Tips and Tricks, Marrakesh
Morocco is well connected, even if the connections aren't always that good, and you can find low prices on short term 3G sim cards for your phone, and USB sticks for your laptop. Apart from being able to access the Internet anywhere, the 3G Internet is sometimes better than the wifi you get in your hotel.
The deals change regularly, but the helpful staff at Maroc Telecom will be able to put a prepay package together for you for around a couple of euros a day. Go to the big shop on Place Novembre 16 as you will more likely find someone there who can speak English. But even if they can't, as ours didn't, they can work out what you want from "10 days prepay simcard s'il vous plait". They'll even fix up your phone and test it before you leave.
On my last day of Marrakech, I found myself at the Mellah (an area in the Medina) Souks. I was so upset to find that everything I had bought and bargained for at already LOWER PRICES. I discovered that other Souk shops keepers, actually buy their merchandise at the Mellah Souks. It is located right next to the Plaza Place Des Ferblantiers. I found stylish lamps at 1/10 of the price: one cute lamp for 20 dhms (which is just a little less than 2 euros). Even though I was upset at myself for not going there sooner, I will save you the heartbreak and give you this awesome tip!
Marrakech is a wonderful place to shop, however you must be prepared to take time when purchasing any items. If you plan to pop into the souk buy the item and then leave you won't get a good price.
It really is as the travel books say! You need to sit down chat, maybe have a cup of tea in order to get the best prices. Plus if you have a reasonable price in mind stick to it, but make sure you go well under it initially so the seller can come down in price and you can go up.
If your offer is completely unreasonable they won't engage in bartering. If you think that they will not go to the price you want it often works to walk away...I have had many people run after me finally agreeing to the price I wanted. Be aware that if this does happen and you go back sellers may say "How about 10 Dirums for me" in order to then increase the price. Stick to your guns though, many English people seem to feel guilty when they start bartering. Don't though, they will not sell to you if the price is not good enough for them.
Very few things in Morocco have fixed prices, there is always room for bargaining.
It took me a little while to get used to and it can sometimes be too time consuming but I have to admit I enjoyed walking away knowing I had got a bargain. In the end Morocco did a bit of damage to my wallet and my shoulders.
What to buy: Its all down to personal taste what you go for, just make sure it is something you actually like and don't let the salesman insist it's perfect for you. After some practice I bargained down to 40% of the original price on most items, generally more than 50% is a bad deal.