How To Shop Abroad Like A Pro
May 30, 2015 admin 0 Comments
We all like to do a little bit of shopping while we are abroad. Even the most adventurous and anti-consumerist amongst us will find a trinket or two that would look great on a friend back home. But, alas, unless you are just picking up the odd tourist t-shirt while on your travels, there is a lot more to think about than just splashing the cash. Let’s take a look at how you can ace your foreign shopping experience, from buying products to getting them home.
Two things to think about here. Firstly, do your research on the areas you will be traveling to. If you are going to a famous destination, you can almost guarantee you will be paying over the odds for anything if you stick to the mainstream areas. Use websites like TripAdvisor to find our other travelers recommendations for shopping off the beaten track instead. Also, consider the amount of luggage you will be taking. Do you have room in your bag to take home family presents for everyone? We’ll look into sending things back in a moment, but another option is to pack a spare bag or flat-packed suitcase. Bear in mind that you will be charged for your extra luggage, so you need to spread that cost over everything you buy to ensure you are getting the best price.
Don’t automatically assume that when you buy duty-free you are getting a bargain. Many merchants entice you in with good offers, but will overcharge you on other items. Plus, you need to be careful about where you are buying things. You are only avoiding taxes in the country where the duty-free shop is located, and you may have to pay the tax first before getting a refund at an airport. That means you will need to allow extra time before your flight to make that transaction – and many people don’t even bother in the end!
In certain cultures around the world, it is considered rude to not haggle. Reaching the best price for both parties is almost ritualistic in some areas, so make sure you get in some practice before you go. To be honest, you can haggle anywhere in the world. It might not work every time, but when it does you can make some serious savings. There’s a great guide to the art of haggling over at The Art of Manliness to get you started. Although the language barrier might prevent you from getting too deep into a haggle, everybody selling anything in the world knows how to communicate with numbers. So, make sure you know to say ‘yes please’ and ‘no thank you’ and have a pen and paper to write down your final offer.
Sending Things Home
Instead of cramming things into your suitcase for your return journey and paying for extra baggage, why not send them back ahead of your flight? Obviously, you will need to think about getting things through customs checks. Your best bet is to find a good customs clearance company that can guarantee there will be no hold-ups. Make yourself aware of what you are allowed to send home, or there could be trouble waiting for you! You will have to declare everything that you come back with that wasn’t in your possession when you departed. It doesn’t matter whether it is clothes, alcohol or kids toys – those customs officials are going to want to know!