One must thing to do when in India, is to shop. Indian markets never cease to captivate the imagination of tourists; with the vast number of shops, hawkers and street vendors selling all sorts of handicrafts, ethnic items or some curios’. The hoopla of the market areas could confuse you, with different shops and shopkeepers calling out to you, offering the ‘best products at best prices’. So here are things that you keep in mind to have a great experience.
Bargaining is your right
Seeing you’re not a local, the sellers would surely ask for absurd prices. Don’t agree to the prices of the seller. Bargain for the best deal. If that doesn’t work, walk away from the shop, they’re sure to call you back and offer a better deal. Oh! Being a local, a Padhaaro Greeter has a good idea about the prices and can help you get the best bargain on the items that you want to buy!
If a hawker gets too insistent and gets down to rowdiness, stand up against him. Bring it to the notice of the passer-byes, they would assist you.
Don’t just buy anything they try to sell
Just cause you’ve to take back a souvenir, doesn’t mean you buy any random item that the hawker tries to sell to you. Get all the information you can about the item. Ah! Again, how our hosts can assist you!
Do some research of your own or ask some local guide for help. Anything and everything can be brought from anywhere, so it is better to limit your shopping to some specific things the region is famous for. This guarantees you quality along with price. For example, buy Jute items from Bengal and not Delhi, Pashmina shawls from Northern India, Gold jewelry from South India. You get the drift.
Printed T-shirts with great saying related to India might attract at first, but don’t give in the temptation. Shop smart. Look for handicrafts. And local specialties are generally best bought from shops, rather than street hawkers, because they might be cheap but not durable.
If you plan on taking along some Indian snacks or sweets back home for your friends and relatives to savor the delicacies that you did, make sure the food items are packed and confirm their longevity. Go for dry foods, e.g. Pedha and Sandesh. Other sweets like Shrikhand and, Mishti Doi are also available in packed form and can be preserved for long. Indian Cookies, Sherbets, Pickles, Papad, Chutneys, Dry Namkeens, Chips which can be fried later are some other options.
Compete with the crowd
This one is a rather tricky issue, given the population and the nature of it. Just keep in mind that, the market places are bound to be crowded and you have to cope with it when you’re shopping or just hopping about the shops.
So, these are some points that could help you shop in the captivating chaos of the quintessential Indian market brimming with fanciful items to choose from. With that, Padhaaro wishes you happy shopping!
This is a person who is into the trade of the quintessential Indian youth- Engineering.
He is currently pursuing Computer Science and Engineering from Haldia Institute of Technology. (You shall be spared the boring details.)
He has an interest in photography, exploration and travel; which is only superseded by a passion for writing and reading. Observant and pensive blended with an adventurous, instinctive personality. A game for challenges!