Shopping - De
shopping: bargain, bargain and then bargain some more.
malls and shopping centers are becoming more common in Latin America, there
is nothing like the excitement of buying in a street market. You will be able to find everything
from handicrafts to watches, and from "designer" clothes to toys.
You will find that most of the articles being sold do
NOT have a price tag. I
have seen tourists that never realized the product was for sale because they
never found a price tag.
do you find out the price without a tag? Here is how it works. It is pure
capitalism. The demand sets the price.
Generally, the price is set at the moment the seller sees you. The more
anxious or in need you seem to be, the higher the price.
Now it is your turn. You can either buy or offer a lower price. If your offer is too low
and there are a lot of other potential customers, the seller won't even waste
his time. On the other hand, if there are not enough buyers, he will try to
move you to a higher, "fair" price, so...
There is a proposal from the seller.
You make a counter proposal, and
so on and so on until you reach an agreeable price for both parties.
How do you know the fair price? Shop around. If you want to save some money don't
buy in the tourist zones, hotels or the airport.
is very important to keep a good perspective, because in some countries a dollar for you
may be worth as much as twenty five dollars for them, relatively speaking.
Be nice to people and make
the bargaining a good experience for both.
there any risks?
If you buy electronics they won't give you a warranty. Don't try to return
something that broke the first time you used it because the seller doesn't know
you, has never seen you, and sold you anything. Another recommendation, don't go out with a lot of
money. Also, before you go, ask if the area where you will be shopping is safe. If what you are
buying is too bulky, expensive or runs the risk of being stolen on your way
ask to the seller to deliver it to your hotel. Of course, the concierge
will pay for it in your place.
Software is very cheap but not original. If you are
flying back to the USA, it is illegal to enter to the country with it. Other countries have their own regulations.
and Mall shopping.
you don't like the stress of bargaining and need a warranty then you can buy at malls
or stores where the price is set. However, it will be hard to return something,
and if you really fight hard they will give you a store credit to be used in the same
store. Usually there are no refunds or credits back to your credit card.
is just beginning in Latin America. It is not as common as in the USA and you do
have the safety nets that Americans have been implementing during their learning
process. Because of these very same reasons, people don't trust it. If you have to buy
via internet, then my recommendation is to buy from a site with a well known
brick and mortar shop, and double check their delivery and return policies. Send
them an email asking any questions that you might have. If they don't answer in a couple of days,
well, that is the way they will respond to your complaint too.
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