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Buying Ahava and Naot in Israel

Where is the best (cheapest) place to buy Ahava products? I've seen some posts that say to buy it at a pharmacy (one of the chains), some say the factory outlet (we'll be near there), and others that say to buy it at the airport, after going through security. Any suggestions?

I have the same questions about Naot shoes, which are the best shoes I have. I will be near Naot Mordechai, where I understand there's a factory story. What about shoe stores in Jerusalem or Tel Aviv? Any "discount" shoe places that might have a good selection of Naot shoes (as opposed to sandals)?

Thanks in advance!

Posted by
2561 posts

Ahava is sold widely at discount in the US. Available on Amazon, my wife buys hers at Ulta. Can’t imagine you’d save enough shekels to make the transportation worthwhile. The shoes, I don’t know.

Posted by
14930 posts

A friend in San Francisco used to ask me to bring her an Ahava eye cream from here, but then she found a website in the US where it was cheaper. I usually buy at drugstore.co.il. The site's in Hebrew, I don't see an English alternative but Google translate seems to work. If you put "ahava" in the search box, their products will come up. If the order's large enough, delivery is free. I don't know if they'll deliver to a hotel, but maybe you could have it delivered to a friend. Or you can pick up an order of any size in their store in central Tel Aviv for free. At least you can see the prices to compare. I haven't found anywhere cheaper. There are no bargains at Ben-Gurion's duty-free. Ahava usually has a 3+1 offer for most of their products so that could be a little cheaper if you want 4 items (of course, the cheapest is the freebie). Sometimes you'll see a sale of a few Ahava items at the Dead Sea shops, including the tourist shops at sights. I stopped going to the factory outlet at the Dead Sea because the last time or two, I didn't find any bargains so it was just a waste of time. The big chain is Superpharm and they are generally more expensive, but if you catch a sale, you might get a good price.

It's summer here, so I don't know how many shoes you'll see in shops. You could call the outlet store when you get here and ask if they have shoes in stock. I buy all my shoes and sandals in the US. We don't have discount stores like you do, just sales - usually end-of-season or pre-holiday.

Posted by
92 posts

Thanks, Chani! I just checked the Ahava prices at that site, and compared them with what I can get one Amazon, and it really doesn't look like it makes sense to buy it in Israel. I'll check out some of the discount sites here for Naot so I'll have something to compare when I get to Israel.

You've been so helpful, and I really appreciate it. We'll be in Israel in less than a week, and we're getting very excited.

I hope your trip to the US goes well. Where did you plan to go?
Lisa

Posted by
6 posts

Chani, those are regular mall stores on that link. Is there an outlet in the American sense? The terrible irony of course, is that some Israeli products cost more here than they do outside of Israel.

Posted by
92 posts

We are just back from Israel, and here's what I found.

AHAVA: Before I left on my trip, I looked up prices on AMAZON for the products I was interested in, and saved them on my phone. While we were at the Dead Sea, I checked out the fully stocked Factory Store. There were some specials on prices for specific products, but since all included the 17% VAT, they were, for the most part, about the same as on Amazon. Since the prices were in shekels, and the the USD/Shekel rate fluctuates, it was cumbersome to compare. Yes, you can get the 17% back, if you spend more than a certain amount (I think it was 420 shekels), but they don't do it there, at the store, which means standing in line at the airport.

At the Duty Free shop, at the airport, prices were in dollars, and did not include the VAT. They also had several specials going. Here it was easy to compare the Amazon price, and even before the specials (buy 3, get 1 -lowest cost- free) the prices were several dollars cheaper. For example: the most expensive product I bought was $57 vs. Amazon's $66. Less expensive products were only a few dollars cheaper ($21 vs. $24) but getting one of the items free, brought down the overall cost.

Advice to bargain hunters: If you're going to Israel anyway, do your homework before you go, and try to figure out the Amazon price in Shekels. If bringing back the products you want doesn't cause overpacking, go for it. But the savings are not fantastic, unless you're buying some expensive stuff.

NAOT:
We happened to be spending 4 days within a few miles of the NAOT Factory Store in the Upper Galilee. Naot shoes work really well for my problem feet, and cost $170-210 online in the states. I've come across some fantastic bargains on a few pairs ($19 on a closeout rack about 10 years ago, in Charleston, SC!) but nothing recently and my old ones are finally wearing out. My host said that the factory store was definitely worth a look, and said their family goes a few times a year. I was surprised by the large selection and the reasonably good service from the staff. Closeouts were displayed on back shelves (like at TJ MAXX), by size, with a mens, women's and children's section. These were mostly priced at 199 shekels (about $55). New models were displayed in front of the store, and one brought them to a counter, or showed them to a salesperson, who brought the requested size. The new models )for women) were priced at about 380-420 shekels (about $115). These prices included the 17% VAT, and theoretically, one could get this back at the airport, if you don't mind the forms, lines, etc.

The company also makes TEVA, and we also saw these, AND KEENs in the men's part of the store.