Shopper’s Paradise: A Guide to Shopping in the USA

A Guide to Shopping in the USA

Busy city streets, quant boutique stores, and mega malls; the USA is famous all over the world for having some of the best shopping opportunities anyone looking to indulge in some retail therapy could ever wish for. But with so much ground to cover across such a large country, where are the best places to shop in the United States?

At Crown Currency Exchange, we’ve taken all of the hard work out of figuring this out by providing you with a list of the best shops in America, focusing on some of the hottest tourist destinations. Keep reading to discover where they are, along with some super useful travel shopping tips.

What to Buy When Shopping in the USA

What to Buy When Shopping in the USA

As you might imagine, shops in the United States are busting at the seams with things amazing things to buy. However, picking up everything you come across is going to be quite a challenge when it comes to getting it all home with you! As such, we’ve pinpointed some of the best things to buy when you’re in the USA below.

Clothing

American fashion is amongst the most diverse in the world, and no trip to the States is complete without a clothes shopping adventure! From designer brand names to more affordable fashion chains, there’s something for every style and budget.

This variety does mean that prices vary pretty dramatically, though. For example, a designer dress could easily set you back as much as $3,500 USD ($5,200 AUD), while a chain-store alternative may cost as little as $40 USD ($60 AUD).

Sporting Goods

The USA is one of the best places in the world to buy high-quality sporting goods, including hiking gear, camping equipment, sports jerseys, sneakers, and loads more.

As with clothing, prices here will vary depending on what you’re buying and the brands you’ve chosen. A great pair of Nike sneakers can cost up to $220 USD ($330 AUD), and an authentic American football jersey can easily set you back $150 USD ($230 AUD).

Beauty Products

American beauty products are sought after worldwide, especially in stores like Sephora and Ulta Beauty, which offer a wide array of luxury makeup, skincare, and hair care products. In fact, these products are so in demand that many people choose to stock up as much as possible while visiting the USA.

In terms of pricing, it may not come as a surprise that some brands charge quite a lot for their beauty products. For this reason, it’s a good idea to plan your shopping trip around sales, such as Black Friday, where you’ll be able to save a lot of money.

Health and Wellness Products

As well as selling amazing products that help you look good on the outside, the USA is a fantastic place to find health and wellness products that can help you feel good on the inside! Stores like CVS Pharmacy and GNC often have great deals on these products, so they’re definitely worth checking out.

The amount you’ll pay for these will, again, depend on what you’re buying. Better-known wellness brands, like Ritual and Garden of Life, will cost more than budget brands, but you’ll often find the ingredients are quite similar, so it’s worth doing a little research before buying.

Souvenirs

No trip to America is complete without picking up a few souvenirs to remember your holiday. You’ll find a ton of options to choose from in most major cities and tourist areas, including t-shirts, keychains, magnets, and more.

One thing to keep in mind when buying souvenirs is that they are marketed to tourists, and this often means they are priced quite high. To save money here, compare prices between vendors and choose one with souvenirs that you feel are appropriately priced.

Best Places for Shopping in the USA

Best Places for Shopping in the USA

The USA is a huge country, and unless you’re going on a trip that lasts several weeks, you may find it difficult to visit all of the best places to shop. So, to make things easier, we’ve collected together some of the best shops in the most popular states.

Fifth Avenue, New York City

Renowned for its upscale shopping opportunities and featuring several flagship stores like Saks, Bergdorf Goodman, and Tiffany & Co., Fifth Avenue is a must-visit for shoppers in New York. Consider this a shopper’s paradise for anyone looking for high-end fashion and accessories.

Rodeo Drive, Beverley Hills

Another place synonymous with luxury shopping, Rodeo Drive is an iconic street lined with designer boutiques and upscale shops, including brands like Chanel, Gucci, Prada, and Louis Vuitton. This is a must-visit destination for fashion lovers and for anyone who wants to experience living the high life!

