Make sure to visit some of the many markets around Lake Como, they are not expensive and there are some really great finds such as pottery and jewelery. There are markets everywhere on Lake Como each open only on certain days. Get a pamphlet from your hotel to find out the times of the markets. There is also fresh fruit sold at the markets.
What to pay: between 5 to 10 euro for trinkets or pottery
To me shopping is often more about the experience than the bargains. This probably helps explains why I don't buy much. If you have ever shopped in Filene's Basement then you'll understand when I say, "I don't have much patience for "deals at any hardship" shopping." This place I liked!
Called "la tessitura", this a wonderful silk shop. Their products include women's and men's clothing but also bedding, housewares and a great collection of what they call experimental or conceptual products. The quality of everything seemed superb albeit not cheap, but it truly was the experience that made it worth while. The building is a renovated textile mill. The original mill's clearstory windows were keep inplace as was much of the original timber structural members. The merchandising scheme was very sophisticated and the continuous full wall video projection gave it very avant guard feeling. The cafe pictured in the foreground of my photo was not open yet but it looked complete, ready to go and just as stylish as their silks.
What to pay: Probably fair prices for truly unique items.