Category: Outlet Shopping

Shopping Destinations in Asia

The Street Bazaar

Top Shopping Destinations in Asia The bazaars are a long-held tradition in much of Asia, and there is nothing like it in the West. Typically the bazaar is made up of hundreds of small vendor stalls selling handcrafted items, unusual imports and goods designed to capture your attention. It is easy to spend an entire day in a single bazaar, so come prepared. If you plan on doing some heavy shopping, bring a suitcase with wheels or a large backpack to hold all of your treasures. Most of the bazaars will also feature local food stalls, making your day at the bazaar a great opportunity to also sample some of the local cuisine.

Designer Goods and Shopping Malls

Top Shopping Destinations in AsiaIt’s not all local stalls and bazaars in Asia though. In places like Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, and the larger cities in mainland China, you’ll find huge, air conditioned and ultra-modern shopping malls with high-end designer brand names, and even familiar Western restaurant chains. Singapore for example, has malls everywhere, and Bangkok’s Emporium shopping center is a study in elegance. Hong Kong of course boasts some of the most upscale malls in all of Asia, and if you’re in China and love shopping, you can’t pass up going to Beijing just to see the Golden Resources Shopping Mall, aka “The Great Mall of China.” The largest shopping mall in the entire world, it boasts over a thousand shops and plenty of luxury brands. And of course, for elegance and upscale shopping, Tokyo’s Ginza district is a must-see.
Bargaining

Top Shopping Destinations in Asia

If you’re in a trendy boutique in a glitzy shopping mall, the clerk’s not going to bargain with you over the price of a Fendi bag, but in the smaller local shops, street stalls and bazaars located throughout Asia, it’s a skill you’ll need to learn.

Many local vendors are peddling hand-made crafts, and so they have a lot of leeway in pricing. Don’t feel like you need to pay the “sticker price”. In fact, many vendors will not list a price at all, instead quoting a price only after they size up the depth of pocket and relative gullibility of the individual buyer. It helps to know a few key phrases in the local language, but many shopkeepers do speak multiple languages. It’s not unusual to hear a single vendor holding multiple conversations over the course of just a few minutes in Hindi, English, and Thai.

Even if there is a language barrier, vendors have a way of making themselves understood. Typically, if there is a language barrier, the vendor will have a pocket calculator so they can key in the price to show you. You can still bargain even if you don’t speak the language-hold out your hand for the calculator, and then key in a lower price and hand it back. Proceed this way until you strike a deal.

Better yet, if you have a friend that’s a local, bring them along. Vendors usually have a “tourist price” and a “local price,” and your friend can typically ask for the “local price” on your behalf.

Beware of Scams

Top Shopping Destinations in Asia There are terrific and legitimate bargains everywhere, wonderful hand-crafted treasures, and plenty of friendly vendors at every bazaar. But there are a few things to look out for.

First of all, taxicabs recognize a tourist with money when they see one, and taxicab drivers will typically derive a second income by feeding tourists to certain vendors in exchange for a commission off the sales. As such, a cab driver is usually not the best person to ask for advice on a shopping destination. Another common scam is when you ask the driver to take you to a tourist destination, and they respond that “they’re closed today” because of some special national event that is usually nonexistent. They “just happen to know”, however, that there is a special government sale on gemstones going on, with below-wholesale prices, and they would be happy to take you there! Of course, the gemstones are not real or are of very poor quality,

Also, counterfeit goods may be prevalent in certain bazaars, so if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If you want to buy a Prada handbag, go to a licensed retail outlet. You can find what looks at first glance to be Prada handbags at bazaars in Cambodian border towns, from street vendors in Bangkok, and in some of the back streets of Hong Kong and Beijing, for the equivalent of about five dollars-but they’re not the real thing, and there’s a chance you may have it taken away by the customs agent when you go back home.

Know the customs rules

Top Shopping Destinations in Asia You can buy a full tiger skin in Burma, a jar of dried bear’s gall bladders in Cambodia, and carved ivory in Thailand, but you can’t bring it back home with you. Also, if you have your eye on picking up an original Buddha carving from the Ayutthaya period to decorate your living room, think again. In Thailand, taking Buddha images and other religious objects out of the country requires a special permit. Throughout Asia, you will find antique shops with wonderful bits of history for sale, but depending on where you are, taking certain types of antiquities out of the country may be problematic.

