Goa is always been famous for its pristine beaches, lovely courteous people, its custom and tradition which is inimitable in India. Tourist comes here in search of peace and tranquillity. Although shopping is never been the main motive of the traveller the scenario of the tourism industry in Goa has changed with the time. People started realizing the potential of the revenue generated 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
The concept of shopping in Goa started taking shape in real sense for the tourist with the introduction of FLEA MARKETS concept in remote areas of Goa where hippies, as well as the Indian gipsies, started selling their stuff at exorbitant rates compared to its prevailing prices in the marketplace but the foreigners would not mind buying it since the conversion rates of their currency to Indian rupees has always benefited them.
Slowly it became the fashion to purchase from these flea markets and the locals also started getting involved in the trading activities and naturally with the increase in competition the prices started falling down to some extent but still, it remained far from the reach of the locals.
In the due course of time, the numbers of flea markets had started rapidly increasing and the concept of night markets started taking roots in Goa. The first night market in this segment was the INGOS SATURDAY NIGHT MARKET introduced by a German tourist named INGO GRILL who came to Goa and saw the potential of business in the Goan market.
At the moment Goa has four markets explicitly, Anjuna Flea Market (every Wednesday), Saturday Night Markets at Arpora (every Saturday), Thursday Night Market at Vagator hilltop (every Thursday) and Goa’s own local market The famous Friday Market in Mapusa. The speciality 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 alone and slowly started spreading into the other parts of Goa. There are Tibetan markets in many parts of Goa, Nepalese have a major share in the Friday Mapusa Market, Kashmiris have handicrafts & pieces of jewellery outlets all over Goa, Russians & Germans have Jewellery outlets at all major tourist spots in Goa, High-end luxury departmental stores have mushroomed across coastal belts of Goa.
To serve the growing requirements of the tourists as well as the locals, the concept of Malls started taking shape in the various parts of Goa. Now looking at such a huge development that has taken place in the shopping industry of Goa one needs to get educated about 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: ALWAYS BARGAIN HARD WHILE YOU SHOP IN GOA
First thing first, while you are shopping in Goa, especially on the streets or in the flea markets, you have to bargain your heart out. Please remember this rule is not applicable for the branded products. On the streets, your bargain starts from 60% flat. The moment vendor tells you the price of the goods which are unbranded and this rule applies to almost anything and everything you are buying from the street vendors as most of the stuff are unbranded and does not have the price tags on it. Of course needless to mention that this rule does not apply to branded stores and at this point, you need to use your prudence to identify if that product is not the duplicate.
TIP # 2: THE QUALITY CHECK IS A MUST
You must always make it a point to check the quality of the product you are buying on the streets or at the unauthorized marketplace. Check the goods with regards to its quality and authenticity, as there may be no scope of returning the goods back once you have paid for it. This is very important while you doing the shopping for the silver Jewellery in the flea market. 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 are seldom made from the genuine leather.
TIP # 3: COTTON IS ESSENTIALLY AN INDIAN PRODUCE
If you are buying cotton stuff in Goa then it is highly recommended that you should always buy it from the Indian vendors only since they are priced at much lower compared to the rates that are charged by the foreigners. This is applicable to cotton clothes such as T-Shirts, Shirts, Jeans, Kurtas. When cotton is from India why do we buy it from outsiders, I don’t know.
TIP # 4: INDIAN MASALAS AND TEA IS AT ITS BEST
The flea markets sell the Indian Masalas and varieties of Tea products which are normally not available on the open market. You can buy the stuff like Indian Masalas and Tea from these markets with full confidence as the quality and authenticity of the same can be surely trusted since most of the Masalas are made locally and Tea is brought here from Assam is of 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: ALWAYS BUY HANDICRAFT ITEMS FROM THE LOCAL ARTISANS
We never buy gold from the blacksmith and similar principle is applicable for the Handicraft Items too. The local artisans are the makers of the handicraft stuff in Goa and if you are planning to buy the genuine handicraft material then I would suggest you buy it from the Government approved Handicraft Emporiums in Goa. The Goa Handicraft is one such entity of Goa Government and it has its outlets all over the Goa. You can also check our associate website for the more details. Buying the handicraft items from an authorized Goa Handicraft emporiums will save you lot of money and you can be sure about the quality and authenticity of the same and you will also 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: THE FRIDAY MARKET AT MAPUSA IS THE MOST REASONABLE PLACE
The Friday Market of Mapusa is one of the most reasonable places for shopping while in Goa. The bargain that you can get in the Mapusa Market is nearly impossible to get elsewhere in Goa. Though it true to a larger extent but you still need to use your own wit while doing the shopping. 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
This is the main Mantra of shopping in Goa. Cheaper may not be always better as everything comes with the cost. 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 from there at very reasonable rates but don’t expect the quality and authenticity (please refer to the Tip # 1)
TIP # 8: RECOMMENDATIONS NEEDS TO BE RE-VERIFIED
The recommendation is a good thing and many a time it helps us to save from a lot of troubles but this is not always the case and especially while shopping in Goa (that too when you are a tourist) needs your wit to put into the work. You make use of your recommendation but not blindly. Always check for the available options. It is always wise to move around and check a few more options before you close the deal on the recommendation.
TIP # 9: ALWAYS GUIDE THE CABBY AND NEVER GET GUIDED
Of course, this rule is only applicable as far as shopping is concerned. 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 and there is a 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 suggest that all taxi drivers are touts and you do not take a cab at all, instead before taking a cab do your homework about 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 AND AVOID THE PACKAGE DEAL ON SHOPPING
This is a very important point to be kept in mind while you do the shopping in Goa. 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 not have many options but to go with the flow hence as and when possible please do not forget to bargain and the hint is the fixed price tag which is many a time inflated.
TIP # 11: SHOPPING ON THE GOA’S BEACH BELTS IS ALWAYS EXPENSIVE
As far as possible avoid doing the shopping on the beach belts, the rates applied by vendors on beach belts are the most exorbitant compared to actual prices applicable in the city for the same product. The main reason behind this is the rentals paid by the vendors for the premises on the beach belts are very high compared to the cities as they and second is, they do not operate in the offseason and wants to make all the money in the season time.
TIP # 12: DO THE THOROUGH HOMEWORK BEFORE VENTURING
It is advisable to have access to information through the means of newspapers or digital media. It is a good idea to read the local newspaper to check out the offer of the day. There are bright chances that you may get the 50% discount sale or Buy One Get One Free offer. It is a common perception that, everything that gives you something extra is your profit and it is always worth a little trouble. There are dozens of exhibitions in all major cities organized by various companies offering huge discounts and things are quite transparent over there.
TIP # 13: PLEASE DO NOT FORGET TO CARRY YOUR SOUVENIR FROM GOA
Goa is famous for its pure and tax-free liquor keeping some exceptions aside the Tourists mainly come to Goa for the good and drinks. Cashew feni which is one of the most famous liquors of Goa is made from the Cachew Apples. Always buy the Cashew Nuts and Feni (or any other liquor for that matter) from the authorized vendors only. One more thing if you have brought the liquor to carry it along with you do not forget to collect your permit for the same from the vendors. 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 Cashew-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 AND JEWELLERY
Gems and Jewellery 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 Jewellery, especially 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 to the various media before you make your final purchase. Always insist on the copy of the bill if you are doing expensive purchase. Finally to make your shopping a memorable one in Goa follow the guidelines mentioned above here in this article. In case you find this article useful please share it with your friends and do not forget to leave your comments at the end of this article.
SOURCE: GOA PRISM
IMAGE SOURCE: THE GOA VILLA