If you plan to visit Phuket, one of the best things that you could do is to visit one of many local markets. Phuket is an island located in the Andaman Sea off the western shore of Thailand. It has luscious natural resources that the local people use to make the best foods, goods, and gifts that you can’t find anywhere else in the world. If shopping is a part of your travel plan, you need to make sure that you have a place of accommodation that is spacious enough for you to store all your goods in.
Planning to shop till you drop in Phuket? Here are some tips to help you make the most of your time and money:
Bargain within the realm of reason
The first thing that will need to do before you start shopping is to get used to the idea of bargaining. Thailand, like many other Asian countries, has a culture of bargaining, so don’t hesitate to release the negotiating spirit within you. You can get a 40 percent cut on most things that you find at a market if you really know what you’re doing. The trick is to make a deal that benefits both you and the seller. Buying in bulk and opting for “buy 3 get 1 free” deals are the best strategies for bargaining, as they allow the seller to get rid of a large chunk of the goods they have while making a decent profit. Make sure that your negotiation tactic is based on respect. You wouldn’t want any of your client to come in and ask to get something from you for free, so you shouldn’t do that to any vendor either.
One nice thing about buying goods from the market is that they’re typically not eligible for Value Added Tax (VAT), which means that you won’t have to declare them for tax at customs.
Make sure you understand the antiquity
Antique goods may look good on the shelf, but trust us, buying them can be a major risk for you, especially if you don’t know the laws or the origins of the goods. Thailand has strict anti-antiquity smuggling laws, which means that you have to declare it at the custom so that the officials can determine whether or not they’re legal. If they’re not, you will be questioned at the airport, and your goods will be confiscated, which means that you may end up throwing your money away. Make sure you learn as much as you can about the antiquity laws before you decide to buy an antique piece to make sure that you aren’t putting yourself at risk.
Look for OTOP-Certified products
Phuket City spans over 500 square km, and a large portion of that mass are shops and local markets that sell all types of goods you can find. You should look for goods with OTOP signs, as it stands for “One Tumbol (district), One Product.” It means that the goods are the best ones from their local district, letting you know that you’re buying the most authentic products.
Visit the Phuket Weekend Market
The Phuket Weekend Market is the biggest event of each week, as it’s when all the vendors from all over the island come to put their goods on display. You can buy everything from fresh produce and local foods to handicrafts and souvenirs. If you’re planning to shop in Phuket, this is the best place to go!
Get to know the young and vibrant Phuket crowd
Phuket has a vibrant and exciting culture, and a part of that is because the majority of trendsetters on the island are relatively young. There are communities of local artists who put their work on display around the city, so if you’re looking to buy some unique art pieces as well as arts and crafts, these are the people you should buy them from. You can visit the Indy Market that’s held in the Old Town area of Phuket every Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 4.00 to 10.30 P.M.
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