Saturday, March 31, 2012

Contanti is king

Valentino on Milan's Via Montenapoleone, hallowed ground for high fashion
Mi fai sconto? you ask the vendor. Can you give me a discount? Pago contanti, I'll pay cash.

Now, this time-honored Italian tradition doesn't work where prices are clearly stated and there's nothing for merchant to gain by dropping the public price. But when it's a designer dress, or a piece of designer jewelry, then it's a different story. No credit card fees, nothing to declare.

Ah, but Italy's government is cracking down on tax evasion. It briefly banned 1,000-euro notes, then relented. Now the limit applies only to Italian citizens, leaving the big spenders alone. And who are they? Not us, not 'Merkins, nope. The big money's being spent by Chinese, Russian and Brazilian tourists, flush with cash and eager to buy designer labels in Rome, Milan and Venice.

Reuters reports on the problem here

No comments:

Post a Comment