Goa has always been famous for its pristine beaches, lovely and courteous people & its custom and tradition which are inimitable in India. Tourist comes here in search of peace and tranquility while shopping has never been the main motive of the traveler. But the scenario of tourism industry in Goa changed with the time. People started realizing the potential of the revenue generation from the tourism sector in the state and started implementing new ideas of engendering business through engaging tourist into various commercial activities and this lead to the birth of a big shopping game in Goa.
Shopping in Goa started taking shape in real sense for the tourist through the introduction of FLEA MARKETS in remote areas of Goa where hippies and gypsies would sell their stuff at very exorbitant rates compared to its prevailing prices but tourist were still buying it as the conversion of their currency to Indian rupees were always benefiting them. Slowly it became the fashion to sale and purchase from the these flea markets in Goa and locals also starred taking part into the trading business and naturally with the increase in competition the prices started falling down to some extent but still very far from the reach of the locals.
In the due course of time the numbers of flea markets have started rapidly increasing and the concept of night markets has originated into Goa. The first night market in this segment was perhaps the INGOS SATURDAY NIGHT MARKET introduced by a German tourist named INGO who came to Goa and saw the potential of business in Goan market. At the moment Goa has four markets explicitly Anjuna Flea Market (every Wednesday), Saturday Night Markets at Arpora, Thursday Night Market at Vagator hill top and Goa’s own local market The famous Friday Market in Mapusa. The forte of these markets is that mainly foreigners’ visits these places to do their shopping in Goa.
The shopping did not remain limited to flea markets but slowly started spreading into the other parts of Goa. There are Tibetan markets in many parts of Goa, Nepalese have major share in the Friday mapusa market, Kashmiris have handicrafts & jewelries outlets all over Goa, Russians & Germans have jewelers outlets at major tourist spots in Goa, High-end luxury departmental stores have mushroomed across costal belts of Goa to serve the tourist while Malls have started coming up to keep up with demand from local as well as foreign tourist. Now looking at such a huge development in shopping scenario in Goa one has to get educated while doing the shopping in Goa and with this article I am trying to put across some important suggestions which you may like to follow while shopping in Goa.
Tip #1: Bargain Hard with your heart out..
First thing first, it is very important thing to remember while shopping in Goa specially on the streets and in the flea markets that you need to bargain your heart out, mainly your bargain starts from 60% straight the moment vendor tells you the price of the goods and this rule applies to almost anything you are buying as most of the stuff are unbranded and do not have the price tags. Of course needless to mention that this rule does not apply to branded items unless they have been put up for the same by the vendor himself, but at this point you need to use your prudent to identify if that product is not the duplicate.
Tip #2: Quality check is must
Check the stuff well with regards to its quality and authenticity, as there may be no scope of returning the goods once you have paid for it. This is very important while you doing the shopping for the jewelry in the open outlets. There are cases of selling the silver items which are not made up of silver at all. Even the stuff like leather shoes and the jackets which is seldom made up of leather and this applies to all the leather goods you are buying from there.
Tip #3: Cotton is essentially Indian
Cotton clothes you must buy from Indian vendors as they are much cheaper than that of sold by the foreigners, this applies to the T-Shirts, Shirts, Jeans, Kurtas. When cotton is from India why do we buy it from outside India I don’t know?
Tip #4: Indian Masalas and Tea is best
You can buy the Indian masalas and tea from these markets with full confidence as the quality and authenticity can be surely trusted upon as most of the masalas are made locally and tea is the brought here from Assam is of a good quality. There are many approved shops selling various types of tea in Goa, you can even try them out while shopping for it.
Tip #5: Buy Handicraft items from local artisans.
Buying the handicraft items from the authorized Goa Handicraft emporiums will save you lot of money and you can be sure about the quality as you get the bill with every purchase unless they don’t have the stuff you are looking out for, in that case you still look for the reputed outlets and compare the prices before making any purchase.
Tip #6: There are places selling reasonable stuff in Goa.
The place like Friday market of Mapusa is famous for the lowest rates compared any other place in Goa. Though it true to large extent but you should still use your own wit while doing the purchase. This is the only market where you can procure almost everything under one roof. You must try the farm fresh vegetables available in this market reasonably priced compared to the departmental stores on the beach belt.
Tip #7: Cheaper is not always better
You will also come across the Nepalese (market) in the Friday market at Mapusa here you can buy the snooker shoes, leather jackets and other such (imported) products at very reasonable rates but don’t expect the quality (refer to tip no. 1)
Tip #8: Recommendation needs to be re-verified
Most of the places we go by recommendations but please make sure you don’t go blindly on just the recommendation alone and check the available options, it is always wise to move around and check few more options before you close the deal on recommendation.
Tip #9: Guide the cabby … don’t get guided..
Please avoid moving around with the taxi guy for the shopping as there are many of them do have tie-ups with the vendors in advance and chances of getting good bargain is very dim, while there is possibility of paying more at the end as most of the shopkeepers do not like to share their profits with the taxi drivers. I do not like to suggest that all taxi drivers are touts and you do not take a cab at all, instead before taking a cab do the proper study of the market you are planning to do the shopping, search on the net read the reviews on the websites and then guide your driver to the place of your choice. This way you will get desired bargain and taxi guy will get his rental.
Tip #10: Try to avoid shopping package
There are resorts & tour operators having the tie-ups with the shopping malls which sometimes comes as part of your package which includes the city tour and shopping, here you may have no option but to go with the flow but as and when possible please do not forget to bargain and the hint is the fixed price tags which is many a time inflated.
Tip #11: beach belts shopping is more expensive
As far as possible avoid doing the shopping on the beach belts, the rates applied by vendors on beach belts are exorbitant compared to actual prices available in the city, the main reason behind this is the rentals paid by the vendors for the premises on the beach belts are very high as they do not operate in the off season.
Tip #12: Do your homework before starting
It is a good idea to keep reading the local news papers while you plan shopping as the chances are bright to find the place offering 50% discount clearance sale or buy one get one free, anything that gives you something extra is your profit and this is worth a little trouble of going an extra mile. There are dozens of exhibitions in all major cities organized per year by various companies offering huge discounts and things are quite transparent over there.
Tip #13: The souvenir from Goa.
Always buy the Cajunuts and Caju Feni in Goa only from the authorized vendors and please do not forget to collect your excise pass which you may have to show the excise department while travelling back from Goa to your respective places. The liquor sale from Goa is controlled for the freedom of taxes in Goa and to avoid the loss of revenue to the other starts in India. Please remember while buying the caju-nuts in Goa never pay the price mentioned in the packets as they are hiked up rates which normally vendors mention to the customers but in case he forgets then its better idea to remind him about the same.
Tip #14: Gems & Jewelry
Gems are sold by many vendors around the beach belts of Goa. It is important to check out the certificate issued to them by the concerned authorities for the purpose authenticity of the items they sell. Try the reputed brand and recommendation may help to choose the best in this case. The Jewelry, specially silver and gold must be purchased from the city vendors of repute to get the genuine goods at prevailing market rates. The local Goan goldsmiths are the most trusted one in this case.
Tip #15: The conclusion.
Last but not the least; make sure that you prepare the checklist of the entire shopping tour before venturing into it. Make your homework properly; browse all the information available across the media before you make your final purchase. Always insist on the copy of the bill if you are doing expensive purchase. Finally to make you’re shopping a memorable one in Goa follow the guidelines mentioned above here in this article.
Please do not forget to leave your comments at the end of this article and in case you need any help with the shopping in Goa please drop us mail on [email protected] and we will be pleased to assist to you with your queries.