games, be careful of counterfeiting! Many tourists fall into the trap of buying a product branded as official Paris 2024 merchandising without realising it is actually a counterfeit product. Even if a toy or a piece of clothing displays the Paris Olympics mascot on it, it doesn’t automatically qualify as an official merchandise.

The goods most affected by counterfeiting are games, toys and sports equipment, food and drink, personal care products, clothing and accessories.

Possession of counterfeit products is strictly illegal in France. Follow our advice before buying:

  • Check with the brand whether the seller is one of its authorised resellers and report any unofficial seller.
  • Compare the prices applied with those of the brands official store. Be wary of prices that are too good to be true or offers of substantial reductions.

Find more pointers in our article on counterfeit products.

  • First, contact the seller in writing. Retain proof of your correspondence.
  • If this effort proves unsuccessful, proceed as follows:

If you live in France, you can receive assistance from a consumers’ association, whose contact information is available on the DGCCRF’s website. You can also report your problem with the hotel operator or the rental property owner on the SignalConso platform.

- If you live in another EU Member State, Iceland or Norway, the European Consumer Centre for your country can assist you. Visit the ECC Network website for its contact information.

- If you live in a non-EU country, contact the embassy or consulate of your country in France or report your dispute on the website, via the complaint form or contact the members of

Good to know: In France there is a general prohibition preventing sellers from using a premium-rate number to take a call from a consumer with a view to obtaining the proper performance of a contract or the handling of a complaint. However, the phone number given by the seller might look to your operator as a premium rate number and invoiced as such. If so, please contact both the seller and the operator to enquire if the number you used really was a surcharged number. More information on using your phone in France.

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Innovation Council and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises Executive Agency (EISMEA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.