Top 5 Shopping Tips for Travelers in India

Indian_tourists_shopping
When shopping in India, you can easily get ripped off as the tourists are seen more vulnerable by vendors. Now, I’m not proud of this but it’s a fact. If you are light skinned and look like a stranger, chances are that you might be quoted three or four times the original price of what ever it is you are going to buy. So learning some good haggling tactics is handy while shopping in India. Let’s take a look.

Related: Best Online Shopping Sites in India.

Don’t take suggestions from taxi drivers

Mostly you will be travelling in a taxi for various places during your trip and the taxi driver will suggest you some shops where you can buy things. He may say that the shop is so good and the price is also cheap. Don’t believe those kind of sayings as he will have tie up with the shop owner and will get some percentage of commission from the shop owner for getting customers to the shop.

Bargaining the deal

Bargaining in the Indian shops is really an art and not all people are good at it. The rates in the big or branded shops will be fixed and you cannot bargain in them but you can bargain to a good extent in the shops on the street or smaller shops. Keep the below points in mind bargaining.

– Enquire the price of the item you wish to buy in 4 or 5 fixed price shops so that you will get an idea about the approximate price of the item.

– Don’t show your interest openly for the item as that may tend the shop keeper to increase the price.

– Don’t accept for the initial price told by the shop keeper as they will always say a price which is 2 or 3 times more than the original. For example if the normal price of a handbag is Rs.200 most shop keepers will tell the price ranging from Rs.400 to Rs.600.  So you can start bargaining from the price of Rs.100 and gradually increase it until you reach an agreement.If the shop keeper is not reducing the price at all, leave that shop and go for some other.

– Don’t do the bargain like a fight. Talk gently with a pleasing tone.Some shop owners will reduce the price if you buy 2 or 3 of the item instead of one.
– You can also bargain by praising the item and saying you will come back again.This trick will work with some shop owners.
– If you are nearing the desired price and a slight reduction will close the deal,then tend to show disinterest in your face and walk away to the neighboring shop. Then automatically the shop owner will come back to you.

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– Try to buy the item as soon as the shop opens as it will the first sale for the shop keeper. So he may not be very strict in the price as many of the shop keepers have sentiments like if the first sale of a day is good, then the sale for the whole day will be good.

Buying clothes

If you are buying clothes on the street or roadside shops, check the cloth thoroughly and make sure that there are no damages like minute torns,stains,faded color etc. If the shop keeper don’t allow you to see the full cloth,then don’t buy there.Also make sure that the threads in the cloth are not coming out. Many times the quality of the clothes sold in the streets are not good and the cloth will shrink or the color will fade in single wash.

Go to wholesale clothing shops if you want to buy more number of clothes.Both the quality and the price will be good there.

Buying gemstones

Usually tourists would love to buy the variety of gem stones in places near the sea shores or beaches.Mostly shop keepers will say that the stones are natural and taken directly from the sea and no modification has been done it. But it is not true and most of the stones are not real. Always check the quality of the stones before buying.

Don’t accept home delivery from street shops

If the item is big and the shop keeper says that he may deliver it to the hotel or home where you stay, don’t accept it as they may not deliver the item or give a damaged item and you may not find the shop next day in the same place.

Return/Exchange policy

Most of the Western countries have a return policy and you can exchange or return the item with in the return period. But in India, a return is not all allowed for any item and exchange for the item depends on the shop. If you think you may have to exchange an item mention that clearly to the shop keeper. If the exchange of the item is allowed, either you should take an item whose price is equal to more than the item you purchased previously.


Hi, Mani Karthik here. Having lived in USA, India & Middle East, and worked for big MNC’s to startups, I have a lot to share with you. My aim is to help people, by sharing everything I’ve learned in life, through this blog. It’s read today by more than 150K people world over! I currently live in LA, California and visit India occasionally. Here’s my full story on who I am and why I blog. Connect with me on FacebookInstagram, Twitter or WhatsApp (+001-408-489-4785). Happy to help! 🙂

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