Shopping/Haggling, Puerto Vallarta
if you do not like the prices offered by a salesperson, just say "not today, thank you." there is no need to harangue the shopkeepers. remember that most mexicans consider all americans rich, and that most americans ARE rich compared to the average mexican family. there is little sense in bargaining over a dollar or two on a $10 purchase, prices of merchandise are already so cheap compared to the same stuff in the united states.
It seemed common that a lot of women where getting their hair put in beads. I didn't see any local women with them but amongst the local tourist it seemed to be the thing to do for the women.
I don't remember exactly the cost but they were negotiable and it wasn't cheap!!!!
Everything you want to buy in Puerto Vallarta has a negotiable price tag. Never pay the asking price for something you want to buy. Cut the price in half and start from there. Have a price in mind and stick to it no matter what. If the seller is not willing to negotiate, walk away. He/she will most likely stop you and agree with the price you offered.
some of the stores in the downtown area and, surprisingly, in the downtown open market have fixed prices and do not bargain. there will usually be a sign saying so, or the shopkeeper will tell you politely. it is considered rude to try to bargain once you have been told that it is not the practice in that store.
I didn't actually enjoy haggling, even though I understood it was a common practice. At the time I was 15 years old, still in my relatively shy and quiet ways. I found haggling too confrontational and imposing for my liking at the time so I would often pawn it off on my mom or my dad. My dad enjoyed haggling and did so playfully. My mom did so politely with respect and a smile. We all had a mutual understanding that haggling should only be done playfully, and not seriously, as most of the prices were already cheap to begin with. It was hard watching wealthy tourists brag to their friends and family how much they bargained, when it was obvious the vendor was making less money than the customer.
Of course, many vendors, especially those who sell their wares along the beach, enjoy playing the haggling game. It's not an issue of customers ripping off the vendors, but a local custom that the vendors encourage.
By contrast, there are also stores where the price you see is the price you're expected to pay. These stores are normally well-marked. You would not (from my experience), for example, haggle over the cost of a fish taco from a vendor. Nor would you haggle in a grocery store. Yet, when it comes to touristy knicknacks and souvenirs, it's almost always expected. If you're unsure, try to haggle. The merchant will either accept your bargaining or they will inform you that it's not practiced at their store.
The average price the mexicans will see their products at is about half of what they are asking. The expect tourists to barder with them, so they hike up the prices, and are actually satisfied with half the original asking price.