Michigan Avenue, Chicago

More commonly referred to as the “Magnificent Mile”, Michigan Avenue is Chicago’s premier shopping destination. Here, you’ll find a wide range of department stores, luxury boutiques, and flagship stores, including Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, and Burberry.

Miami Design District, Miami

Nestled in the heart of Miami’s thriving art scene, the Miami Design District is packed with fashion boutiques, contemporary art galleries, and design studios selling unique items. This is more than a shopping destination, though. It’s a place to spend a day among creative individuals with a passion for style and design.

The Best Markets in the USA

The Best Markets in the USA

Along with luxury stores and huge shopping malls, the USA is home to a wide variety of markets, each of which offers a unique shopping experience. Here are some of our favourites:

Pike Place Market, Seattle

One of the oldest continuously operated public farmers’ markets in the USA, Pike Place Market offers fresh produce, seafood, crafts, and artisanal goods. It’s also home to the world-famous Pike Place Fish Market, where fishmongers can be seen throwing fish at each other.

Chelsea Market, New York City

Located in the former National Biscuit Company factory building (where the Oreo cooking was invented), Chelsea Market is a food hall and shopping mall that offers a wide range of gourmet food, artisanal products, and unique shops.

Grand Central Market, Los Angeles

Situated in downtown Los Angeles, Grand Central Market is a historic landmark featuring a diverse range of food vendors, specialty shops, and eateries. It’s also a really exciting place to visit and has a buzzing atmosphere that food lovers will enjoy.

French Market, New Orleans

Offering a mix of food stalls, local crafts, artwork, souvenirs, and more, New Orleans’ French Market is the oldest public market in the USA, and it really reflects the vibrant culture of the city. There is often live music to enjoy while you shop, too, making it an excellent place to spend an entire day while enjoying some shopping.

The Best Modern Malls in the USA

The Best Modern Malls in the USA

Modern malls are a huge part of the USA shopping experience, and many offer more than just shops to browse but double up as dining and entertaining complexes. Here are some must-visit malls you’ll find in popular USA destinations:

The Mall at Millenia, Orlando

Known for its upscale shopping experience, The Mall at Millenia is home to some of the world’s most famous luxury brands, including Gucci and Louis Vuitton. You’ll also find multiple dining options here, all set within the heart of Florida.

The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas

Located within the iconic Caesar Palace Hotel and Casino, The Forum Shops offer one of the most unique shopping experiences in the USA. Here, you’ll find a mix of high-end retailers, luxury boutiques, and themed stores, along with an “indoor sky” and a replica of the Trevi Fountain!

The Grove, Los Angeles

One of America’s most popular destinations, The Grove is a shopping and entertainment complex that features a mix of high-end retailers and trendy boutiques, along with multiple dining options. You’ll also find a movie theatre here and a picturesque central square complete with a dancing fountain.

Mall of America, Bloomington

As one of the largest shopping malls in the world, the Mall of America offers an unparalleled shopping and entertainment experience. There are over 500 stores here, including major department stores, specialty shops, and unique attractions, including the Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium.

The Best Places for Clothes Shopping in the USA

The Best Places for Clothes Shopping in the USA

When it comes to shopping for clothing in the USA, you’ll have a huge number of options to choose from, including high-end designer boutiques and budget-friendly chain stores. Here are some of the best clothes shops in America, with something for every budget:

Soho, New York City

One of Manhattan’s trendiest neighbourhoods, Soho is well-known for its chic boutiques selling designer labels and flagship chain stores. From independent names to stylish streetwear, you’ll find yourself immersed in a vibrant shopping district with an electric atmosphere.

Fashion Island, California

Located in Newport Beach, Fashion Island is a coastal shopping centre that mixes upscale shopping with a picturesque setting. You can explore a mix of luxury boutiques and department stores here, each selling something you’re guaranteed to love.

NorthPark Center, Dallas

Dallas’ premier shopping destination, NorthPark has loads of different shops to explore, including trendy fashion brands and items marketed at those looking for amazing products at lower prices.

South Coast Plaza, California

Another California-based shopping destination that is perfect for anyone looking to splurge on some clothing, South Coast Plaza is one of the largest shopping centres on the West Coast and is home to over 250 stores and boutiques.

