Shopping from the malls and high-end stores may seem convenient for most buyers, but it does lead to heart attacks and compromises by a common man. Street shopping provides to be a viable option. Street shopping in India is incredible and a must-have experience. It allows one to be drenched in the local culture as one shuffle through the stalls hoarding local souvenirs or exquisite handicrafts made by the local artisans.
These handcrafted goodies, available at nominal prices, keep your memories fresh about the culture even after returning to your native place. Lanterns, block printed garments popular among the locales, handwoven diaries for stationery lovers, all of it would be found during the street shopping hunt at a reasonable price.
Street shopping in India is incomplete without snacks and the lip-smacking chaats that are exclusive to their respective locations. Their mere aroma will make your stomach rumble, and one cannot say NO to these heavenly dishes, prepared by the natives! After all, street shopping is all about shopping wholeheartedly with family and friends, relishing the street food, and sipping coffee as you move to the next stall.
Here in this article, I bring you a few tips to make your experience of street shopping in India even more memorable!
Tips For Street Shopping In India:
1. Dress Comfy!
Street shopping is a fun thing to do, but it can be tiresome too. Dress in casuals and breathable clothes. Align your clothing according to the temperature outside since street shopping in India is outdoors for obvious reasons and do not have temperature regulations. It is suggested that you dress in layers to add or remove as and when required.
Girls can put on their favorite kurtas while boys are good to go in their boxers like always! Do not wear deep neck t-shirts as you may have to stoop or bend a bit to shuffle through the stock in a stall. Wearing a low waist pair of jeans is a bad option for both girls and boys unless you want to be the hot topic of the market!
Also, do not put on costly jewelry because all sorts of people will be coming for street shopping in India, you really cannot trust the gentry there. So just don’t put on anything too precious and beware of thugs!
2. Happy Feet – Productive Hours!
Put on something that you’ve been wearing already for quite a while now. Don’t put on new shoes or sandals because you may end up having shoe bites from your new footwear. For street shopping in India, you will have to walk a lot. Wearing heels or flip flops may cause your legs to hurt after a while. Be prepared; street shopping is undoubtedly a time taking the task, wear snug footwear that keeps your feet happy!
3. Do Not be an Early Bird!
In most cases, being an early bird is a benefit; however, this isn’t the case with street shopping in India. Reaching early allows you access to the best products but not the best prices. If you go to a flea market in the morning hours, the shopkeepers are less likely to bargain because morning time if for bony according to traditional Indian culture. The shopkeepers also do not bargain because they may get better prices for that product later that day.
4. Carry Change
Yes, it does sound pretty old school, but it is what it is. Owing to digitalization, we have left behind the habit of keeping cash with ourselves and why technology has made making payments a lot convenient. But you have to carry an ample amount of money with yourself while street shopping in India.
You stand high chances of losing the bargained price because of the mere unavailability of change! Suppose you have haggled an item of Rs 500 to Rs 440, but you do not have cash in hand to pay change. You certainly do not want to have the hassle of going stall to stall between shopping to look for change.
The shopkeeper will, of course, not go out of the way during his rush hour to make an extra effort for you unless you are buying a dozen of items from him! Long story short, CARRY CHANGE!
5. Carry a Big Bag!
While street shopping in India, be prepared to hoard many shopping bags if you are actually in a mood to shop. Carrying more than two bags will be troublesome; thus, carry a big, sturdy cloth bag along with you. It will also save you from the embarrassment of being ditched by low-quality bags provided by the shopkeepers.
By carrying your bag, you will also take a step towards reducing plastic consumption. Thus, promoting a plastic-free environment! These little steps surely add up to produce positive outcomes on a massive level!
6. Double Check Every Attractive Deal!
It is a fact that shopping in India is definitely cheaper than European or North American Countries, but still, you won’t get gold for the prices of stones. If a deal is strikingly unbelievable, I’d recommend you should check the quality of the product twice. Ask for certifications, if possible. Beware of thugs; shopkeepers in India can be very convincing and may take you into full confidence only to deceive you with low-quality products.
7. Check All the Corners and Edges
Stalls that you come across while street shopping in India is mostly selling the export surplus and the rejected goodies; thus, they are available for nominal prices. Therefore keep in mind to check every detail of the product you’re purchasing.
For example, if it is a garment, look for the stitching, the sequins, the symmetry in the pattern, literally everything! Look for loopholes. I’m sure you don’t want to go back home to be distressed by the defective product that the shopkeeper sold you readily.
8. Calm Down the Butterflies in your Stomach
Got your heart set on that magnificent handcrafted goodie? Can’t wait to take it home? Keep it to yourself, and focus on bargaining instead. Excitement tends to be the wrong emotion for India. If the shopkeeper discovers that you’re all after that product, he will refuse to lower the price.
You can miss the chance of striking the right deal. Act calm and composed, look neutral, and indifferent. After all, you can eat an extra scoop of ice cream once you’ve cracked the cheapest deal for your favorite goodie!
9. Reconsider Suggestions from your Local Taxi/Cab Driver
The local taxi drivers surely know the best of markets in the city, but they may take you only to selective shops where they have fixed a commission with the shopkeepers to bring prospective buyers. These shops may or may not have the best quality goodies. To avoid being a prey to such a trap, I’d recommend you to do your research beforehand so that when you have to go out, you know the reviews and specialties of every market.
10. Go to the Market Towards Closing!
As the closing hours approach, the shopkeepers tend to sell more freely. Let’s face it! They are here to make sales and not to take their stock back with them. Towards the later hours, these shopkeepers negotiate readily to get rid of the store for the day, and you can be sure of cracking some of the best deals!
11. Stay Hydrated
You’ve been reminded a lot of times previously, but it is very, very important! Drink an ample amount of water before, during, and after street shopping. You can feel exhausted and worked up more than you are if you don’t intake enough water. I’d highly recommend you carry a sipper of your own to avoid buying packaged water unnecessarily or drinking water at any of your stops.
12. Bargaining is the Key!
Don’t be ashamed of bargaining. Everyone does it while street shipping in India. Very frequently, the sellers also quote a price higher than the actual price, which acts as a cushion for the bargains we do. The shopkeepers know their businesses, and they won’t sell you anything below the margin they’ve planned already.
Hunt through more than one shop for the same products. This way, you’ll be aware of the prices that these stores have to order, and you’ll know the extent to which they can reduce the costs to! Make the dealers aware that you are considering his competitors too for the same product. If the shopkeeper still has a margin, he may lower the price a bit further.
Just a word of caution, be polite while haggling! Don’t become aggressive while negotiating. Even though the dealer wants to get his stock moving, he has no obligation to sell to you. Being a hardball customer is a turn off for the shopkeepers.
Dig in deep! Your favorite dress is maybe waiting underneath a pile of ugly dresses, waiting for its owner to find their way to it! Keep shuffling until you’re sure that you aren’t going to find something more fabulous. Go through the whole market twice. The second time you’ll find all that you’ve probably overlooked or skipped during your first search.
This time, you’ll be searching for everything with more excellent knowledge about the prevailing market prices! This will help you in fetching the best deal for yourself. And above all, ENJOY! Street shopping in India is an incredible experience; make sure you live it!
So that’s it for today’s article. Hopefully, it’ll make your way easier around street shopping in India.
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