STREET VENDORS, Mumbai
Strolling around Mumbai you will find street vendors everywhere. Most of them serve snacks and take away foods, but there are many selling clothes, stationery items, music, umbrellas... I even saw a street barber, with its chair, who was shaving the customers there, in the middle of the street!!
This pic is roadside shop at Elephenta caves.But it may seem roadside,
although there presence is irrating when you goto caves,they have small things such as
Souvenires ,pics,few crafted items too.
Price is ok not very high.I saw people comming down carrying bags with
full of things from this shops.
Its not very costely,and you wont get anywhere in MUMBAI like this.
What to buy:
Local craft items
A real paradise for book lovers!!! The streets of Mumbai have some of the latest as well as oldest books available for almost next to nothing sometimes or at almost one tenth the prices of new editions!!! Some may be slightly shop soiled copies or may even be brand new, sometimes they are second hand books but mainly in very good condition!!! Whatever the case may be you will get a good bargain for the prices you pay!!! You do have to haggle a bit or else they will rip you off!!! Try to bring down the prices from what they ask by atleast 50% and expect to pay about 60% to 70% (maximum) of the prices quoted by them!!! Don't go by the orginal price of the book!!! Look for the code price that they have written in ink on the top left hand corner of the last page inside the cover. Make a rough calculation from that price and reduce it to about 50% and then play along in the bargaining game till you get the price you want!!! And show that you are not really interested in buying that particular book or else if they think you desperately need it then they will never come down on the prices!!! Walk away and then they will call you again till you finalise the deal!!! Make sure it is in your favour though!!! HAHAHA!!!
Happy book buying at prices that will sweep you off the streets literally!!! HAHAHA!!!
What to buy: You can get the latest and the oldest books in good condition and down to earth prices so just ask what you want and though they may not be able to speak english well, they will understand exactly what you want if you write it down for them and they will tell you if it is available or not or even if they can procure it for you at a later date!!! You just have to ask!!!
Caution: Sometimes they have bestsellers at prices of less than a dollar each but they could be pirated copies which you can easily make out and I would not recommend buying them!!!
What to pay: From as little as Rs 5 for a Time or Newsweek magazine to Rs75 for the latest National Geographic Magazine!!! Or as little as Rs10 for some old books to about Rs1000 for some coffee table books that cost more than Rs3000 in the bookshops!!!
My eyes are always attracted by small glittering things, so much so that friends have suggested I must have been a magpie in a former life! Fortunately for the bangle sellers, if this is the case, the magpie's tendency to take things without paying did not carry over too!
We found a lot of street stalls in the area around Santa Cruz station, which seemed to be rather less expensive than some of the shops where we also saw bangles for sale. The stalls looked very tempting with rows and rows of bangles, hung as they would sit on an arm, across the top and boxes of different sized ones underneath. I felt I'd really like to take the whole stand home and install it in the corner of my bedroom but due to limited suitcase space, I limited myself to four boxes and these unfortunately were very popular with my friends, when I returned home!
The biggest advantage of buying the bangles in India, apart perhaps from the price, was the availability of different sizes in each style to make sure they sit properly on the wrists rather than falling over the hand, as opposed to buying them in the U.K. where one large size is supposed to fit all wrists and of course doesn't, so do try them on before buying.
In addition to the bangles, we found plenty of other things we liked at nearby stalls and also bought cotton fabrics and cosmetics in the area.
A cobbler repairing my sandals: Mumbai bursts of craftmen and vendors and you can find almost anything or get everything repaired, something which in lots of countries is not easy to find anymore after consumerism cutted down these sort of manual activities. And the prices for all this are really advantageous compared to the so-called western standard costs and even if you didn't "bargain", which here however, if you buy from street sellers, is definitely a "must"..!!
The road leading from Regal Cinema to Colaba proper is filled with small street vendors and stores selling all sorts of great stuff. From belts to perfumes at fantastic prices. Don't forget to bargain, cut the price is half.
What to buy: Clothes, jewellery real and faux, shoes, trinkets etc etc
What to pay: Cheap, Bargain, it's the norm.
