Well I'm ashamed to say that I was sucked in big time by a lady selling crystal. It was my first ever visit to Waikiki and I guess I was high on the thrill of just being there! I went into a gift shop and after looking around for 5 minutes I was approached my the shop keeper who offered some 'real Hawaiian crystal' to me! I wasn't really interested but she brought the price down so much from it's original price that eventually I went for it and handed her the cash. It was only when I got home I realised that I had been conned into buying some real Hawaiin PLASTIC! Ah well, we live and learn eh? ha-ha!
Unique Suggestions: I've since learnt to haggle and barter. It works better in the market place.
if you want to buy stuff and have the time, shop around. ask some local people and they can help you out. if you want some really cheap stuff, go to the swap meet at the stadium on the weekends. my dad used to have a booth there and when i went to help him, i saw all the same stuff you can find in waikiki for a fraction of the price...
Unique Suggestions: at least bargain if you can't go around...most people in waikiki will go down in price...
A quality pearl is guaranteed...... you pay $20 to "find" a pearl in the oyster.... the poor oyster is subjected to having a pre-drilled(!) pearl shoved into it's nether regions and is kept for you to open and "find" the pearl.......
High price to pay for a pearl which you then lose because you can't afford to pay for the gold mounting.....
Unique Suggestions: Forget it, but enjoy all the other sights and sounds in The Galleria while you play mind games with the shop owners... and watch the other tourists fall for it.
Fun Alternatives: Eh, it is all part and parcel of Hawaii.....go, but don't buy!
Following the Submarine trip you are invited to get on the FREE bus to Maui Divers of Hawaii shop, 1520 Liona Street, Honolulu Hawaii 96814 USA phone 808 946 7979.
You are ushered into a very plush set-up, offered juice or champagne, sat in front of a video and then taken on a tour of how they harvest and process the black, pink, red and very rare gold coral into jewellery.
Then you are taken to the "shop" where you are subjected to varying intensities of sales pitch and technique to buy the jewellery. A lot of this is VERY expensive and I am not at all sure that it meets the International CITES regulations for endangered species.....
Unique Suggestions: Drink the free champagne, try the mystery Treasure Chest Box, accept the free chocolates and enjoy the skill and techniques of the workshop, but think very carefully about if you REALLY want that dazzling piece of jewellery.... personally, I don't find coral attractive but was curious to see this "gold" coral which everyone raved about. It wasn't worth it!
Do watch what you are being charged at the market stalls, I enquired about prices for 'Novelty Car Number Plates', was told $6.95 by a salesgirl, when I came back a little while later to buy some, I was being charged $10 each, by another salesman. Since I bought 10 of them, the difference did matter to me, ;-)
Unique Suggestions: I just insisted on the first agreed price, and was given it..
Fun Alternatives: Look elsewhere... just don't let them take you for more than agreed upon.
This can happen anywhere.. and often does.
Don't buy items the first time you see them, shop around a bit, as the price varies. When in the International Market, noticed price cheapens the farther from the entrances you are, and for the same items. Also people usually go on Circle Island tour when they first arrive, which stops at a Macadamia Nut farm, where price of a bag of nut goes for $10, which they are told is a better price than they will find in Waikiki. When you get back to Waikiki can find same bag of nuts often for $4-5.
local street vendors will bargain like hell with ya so don't get suckered into the first rate they give you . I think that the street vendors were a really great souvenir stop as you can get 7 t- shirts for $20 bucks ( I am into t-shirts ) . Walk down an alley and you will see what I mean , the big stores can get nutty with their pricing .