Thursday, November 22, 2012

Shopping India Style

Emma negotiating at a Malaysian market for the latest in faux fashion. 

We knew shopping would be a bit different here in Asia.  Aside from all the new European and Asian brands,  and the necessity to haggle on everything from chewing gum to the phone bill,  we have discovered a few finer points on shopping. 

Pants around the neck. Not every place has a changing room, particularly the low priced bazaars.  You can always try on a shirt easily enough,  but it is not so simple with pants.  To solve that problem, people wrap the waist of the pants around their necks.  Since your neck is about half the size of your waist,  if the buckled pants fit your neck,  they will also fit your waist when you get home.  

Double Occupancy. Upscale shops do have dressing rooms and they sometimes come with their own customs.  When Becky purchased her first Sari,  the sales girl came into the dressing room with her to help her change.  Luckily,  no one has tried that with me in the Levi’s store. 

All Sales Final.  When you buy a light bulb at Home Depot,  do you insist the cashier plug it in ?  Do you open your egg carton to make sure you have chicken eggs ?   Since all sales are final,  we do exactly that.   We still got burned a few months ago when Emma bought a bottle of shampoo that came wrapped with a free sample of face soap.  She unwrapped it at home and discovered the shampoo bottle was completely empty.  The weight of the free sample threw us off.  

No reasonable offer refused,  Anything is reasonable.    It is important in negotiation to determine how much something is worth to you before haggling.  Knowing that,  I was still surprised when my sister bought a ring that only mildly interested her.   When she first discovered they wanted $200 for it, she lost all interest.  They kept coming down in price and finally asked her what she would only pay.  The jeweler seemed a little offended when she said $40.  It went directly back into the case.  2 minutes later,  the jeweler give it to her for the $40.