Places in the World to Bargain
Traveling is expensive enough: Plane ticket, hotels, transportation, and rentals can all too exhausting to your travel budget. Add to that food, souvenirs, and emergency expenses -- it can all be overwhelming. But hopefully, you or a travel agent planned everything well so your vacation will go without a hitch. That said, just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean you still can’t stop looking for bargains. And an attraction in many vacation spots are places where you can do a lot of discount shopping. Consider them as giant swap meets or garage sales, the following places are where you can barter, bargain, yell and plead your way into getting a good deal on discounted or the day we say, knock-off goods.
Many signs are posted on the piazzas and city streets stating that it is illegal to buy knockoff goods. Nonetheless, you find plenty of individuals who have blankets. And in these blankets, they can quickly roll out all the knockoff Louis Vuitton and Gucci bags. And when the Polizia do their rounds on the street vendors, these creative individuals simply roll up shop like nothing happened. Along with the “blanket” vendors, you will find some of the best leather crafters in the world working in little kiosks in the city. If you are looking to find a perfect fitting leather belt, one can be made for you within minutes for just under 10-25 euros. You can find other leather goods like bags, jackets and even boots available.
This section of Korea is one unofficially designated for Americans and servicemen abroad. And much like the Florence leather market, Itaewon is chock full of little stores that sell knock-off items. Yes, you will find your usual suspects of Louis Vuitton, Chanel, and Fendi -- but Asian brands and Asian fitted apparel are just as wanted as their European counterparts. The district, close to Seoul, has a few more distinctions aside from knock-off goods. It has been well known as a place to get better than average Korean and Asian pottery (there’s a section completely dedicated to it). And it is well known to men as the place to get a well-tailored suit at a reasonable price.
If there’s ever a place that is an organized maze, the large shopping center outside the capital city of Manila is it. It is “organized” in the fact that the handbag and accessories section is in one large area of the shopping center. The furniture and woodwork vendors are all in one section as well. And the electronics and cell phone section get an entire floor. But the whole shopping center is quite large and vendors use every single yard given to them. It’s a crowded, loud shopping experience with plenty of locals and tourists bargaining for knockoff purses and knockoff Nike shoes, both which there are plenty of them. The aforementioned electronics section is the perfect place to find a “reclaimed” iPhone as well as a place to unlock a “found” one.
Wherever you go in the world, you will find the interesting culture of the cloud marketplace. Bargaining, bartering, and deals are definitely aspects you will contend with when you face-off against a vendor. But just remember: cash only, don’t settle for the first price, walk away if you have to and flirt if you got the skill.
(All photographs are courtesy of the original owners unless otherwise indicated)