On the beach there are a number of liscenced vendors that have a pass from the Government. It is simple if you want to relax ignore them by putting on your glasses or a quick no gracias and you are find.
If you like what they have, ask "how many pesos?" :-)
What to buy: Oakley sunglasses, hammocks, sculptures, t-shirts, dolls.
What to pay: My rule was half of what they were asking or even less if possible and it seemed to work although I know I over payed lots of times!!
I tried to get extra value from what I bought by sitting the guys down and picking their brain. They have a lot of local knowledge and I would milk them for all they had. I thought it was a great source of information and chatting, they were all super people!
Make sure you buy some fresh fruit from the street vendors. Nothing tastes better than a slice of watermelon or some mango while you are on the beach or walking the streets of Puerto Vallarta in the hot sun!
What to buy: any kind of fresh fruit
Ok, we found this fantastic cigar shop, yep they roll em right in front of you. Mixtures of Cuban, Mexican and Niciaguan tobaccos, really good prices and smokes. A great time.
What to buy: The petite perfectos and the cheap maduro machine rolled.
What to pay: the petites are around $6 to $7 US and the machine rolled are 50 for $100, an unbelievalbe deal
None of the shop owners nor the vendors in the Flea Market expect you to pay the sticker price on their merchandise & if you do, your a fool. It is customary, to bargain & barter with them to get a better deal on the item you wish to purchase and oh, so much fun. This practice even goes for the fine jewelery store ladies. The only store's that bargaining and bartering is not accepted is in store's where an extremly established artist is showing his works and it is high dollar stuff. Meaning he/she is very proud of his work and has won many awards. Otherwise, all the shops and vendors are fair game. A tip to the wise...if you make a vendor mad or he calls you loco or a jew, then you know you have a good price for the item you want to purchase. Another way to get a good price is simply walk out of the store. 9 times out of 10 they will come running after you offering you the price that you originally offered them.
What to buy: Mexico has a lot of speciality items that you can't get anywhere else. Right off the top of my head is the hand painted blue pottery. Silver jewelry inlaid with onyx, turquoise, coral, maleci, pearl , etc. They have silver and onyx statutes. Handmade lace tablecloth's, beautiful pareos and mexican clothing. You can also purchase local artwork such as handcrafted statues or painted landscapes of Puerto Vallarta. This is just a spattering of some of the things you will find in the shopping areas.
What to pay: For the blue pottery pieces you can expect to spend on average $5.00 for a soapdish up to $60.00 for a turkey platter. Silver jewelery set such as the picture below, around $200.00. Handmade lace tablecloth's barter for them in the flea market & pick them up for around $25.00. Local paintings, depending on the size of the painting...anywhere from $25.00 on up to $75.00. For Pareo's - $15.00 to $30.00. Ladies, if you want the nicer Pareo's go to the stores vs the flea market.
The local vendors can be seen peddling their wares on the beach --- from local crafts to sarongs to hair-braiding a la Bo Derek style. No need to get up from your lounge chair. BUT, you gotta bargain the price down. It's amazing how low the price can get from the initial offer.
Great shop that sold lots of interesting things
What to buy: Whatever catches your eye
What to pay: If you know how to barter...you will do great