If you go to Turkey for a holiday, you may find shopping a little daunting, although it is not as bad as it was in previous years- no longer are you dragged much against your will or better judgement into a carpet, jewellery or leather shop. If this does happen to you, then you will be offered tea or a small cup of Turkish coffee, and then be subjected to the hard sell. The problem with shopping in Turkey these days is rather which shop to choose to get the best deal.
Turkey is famous for its carpets and leather goods, and the best deals you can make are probably to be found in the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, although you have to haggle wherever you go. A good rule of thumb is to remember that you should go to a quarter of the price you are asked to pay and then be prepared to go up to half of the original price, although you may not have to go up that high.
Whatever you do, you really shouldn’t allow yourself to be fooled by a guy who professes to be able to be able to help you find the best deals in town. Such people will take you around, talk to shopkeepers and come back and tell you a price they think you can pay. This will not be the best price that you could get alone, as these people get commission on everything you pay for – including the most expensive fish at fish restaurants. For example today I watched one Canadian couple allow a guy to steer them to a restaurant and then to a dress shop and after that, not very rich-pickings as far as commission went, he was negotiating a visit to gold and leather shops too. Commission is either ten or twenty percent so this is calculated into your purchase. Unfortunately if you don’t speak Turkish you don’t really know what’s happening. However if you watch the facial expressions of the shopkeepers, who don’t really like these people, you may understand what is going on.
There are gold shops and shops selling bags, purses and all the touristy goods you could imagine. Shirts and other cotton clothes are cheap and well made. Prices are basically up to the customer- if you know how to drive a hard bargain then that’s good for you. The early bird is usually able to name a reasonable price and get what they want if they are the first customer of the day; as, if they pay willingly, this is a sign of good luck for the rest of the day.
So the earlier you get up, the better the bargain- and don’t take someone you don’t know very well shopping with you in Turkey. if you want to know more about check out the Cheap holidays in Turkey.