Bargaining as a must, Delhi
In the early '90's, Palika Bazar was the place in Delhi to find original brand electronics like Sony, Panasonic, Nikon, etc. Import duties were too high for legitimate business to import electronics, so smuggled goods were the only way to obtain them.
Cut to 2006. All major brands like Sony, Olympus, Philips, Canon, Panasonic have dedicated outlets in or authorized distributors Connaught Place itself. In fact, originals are now available at any reputable electronics shop like Dass Studios in F block, Mahatta Studio in A, Bercos in E, etc. And their prices turn out to be less than company-listed prices!
On the other hand, prices in Palika Bazar have actually gone up compared to the authorized shops. Here's what I found on my latest visit to Delhi:
Sony Handycam DCR-H21:
Listed price: IN Rs.21,000
Sony World (Janpath): IN Rs.19,900 (official, with invoice)
Shop no. 7 Palika Bazar: IN Rs.22,500 (smuggled, cash-only, no invoice)
Shop no. 264 Palika Bazar: IN Rs.21,000 (official, with invoice)
Memory Stick Pro 1GB:
Listed price: IN Rs.2,800
Sony World: IN Rs.2,190 (official, invoice)
Shop no. 7: IN Rs.3,250 (smuggled, cash-only, no invoice)
Shop no. 264: IN Rs.2,500 (official, invoice)
Canon Powershot SD450 (called Ixus 55 here):
Listed price: IN 23,995
Dass Studios (F block): IN Rs. 22,000 (official, invoice)
Shop no. 7: IN Rs.24,000 (smuggled, cash-only, no invoice)
Shop no. 264: IN Rs.23,000 (official, invoice)
The worst rip-off is Shop no. 7, Palika Bazar, but they merely represent the problems plaguing Palika Bazar: get-rich-quick outfits coming up overnight and mooching off the fast-fading reputation of Palika Bazar. Poor sods, apparently from villages around Delhi in Haryana or UP, still think it's the final destination for electronics. They're probably unfamiliar or intimidated by the official outlets that they don't even look outside Palika.
If you ever need extra memory for your camera or a miniDV for your camcorder or anything electronic, don't go to Palika Bazar.
Unique Suggestions: There's only one reason to go to Palika and that's for the pirated DVDs. Don't pay more than 65 bucks for those either!
Fun Alternatives: For Sony products, see Sony World on Janpath.
For digital memory, see Dass Studios in F block or Mahatta in A block.
For cellphone chargers and batteries, see Nokia in K block or Beecham's Press in M block (for other phones).
bargaining is something you should learn if you are visiting the shops.This goes the same with the three wheelers and taxis.Nowadays,they have a price chart so you must insist on looking at them before paying the fare.
Being insistant, somewhat tough and having bargaining skills will help a lot in Delhi. If you are offered a price at a bazaar, at a rickshaw-couch, or particularly on the street, do not even think about accepting it immediately, as the fun is to go down as much as they let you (and they will). This harms no one and bargaining is not a sign of stinginess, but an everyday practice. Good luck.
Beware the Auto-Rickshaw drivers - these guys r out to fleece - esp if they know that u r a tourist & new to thecity etc.
never go by agreed fares for commuting within the city - always insist that the driver take u by the meter-reading or always insist that he show you the fare chart (they r all liable to carry one) - in case the guy starts to rant & rave after taking you to your destination. if nothing helps - there r two ways out :
1.look for the nearest cop & ask for assistance
2. aviod these hassles & go for pre-paid taxi/rickshaw services - there is always a pre-paid taxi service outside all major bus stations & railways stations
enjoy your trip to Delhi ...