Fake goods, New York City
Buy your MetroCards from the machines or the teller in the station. Don't buy them anywhere else or from anyone else, no matter what they say. It's most likely an empty MetroCard they picked up from the ground and are trying to sell it to tourists, saying that they "just bought the card and realized they didn't need it." Keep walking, don't let them touch you and buy it from a machine.
On the streets, men will approach young women asking about their hair or makeup. Typical opening lines: Where do you get your hair done? Who does your hair? When was the last time you had your hair professional done? Who does your make-up? or they'll compliment you: I love your hair, where do you get it done? or That's a fantastic shade of lipstick, whose is it?
Don't pay any mind to these men, just WALK AWAY. They will try to offer you 'Great Deals!' on professional make-up or hair appointments if you buy them in bulk or attend a special session or be a 'model' for a day. Don't pay them any mind and just shake your head and walk away. They are complete rip offs and unfortunately many women succumb to their charms and flattery. Real hair and makeup salons will not be callous enough to send streetwalkers out to market their skills, but rather they depend on references and word-of-mouth from loyal clients. Don't trust people who approach you on the streets. It may seem rude, but trust me, this tip may save you hundreds of dollars that you might otherwise spend on 10 sessions of professional hair appointments within the next year. Supposedly. Happy Walkings!
If you get inside one of these electronic stores at Midtown do never show your Credit Card before the seller tells you what is he going to charge at your Card.
NEVER NEVER BUY more than one item .. they will overprice you the extra items you buy.
I did have a bad experience here... he charge at my VISA $500 more than the price he told me ... without telling me so ... (its a long story of not a good end ... I am not use to be trick)
Many of the silly t-shirt and souvenir junk shops in and around Times Square (and probably throughout NYC) have lots of material that parents may not want their younger children "enjoying". This is, of course, a problem not limited to NYC. Just wander through the vulgarity on display in Daytona Beach to see what I mean.
I'm a freedom-loving guy myself. But I'm just saying that parents of younger kids might want to look carefully before wandering through the Big Apple souvenir shops, especially around Times Square.
While walking along the streets in chinatown, you will see that there are tons of cheap toys. On thr ground you will see little buckets filled with water, with little platic wind up turtles paddleing away.. wait a minute .. that one isnt plastic ! and for only 5.00 you too can be a proud owner of a disease infested turtle from china!
*beware* these turtles sure look cute and of course you want to save them. but they are illegally imported and could potentially hurt your immune system. How are you going to explain that one to your family doctor ?
if you like to buy fake or stolen bags, be my guest. But be warned that cops are watching. If you hear someone on the street, whispering to you, "gucci, prada, coach..." its proably not a good idea to look at them and nod.. you will find your self at the back of an alley, or in the back of their van.. who knows if they are under cover cops, or being paid by cops, or even going to rob you for all you are worth. bottom line, its a bad idea!
Stay away from the Electronics Stores near Time Square. They're all around the city actually. Those no-name places with a million cameras in the window. They're just shady. I think the merchandise is hot, overpriced & shoddy. Plus, they're all related so they're price gauging. If you need any camera/electronics. Go to B+H Photo or a reputable store.
You can find some bargains here but you are better off going to 27th street from 7th to 5th ave to find the same thing for less, they are legal, and you do not have to worry about police. Some of the stuff on Canal in Chinatown is counterfeit and the store itself does not have a license to operate. Police do patrol from time to time and if you are unknowingly in the wrong place you might get in trouble.
Everyone in New York has something to sell, on any street, even in every shop. I won't say buyer beware, I'll say buyer don't be stupid! No one sells a "Coach" bag for $50, nor a Rolex watch, etc.
I am not saying don't buy it, just know you are getting a fake and enjoy it as such.
Oh and one more thing never EVER buy scalped tickets to a Broadway play. IT IS illegal AND it's unfair to show business and it's patrons. It's also something you will be very sorry about.
So don't be a hay seed - buy your tickets by legitimate means.
If you are going to buy a bootleg cd or tape on the street make the person selling it to you play an entire song, particularly the last song. A lot of times what they do is just record up to the second chorus and then you can hear where they press the tape to stop. This is why I do not buy from them anymore.
This tour is a scam. Unfortunately I only read reviews after dealing with them. They cancel tours without notice, refuse refunds and are near impossible to get in contact with. Four months later I am still waiting for them to give me my money back for a tour they never showed up for. It was a waste of an afternoon.
Many people go to Canal Street looking for bargains. There are 3 types of buying experiences there:
2-Vendors with tables set up on the sidewalk
3- People walking around selling things out of a bag.
The last two are selling almost 100% pirated or counterfit (knock-off) merchandise and it is all 'buyer beware". You might be ofered DVD's of the latest movies but when you go to play them you find out you bought a copy that someone recorded in a movie theater. Or the cologne that looks like Alfred Dunhill actually reades "Alfa Downhill". Or the purse with the label that says "Prada- Midland" instead of "Prada- Milan". And there's no guarantee that the guy you bought from today will be there tomorrow if anything goes wrong.
And although less common, you have to be very careful even in the stores.
As long as you understand the ground rules you can have an enjoyable shopping experience.
Check out the prices before you go as you can get some good buys - be careful of the traders - we went in to buy a couple of iPods and were shown a digital movie camera and documentation telling us that it sold for about £800 in the UK - we believed him and ended up buying the dam thing for about £340 only to find I could buy it in the UK for under £200 - lesson 'do your homework' these guys are crooks - the store we used was the:
Computer and Video Super store,
Corner of 50th Street,
New York N.Y.10019
but they have stores all over the city. I did write to them but they chose to ignore my letter and I have since reported them to the US trading standards people but heard nothing. Think they only act if they receive a number of complaints.
Warn your friends - Please else they will carry on doing it!
One fellow traveller went to a "Change Bureau" with all of his money for his trip. He wanted to change his Euros to US Dollars. He watched the cashier count out all of his new US dollars and then the cashier rolled it up and put an elastic band around it. He walked away content that he had got what he had asked for, he saw that. He went to pay for something from his roll of cash and discovered he had a roll of one dollar bills worth about $50!!! Having just lost several thousand dollars, he ran back to the "Change Bureau" which had now miraculously disappeared!!! You can never be too careful.
Lots & lots of street sales...you can't turn around without someone trying to sell you a fake Rolex or a pair of sunglasses from out of a suitcase. It sort of gets annoying because there are so many!!!