Shopping in Greece

Nearly all Greek cities have large international-style shopping malls with well recognized brands and retailers. But prices are similar to those in other parts of Europe, so you won’t find any real bargains unless sales are underway.

Tourist souvenir shops and some family-owned arts and crafts stores tolerate haggling, but otherwise it is frowned upon. In places where bargaining is accepted, you can reduce the price by at least 10-20%, and being able to speak some Greek can help you get price as low as possible.

The official currency is the Euro, and other currencies will not be accepted, but you can easily exchange money in the larger cities and in any tourist destination. Banks usually offer the most favorable exchange rates and automated currency exchange machines tend to offer the worst rates; specialist shops are somewhere in between. When changing money, try to get mostly smaller notes – nothing over a EUR50 – as many businesses are averse to accepting larger denominations.

ATM machines are ubiquitous. Visa, Mastercard and Eurocard are widely accepted in hotels, retail outlets and travel agencies, but some restaurants and local souvenir shops will not accept them.

Most items incur Value Added Tax (VAT) and this is generally but not always included in price tags. However, some shops do provide tax-free shopping for non-European Union residents. Under this system, people who do not live in the EU can seek a VAT refund when departing the EU. To do this, ask for a VAT voucher when buying an item and show a customs officer all such vouchers and the related items upon leaving the EU.

Shopping In Egypt

I for one am far too genial to haggle effectively, but my wife has no such qualms and would happily barter, procrastinate and emotionally manipulate sellers until we walked away with a treasure trove of bargains for the price other people were paying for a postcard. This may sound awful, but I swear, they love to haggle in Egypt. An Egyptian street vendor who doesn’t haggle is like the American shop assistant who doesn’t say ‘have a nice day’ or the British clerk who forgets to scowl. Am I being stereotypical? Sure I am. But where do stereotypes come from? Well, in the case of haggling, they come from Egypt. And who better to haggle with than the ruthless capitalist tourists of the west?

A vast range of goods are available from Egypt, the most important of these being; trinkets based upon ancient monuments, spices (although these are not always what they appear to be), gold and cotton. All of these items are available at a price that is never entirely clear to you. You will not find a price tag and if you ask how much it is you will generally be given a price that is twice what you will end up paying for it… if you haggle that is. Shopping in Egypt is an art, a delicate multistage process that can culminate in extreme shopping satisfaction or a brain malfunction.

The first thing you must do when you enter a shop or approach a vendor in Egypt is to not act surprised when they correctly guess your nationality. You stick out like a sore thumb and there have been countless droves before you who’ve been drawn into parting with a small fortune based on innocent conversational starters like, ‘lovely people… (insert nationality)… not like the (insert nationality that is not your own)… I no like them.’ Now, I’m not suggesting that you clam up and don’t communicate… far from it. The Egyptian people are warm and welcoming and I would strongly recommend that you enjoy these conversations. Just be aware that your custom is wooed like a gentleman of court would a lady of fashion; the most charming, can often be the most persuasive. You must constantly remind yourself that you are not the best of friends… you are engaged in a preamble to a sale.

One of the nice things about shopping in Egypt is that you will be offered a cup of Hibiscus tea almost everywhere you go. This thoroughly refreshing blend is an acquired taste but you will at least be able to tell everyone back home that you ‘made like the locals’ and had tea with a nice Egyptian man. The tea is doubly pleasant considering that temperatures further south in Egypt regularly top 40 degrees centigrade. Just remember… all that tea must go somewhere. If you plan to make a toilet stop whilst shopping in Egypt, be sure that you have some tissues to hand or a few notes of the local currency to pay for toilet roll from another enterprising native. Is nothing free in this world?

Back to shopping… and if you are interested in an item, don’t make out that you are. This may sound obvious, but pulling off indifference is harder than it sounds. Once you’ve mastered sounding indifferent, you’re halfway to being a successful haggler. A successfully indifferent face will lead to a cascade of price drops… but when to stop?

When you hear them say ‘I have kids to feed’ you know you’re getting a reasonably good deal. It’s like a game of poker in many respects, don’t show your hand too early or you’ll lose out. Which brings me to another important point… don’t produce a wallet ripe with notes. Not only is it a risk (pickpockets are common in busy markets) you risk insulting the vendor you’ve haggled down to the bone.

