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For sheer variety and scale, LA shopping is hard to beat. This is a fashion-conscious, trend-setting consumer paradise with the shopping options to match.

Your best buys are fashion items, sporting goods and gear, locally produced wine from the Napa Valley, movie paraphernalia and collectables.

If you're looking for both designer wear and celebrity sightings, head for Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive where big name jewellery and haute couture stores are in abundance. For more unusual and eccentric items, head for Venice Boardwalk or Melrose Avenue. Nearby Main Street is good for trendy but affordable attire, as well as antiques and collectables.

Certainly the best-value LA shopping can be found at the discount outlet complexes on the edge of town. Here you can find all the big name brands at substantial discounts - up to 70 percent off the list price. Check out Ontario Mills and Desert Hills Premium Outlets for some great bargains. The Grove is an attractive outdoor mall with a host of high-end and reasonably priced brands, its sister centre The Americana, situated in Glendale, is bigger and equally pleasant.

Of course LA, like every big American city, has its share of mega-malls. The best of these is the Beverly Center, with nine floors of stores and restaurants. Due in part to its almost year-round sunny weather, LA embraces markets as an integral part of the local shopping experience; weekend shoppers can take their pick from a range of eclectic flea markets, curated vintage pop-ups, farmers' markets, swap meets and markets specialising in delectable food and drink.

A Sales Tax of 9.5 percent is built into the purchase price. However, as such sales taxes are set at state level, there is no way to obtain a refund from the federal government for non-US visitors.

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