Thursday, June 7, 2007

Adventures in Shopping

First of all, the shopping that I am about to describe is not shopping in our city but rather shopping while on vacation. Here in our city it is calm unless you go to the tourist area and there all you get is someone asking if you want a copy watch or a tailor made suit.

Usually around any major attraction you would find the entrepreneur looking for an opportunity to make a buck on the tourists. Usually the line would begin "hello" and a pause and then "okay" which was the question, "you want to buy what I am selling." I actually did get hit by a lady trying to sell me some postcards. I didn't buy anything from them but decided that there postcards might have been a deal after paying the hotel lobby price.

One guy was selling silk bags. If you know me, I love silk and I love bags put them together and I am in double love. She said "3 dollars" wow that is a good price and I had wanted to buy some bags. I said, "okay". Then I learned he wanted US$ not the local money. That made mad. I felt like he is cheating me. I let him know I wasn't happy that he lead me on and walked away.

We went to a market area. It was organized in the sense that each vendor had there own area and for the most part they would stay in that area saying "look". It might be a clothing vendor, or a silk vendor, but if you didn't like one vendor you could always go to another vendor. I had a few things that I wanted to buy. I would look at something and ask "how much". They would grab the handy calculator and type in a number. Then the negotiating began. I knew I had to go very low to find a price that I would like. I wanted to buy some silk journals. The girl was asking 95 each. No way would I pay that. I had bought two on a recent trip and knew what was a fair price. I told her 15 and I would buy 4. She quoted a price but it was still higher than what I wanted to spend. I told her no and walked away. She called me back with an offer. Nope, wasn't good enough. I knew someone else would have them and they would either come to my price or I would cave in and pay there price. That gal really wanted to make a sale. She called me back again and sold them to me for 65. Yes, I got 4 for 65 which is much less than her original asking price.

I knew that someone else would sell it to me. If you want it too bad, you might end up paying too much. I also had an advantage in the sense that I knew what was a fair price not by standards from my home country but by standards from where we live and other places we have traveled.

As we walked through, the sales people would try to show a dress for Miss K. They would put it in front of her. I even had someone put something in her hands. Now that was mean because I had to grab it out of her hand and give it back.

My husband did say that I had a gift for negotiating and getting a good price. I bought a nice scarve and got the price to 20. Later that day another vendor quickly moved to the price of 20 so I am wondering if I could have gotten a better deal.

I had one vendor tell me she was giving me a good price because she liked my daughter.

So if you are shopping in this region. Be willing to walk away, go low in your offer, and have fun. Shopping is an experience and an adventure and you can come away with some great deals. Here are some of the finds. I can't show everything because some are gifts.


Deanne said...

They're beautiful!

I'm taking you shopping with me every time I go. :)

Bo Tai-tai said...

I would love to go shopping with you. Doesn't the green bag remind you of the Shanghai Tang bag.

Deanne said...


That reminds me of a story I wanted to tell you. As I was checking in for my return flight, there was an older couple checking in next to me at the first class counter. It was obvious they were wealthy by the way they carried themselves, their clothing, their attitude, etc. That suspicion was confirmed when I looked down at her carry on pieces and she had not one, but TWO large Shanghai Tang bags. WOW!! I immediately thought of you. I would have loved to see what she had inside those bags. :)

Sheila said...

Putting stuff in K's hand is terrible!

You got some great stuff.

Bo Tai-tai said...

Two big bags. Wow! I just want one small bag with a little bright coloured bag inside. S reminded me that I paid about 4 US dollars for that bag. It is a jewelry bag (the bright green).