Are you a U.S. resident or citizen and are you planning to travel abroad? It is much more difficult to shop abroad than you might think, especially when compared to shopping in the U.S. Shopping abroad is a great experience. It’s a chance to shop with local merchants, view handcrafted goods from the artisans and window-shop designer handbags that haven’t yet made it to the U.S.

While there are many things you should keep in mind when shopping abroad, the following ten will prove to be extremely helpful. These tips are only for U.S citizens and residents. However, you should also check if they apply to you if you reside in another country.

Shopping Abroad

Register Items Already Purchased

The United States Customs and Border Protection recommends you register certain items prior to leaving the U.S. to be able to prove ownership. Laptops, jewelry, and other similar items are all recommended, especially if they are foreign-made. To register these items, go to the nearest CBP office or to the international airport where you are departing. Request a Certificate of registration and keep it with you when you travel.

Learn about Duty-Free Exemptions

You can usually travel to the U.S. with up $800 worth merchandise. No duty is required. There are many exceptions, so make sure to confirm your exemption before you travel. Combine personal exemptions if you are travelling with family members. You will have to pay U.S. duty on items that exceed your personal exemption even though they are exempt from duty in the country where you purchased them.

To avoid paying duties, you must have a duty-free exemption in your possession.

Before you travel to the U.S., pay your duties

All duties must be paid prior to you return to the U.S. Some places also accept credit card payments.

Personal Shopping Service

There are many options. For personal shopping services, you can try a duty-free business that offers duty-free pricing.

Although it is a different experience than online shopping, it is a great alternative for those who cannot purchase products overseas. Your personal shopper will ask you what you are looking for and then create a list to show you. They will find you exactly what you want and get you the same financing options as local customers. Many retailers offer free shipping.

A Currency Reporting Form may be required

You will need to file a Currency Reporting form with U.S Customs if you have more than $10,000 in traveler’s checks or money orders, cash, and you are carrying more than $10,000 in cash. Although you can bring any number of monetary instruments on your trip, it is not allowed to exceed $10,000.

Find out what’s prohibited and restricted

The prohibited and restricted items list includes plants, firearms, and meat products. They are also not allowed into the United States unless they are required to. For your convenience, the CBP’s list is available. Before you leave, be aware of what you can and cannot bring back.

Learn How to Complete a Customs Declaration Formula

Customs Declaration Forms are required for new merchandise imported from overseas. This form should include the amount you paid for any merchandise purchased after you have left the United States. Keep your receipts for these purchases, in case you have to present them quickly at the airport. These items should be packed together to make them easily accessible for inspection.

Keep an eye out for knock-offs

Many cities abroad are known for selling knockoffs of designer purses, sunglasses and clothing. You should not be looking for counterfeit goods unless you are. You should be aware that knock-offs can lead to serious and even illegal consequences. Ask your concierge at your hotel for help or a tour guide if you’re not able to locate information about the location and counterfeit goods available there.

Learn how to Haggle

Although haggling is becoming a less popular art in certain countries, many people still practice it and expect it from tourists. You can learn how to bargain to get a better deal. Also, make sure to brush up on your negotiation skills before you leave so that you have a plan. First, you will need to determine if bargaining is necessary for that item. Next, calculate the value of the item and the price you are willing to pay.

Be friendly. You’ll lose the sale if you are rude or forceful.

Mail Items from Overseas

You are still responsible for all duties and taxes if you send items overseas rather than bringing them home with you. Only if the items are with you on your return to the country, does your personal exemption apply? You have three options when shipping items back to the United States: U.S. Mail, Express shipments and Freight. The best option for you and the items will be determined.

You may not have done enough research about international shopping if you don’t know the following ten tips that will help you on your journey abroad. These tips will save you money, time and avoid unnecessary delays at customs. International shopping is a tricky business.