Tips for Shopping in the USA

Tips for Shopping in the USA

Shopping in the USA is thrilling, with so much to explore and so many products to choose from. However, as with shopping anywhere else in the world, there are some things to keep in mind to make the most of your shopping experience.

Shopping Etiquette

The etiquette when shopping in the USA isn’t too different from that of most other Western countries, but there are a few nuances that you should be aware of so you’re not caught off guard.

For example, it’s very common for stores to have a staff member at the door to greet you into the store. You aren’t obligated to engage in conversation beyond a polite response, but it is considered courteous to at least acknowledge the greeting.

It’s also important to note that Americans value personal space when they’re shopping, so be mindful of maintaining a comfortable distance from other shoppers, especially when waiting in line. Similarly, don’t cut the line or overcrowd the checkout area – wait patiently for your turn to pay.

Authenticity

Many places in America sell designer brands, which can cost a lot of money. The price itself is a pretty good way of determining authenticity, but there are also some other key things to look out for to ensure you’re getting the real deal.

One of the best things you can do is buy from an authorised retailer, such as official boutiques and department stores. Also, make sure you pay close attention to the labels, tags, and the packaging of your items, all of which should have the logo of the brand and come with information about the product, such as care instructions.

Some luxury brands also come with serial numbers, authenticity cards, or holographic stickers that verify authenticity. Check for these before you buy, and if you’re not sure, contact the brand to verify the validity.

Ethical Shopping

Whether you’re buying a designer dress from a luxury brand or you’re choosing something budget-friendly, it’s important to research the brands you’re interested in to learn more about their values, practices, and ethical sourcing. Brands with Fair Trade or GOTS certifications are good to choose, as these indicate that they are committed to ethical and sustainable practices.

Practical Advice for Navigating Shopping Malls

Navigating an American mall can be pretty overwhelming if you’re not used to them, especially a mega mall with so much ground to cover. There are, however, some things you can do to make things easier.

Firstly, plan your visit once you’ve arrived. Most malls will have a directory on display throughout or at key intersections, and this can be used to find the stores you want to visit and arrange meeting places if you’re travelling with a group and want to go to different places.

It’s also a good idea to wear comfortable shoes when shopping in malls, as you’ll be doing a lot of walking! Bring a reusable water bottle with you as well so you can stay hydrated throughout the day.

We also recommend avoiding peak times if you want to explore a mall at your pace without feeling crowded or rushed. Early weekday mornings are generally best, as this time of day is typically less busy than evenings and weekends.

Budget Your Money for Shopping in the USA

While it can be easy to get carried away when shopping in the USA, it’s really important to budget your money so you can make the most of the experience without accidentally overspending.

One of the best things you can do is to set a spending limit. Make a shopping list of things you think you’ll want to buy when you’re in the USA, determine how much money you’ll need, and then stick to this. You’ll need to research prices when doing this, but this can also help narrow down where you’ll go shopping.

You’ll also need to remember to factor in sales tax when planning your budget, which varies between states and can significantly impact your spend total! The best thing to do here is to calculate the estimated tax amount and then include that in your budget – that way, you won’t get stung at the checkout!

No matter what your budget looks like or where you’re planning on shopping, it’s also best to use cash when shopping in the USA. By avoiding your cards, you’ll be avoiding expensive International Transaction Fees charged by your bank, which, if left to add up, can cause some serious damage to your account.

Get the Best Rates on American Dollars at Crown Currency

America really is the land of opportunity when it comes to shopping, and regardless of your budget, you’ll find plenty of things you’ll want to pick up and take home with you!

Remember, however, that cash is the best way of paying for things in the United States, and having plenty on you will also ensure you’re able to leave a tip in certain situations.

To get the best rates on AUD to USD, visit Crown Currency Exchange, where you’ll be able to exchange your money without any commission fees or hidden costs. Visit one of our many locations today, and you’ll be one step closer to your American shopping adventure!

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