Books are very cheap in India. Strand has one of the largest selections of reading lists available in bombay. It isn't a huge store as such but they can get books in within a few days time. It's worth a visit if your an avid reader or have just lost your lonely planet.
What to buy: Hardcover Classics are a steal.
What to pay: Whereas anywhere else in the world you'd pay upwards of $20 for a copy of Moby Dick, expect to pay no more than $8, and the quality is just as good if not better.
Colaba Causeway is shopping heaven. It is a very long road lined on one side with hundreds of stalls. They sell everything you could imagine from jewellery, clothes, instruments, fruits, books, homeware etc etc. Bargaining is a must, only pay what you think is fair and walk away if the price doesn't suit you. I would advise walking the whole length of the street first and not buying till after as a lot of stall sell the same things and you'll get the best price by comparing. There are loads of shops off the street too with decent prices. Also: Please visit the "Avante Cottage Crafts of India Supermarket" at the cinema end of the Causeway. It is a beautiful very reasonable fixed price shop with beautiful Indian crafts.
What to buy: Everything, anything, leave plenty of room in your suitcase.
What to pay: You can at least half the suggested prices but go as low as you feel is correct for you.
Colaba Causeway is a long road starting from Regal Theater. The famous Leopold's Cafe is located on this street along with other fun bars & restaurants. There are about 10 roadside vendors who have good clothes stacked throughout the year.
What to buy: The great thing about this place is the shopping for women. If you want loose Indian kurtas, kaftan pants, cotton skirts with Indian Prints..this is the place- for a price of around Rs.200.
There are also a few shops where you get loads of t-shirts at a fixed cost of Rs. 100-Rs.150. Loads of basic tees in bright colours and always a few pretty dresses for around Rs. 250.
There are a lot of sizes available since the clothes here are export rejects.
The things that you can find here are often of good brands.
Old Navy shorts for Rs.200
Topshop top for Rs. 150
Cute Tom & Jerry Tees for a Rs.100 :)
The jewellery on this road is really lovely- chunky beads, earrings and bangles on the road and sterling silver jewellery with semi-precious stones in the shops alongside. A lot of them have antique jewellery which are some 40-50 years old- so it will be expensive.
Shoe shopping- Kolhapuris. Typical Indian leather shoes in bright colours- pink, green, blue, purple. And so comfy :) they are a must bye- for about Rs. 250-300.
It depends on your luck- but its worth going there if you anyway are headed to Leo for that beer.
What to pay: Well please bargain, but dont expect anything lower than Rs. 100-150
Although some establishments loudly proclaim FIXED PRICES, bargaining is still an intrinsic part of shopping in Mumbai. While shopping on the footpaths, start bargaining with 50% of the prices quoted.
For shirts, tee-shirts and wonderful cotton clothes for children at rock-bottom prices, visit “Fashion Street”, a street market opposite one of Mumbai’s exclusive clubs, the Gymkhana, known to everyone as the Mumbai Gymkhana. Bargain very hard: with any luck you can reduce the “For you, madam, a special price, Rs. 90/-“ down to Rs. 25/-.”
The is a small street which runs parallel to Andheir station. Here there are rows or street stalls which are put up with bamboo and cloth.
What to buy: Here locals baring and get the best deals to low budget salwar kameez , and other clothes like t-shirts accessories like caps,shoes and watches.Its can get really hot with 100's of people in that narrow street with rickshaws coming in to leave commuters at the station. Not for the faint hearted.
What to pay: 150/- to 500/-
This is the ultimate shopping avenue for the suburbs in bombay. Located in Bandra, linking road has it all, from department stores like Shoppers Stop, Amarsons and KBN to street vendors selling shoes, bags and clothes.
Some of the stores along this avenue are Niketown, Addidas, Benetton, Levi's, Arrow Shirts etc. etc.
What to buy: I would suggest doing a bit of comparison shopping before committing to anything. Since mostly everything is close to each other make good use of this fact by window shopping and then once you've seen all there is you can make the best choices.
What to pay: Depending on where you shop.
Mumbai has shops that sell pretty much anything you want or need. Pretty general tip, I know... but I needed a tip to show this photo of the shop signs.