What is tax-free shopping? / Shopping tax-free is, in essence, claiming a VAT refund after you have paid the VAT in-store.
VAT (value added tax) is a consumer tax and varies between 4% and 27% in the EU. It is included in all prices you pay for goods and services.
You are eligible for a VAT refund if you live outside the EU and if you export the goods to your country of origin. A VAT refund is only possible over goods, not services.
The VAT is included in the purchase price. You therefore pay it in the store when you buy goods and you claim it back afterwards.