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Shopping in Thailand

Shopping

Shopping

 

Shopping is one of the main reasons to visit Thailand. Bargains are a plenty.

Available on the main streets of tourist areas like Bangkok, Hua Hin, Koh Chang, Koh Samed Koh Samui, Phuket, Pattaya and Chiang Mai are exciting bargains like:

 

Art
Bags & Backpacks
Computer Software
Designer Jeans

Gems & Jewelry
Handbags & Wallets
Hats
Lacquer ware

CDs and DVDs
Oil Paintings
Photo Albums
Shell ware

Socks
Souvenirs
Sunglasses
Wooden Carvings

 

Now 95% of what you will see offered is fake or pirated. Everything has been copied for sale to tourists. It is a massive industry and most of Asia does it.

You have to barter when shopping in Thailand. All shops except fixed price department stores expect you to barter. It sounds unbelievable but you should start around one quarter of their asking price and work your way up. Most times you should be able to get the items at 50% off the asking price.

My tip is once you reach the maximum you want to pay, walk away stating the same maximum price on every come back price. If they do not say "Yes, Yes, Okay ...", you know you have reached the cost price or close to it. You may wish to consider paying more if you really want the product as they will not sell it less than cost price. Try also to smile while bartering, it is considered more polite and makes the whole process more fun.

If you are the first buyer of the day, you can expect a better than normal price due to the Thai's believing the first days sale is good luck. You can expect to be delayed for a few minutes while they bless all their goods with the bank notes you paid. It's great to watch.

When you buy and Gems, make sure the business is ISO 9002 government certified.

If you are offered a Rolex to buy on the streets the chances are it is fake. Genuine Rolex watches cost around A$5000+, are real gold, and can only be purchased from up market jewerly stores.

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Regarding pirated multimedia products, Playstation 2 and X-Box games cost around 100 Baht per game. Music CD's and DVD movies cost 80 Baht depending on your location. Phuket and Koh Samui are the most expensive destinations for these types of goods.

However be aware that the quality can be extremely poor. That is, it can simply be a copy from a video recording taken off the movie screen. It is common to see people walking past and also hear the cheering of the cinema goers. Ask for a demonstration of the movie playing on a TV and make your decision from that.