Are you a digital nomad or are you just enjoying a vacation abroad? Regardless of how much time you are planning to spend overseas as you’ll definitely need to shop there at some point. And this is when you’ll need to get clever. Shopping while traveling is an art you have to master otherwise you’ll be ripped off as tourists are often considered easy prey.
Shopping abroad is fun, however, so you shouldn’t rob yourself of an opportunity to enjoy the experience for fear of being conned. Instead, you should learn how to not get tricked and, additionally, read up on how to stay safe on a busy bazaar. Never forget that that is the usual hunting ground for pickpockets.
Dos and Don’ts of Shopping while Traveling the World
Do employ smart shopping practices regardless of where you are
If you want to buy something expensive while abroad, you should approach it the same way you would while at home. This means researching the product and comparing prices. And in this case, “research” means doing some reading while staying at your accommodation. This way, you will be able to learn more about the product and understand which features you truly need.
Never leave the research part of shopping to the actual trip to the store. Sellers will be singing praises to whatever they want you to buy, which might not be in your best interests. Therefore, you need to choose the item or at least its characteristics beforehand and then stick to your decisions firmly while ignoring enticing offers of salespeople.
Don’t forget about online shopping
You definitely shouldn’t discard online shopping if you stay somewhere long enough to actually get a delivery. While some smaller stores might have restrictions on where they deliver, large retailers like eBay have no such limits.
However, considering that particular platform’s standing today, you might be better served using an eBay alternative. These online marketplaces are flexible and more reliable, so you should be able to find the one that will deliver to wherever you are now and do it fast.
Do learn how to haggle
In many countries haggling is a time-honored tradition that you really should embrace to make the most out of your shopping trip. Not only can this help you cut a fair bit off the product price, but the experience itself can be great fun.
Moreover, your purchase will come with an extra flush of accomplishment you’ll get from haggling successfully, even if the discount you get is negligible. This kind of “cultural immersion” will also help you understand the culture and people of the country better.
However, to enjoy all these benefits, you’ll need to learn how to haggle, which won’t be easy. It’s a nearly non-existent practice in the majority of Western countries, so you aren’t likely to get a lot of practice. Therefore, you should include learning the traditional ways of haggling for every destination you plan to visit into your travel to-do list.
Don’t lose control of yourself
Unless you are like this girl, who managed to cure her shopping addiction by traveling, your inner impulsive shopper will face a lot of temptation abroad. Therefore, you need to keep even better control of yourself when you go out to the local stores.
To help keep your impulses at bay, make it your personal rule to answer the following questions before making any purchase:
- Will it fit into your luggage?
- Will a separate delivery be worth it or should you just order this thing when you get back home?
- How important is this item for you? (make a list of reasons)
If after answering all of those truthfully you still want to buy the item, go for it!