The bazaars and alleyways of Istanbul are full of peddlers hawking fake perfume. Of course, they?ll swear it?s the real thing. If you so much as look at cellophane-wrapped boxes they thrust in your face, you will never get rid of them. ?Where you from?? they?ll say, to get the conversation started, and you, who were raised to be polite, will answer them. This is a mistake. Once they get you talking, they?ve won half the battle.
Chanel, Cacharel, Armani. The packages look authentic. No glaring spelling mistakes or phony-looking graphics. After coming through duty-free, you know these products are very expensive. They will tag after you and try to sell you as many bottles as they can. Two, three, four for the price of one. To show you the stuff is ?genuine? they will pull out a bottle and spray you with perfume that smells real (maybe they keep some real perfume on hand for this purpose).
If you show the least bit of interest, as my husband did (despite my glares), they will just latch on and won?t let you go. Now, I like a bargain as much as the next guy. I don?t care about brand names, either. But believe me, this is no bargain. A knock-off of a luxury item should be hard to tell from the original ? which is NOT the case here.
After my dear husband bought three of these ?perfumes? for a fabulous bargain price, I made said: Okay, what?s done is done. We?ll give them as gifts. When we got home, we opened one carefully to get a sneak peek before giving it away. While the boxes looked nice, the bottles were cheap imitations with atomizers painted to look like shiny chrome and plastic tops. The stuff inside was not water, but neither was it perfume. If anything, it was some kind of watered down aftershave.
Not to be deterred, we found a use for them ? as a bathroom spray.
I have heard some stupid travellers talking about the dirty fish of the Golden Horn. Here I show the way those dirty fish can be caught from the Galata Bridge. Fathers teaching kids how to fish is a very common ocurrence. They learn patience.They will need it to listen to the stupid travellers. My father did not teach me how to fish. I have not patience with the stupids...
If you want to buy something you should always bargain for 2 reasons :
1. This is a well known custom in Turkey and if you wont bargain you might offend the seller.
2. This way you will get a better price.
to have a good bargain you should lower the price that you want to pay that the seller will raise it and this way both of you will be happy.
another trick is to leave the store and when he will go out and call you you will decide about the price - this way i bought a leather belt in 10 YTL instead of 35 YTL.
In Istanbul, and, I believe, other parts of Turkey as well, it is hard to imagine selling without bargaining. Even in shops, if you see it is like private owned, prices are not always fixed and it is possible to lower them almost twice. Street sellers always bargain, especially if you tell you buy more, but will pay a bit less.
In some shops as an experiment I told that it is quite expensive and showed I am going away, but sellers stopped me telling: “we could deal, what is your price?”.
In Istanbul you will have the vendors on the street selling small carpets, and the utensils to make shish kabobs. They will approach you but if you are not interested DO NOT make eye contact and continue on your way, they will not follow you like the vendors did in Egypt. If you try to be nice and explain why you do not want to buy what they are selling you will have a 5 minute conversation which is really wasting both of your time. I know, it seems rude to ignore someone but I figure my time is not wasted nor is theirs and the vendor can move on to somebody else and hopefully make a sale.
As for the shop owners, upscale shops will let you look without a problem but the shops that sell souvenirs will come out and try to entice you in, kind of bothersome in my opinion because I really just wanted to look but that's how it is in Turkey.
Bargaining: As in many, countries (especially in the Middle East) prices are not fixed in many cases. Most of the prices (esp. in bazaars) are set high and are negotiable. Bargaining is expected. If negotiating a price, ask the merchant his price, then work from there. Some people have said to offer a price 50% of what the merchant is asking and work from there. I'm not sure about this, it is best to use your judgement. If you are not getting the price you want, leave. Merchants will often (but not always) lower their price at this point to ensure a sale. Bargaining is a skill that requires patience, practice, and sometimes courage.
Always bargain . This is common, this is usual. Go to Kapalu Charshi - the biggest covered market in the city (on the pic) and to the Egyptian market - also covered but famous with spices, coffee and tea.
you have to bergain while you make shopping.
the most famous shopping areas are aksaray for cheap goods and taksim for more qualified goods.
the most touristic bazar is the grand covered bazar and there is also many shops behind istanbul's univeristy that sell many old coins and second hand goods.
If you desire to buy spices, you have to visit the Egyptian Bazar. This bazar is located about 1km from the Grande Bazar.
Don't buy anything in bazars without bargaining, especially in Grande bazar.