It’s well worth noting that in the tourist hot spots along the Nile, particularly in the official government shops, goods are generally a lot more expensive than in Red Sea resorts. If you’re planning a trip to the Red Sea coast, many if not all of the goods (including those associated with ancient Egypt) are available in outlets there. In El Gouna for instance you will find things such as jewelry and perfumes are available at a fraction of the cost you might pay in Luxor or Cairo.

New York City Shopping

Let’s begin by picking out some central areas for our shopping bonanza.

First, head for Broadway and 52nd area, there you will find a cornucopia of shops and retail outlets to explore. The important part to remember is, along the way, stop for a hot chocolate, go window shopping, and try to discover as much as you can. After this, head to 75th street where you can find Barney’s co-op, a great place especially for the family. On the way there you will pass a place called Fairway Market. You can stop in and pick up all of the delectable items you will ever need. Everything is from organic to organic, farmer’s market fresh. We selected these small places because of the off-the-road extravaganza, but we did not want you to miss the highlights so we are taking you back to the meaning of it all, big and beautiful.

Stop by the Tree in Rockefeller Center. Not only are there tons of people and a chance to get yourself on national television but great concerts, events, and other super-duper stuff. Also, give the skating rink at the Rockefeller a chance, the atmosphere is awesome and it feels like your dancing underneath the stars. Radio City Music is a classic for those interested in the delectable sights and sounds of New York like no other city can produce. Finally, stay around for the festivities of New Year’s Eve. What a blast…The world stops to watch the ball drop.

Dooney and Bourke Outlet

Usually the case would be to go to a retail store; However this will not do anything for you if you are looking for an Dooney and Bourke outlet.

Dooney and Bourke also offers you to save around 15 to 20% of the retail price. You can also find purses handbags and loads of other items aside from that.

There is a site that is currently working with eBay tat sells Dooney and Bourke exclusively at a lower price the website aims to give an opportunity for shoppers to buy more. But you should always be careful in buying those because you will never know if they are real or just knock offs.

Things to look for when buying from any seller for Dooney and Bourke:

  • An actual picture of the item will really help
  • To be sure that you are protected from fraud, see if they accept credit cards or similar payments
  • Do not send money upfront or Money order or Monegram unless you now them personally.

There are now risks in buying Dooney and Bourke knockoffs so you have to be extra careful. Ask all the questions to the seller before accepting or buying anything. One way to know if they are not legit is that when they cannot give you good answers.

Have fun shopping for new purse or handbags.

Shopping in Shanghai

  • Nanjing Road- it’s a well-known street for shoppers. East Nanjing Road near the Bund has Shanghai department stores and you’ll also find plazas that sell mainly electronics; while West Nanjing Road has is by People’s Park and Jing’an Temple where you’ll find high end shopping centers. On either side of the road, you’ll find yourself surrounded by great restaurants for you to rest and dine after shopping.
  • HuaiHai Road- If you are looking for luxury products, you can find them on HuaiHai Road, home to major shopping plazas with stores that sell Louis Vuitton, Tiffany & Co., Cartier, etc.Maison Mode, a must see if you are shopping for high end clothing.

If you are looking to shop and dine, you must visit Xintiandi, which is lined with restaurants and cafes with a great ambience. By night, it’s a great place to meet up with friends to go dancing.

  • Qipu Lu- bargain shoppers, the clothing market in Qipu Lu is for you. It is a large building with a few stories that looks like a large swap meet where vendors sell the latest fashion at low prices. Even at the prices proposed by the vendors, you can probably bargain down further if you stay firm. It’s a fun place to see where locals find their discounted clothing and accessories.
  • Shanghai Science & Technology Museum- below the Museum there is market that replaced “Xiang Yang Market”, formerly a market that sold knock-off products. You’ll be able to find everything from souvenirs, clothing, electronics, purses, jewelry and all types of random products there.

Looking local Chinese shopping areas, you can visit any of these plazas noted at the “Four Cities” in Shanghai.

  1. Yuyuan Shopping City
  2. Zujiahui Shopping City
  3. New Shanghai Shopping City
  4. Jiali Sleepless City

If you are looking to have clothing custom made, you can always purchase the fabric at the local fabric market located at Lujiabang Road, the largest fabric outlet in Shanghai. Tailor shops can be found on Duojia road, Maoming Road or Changle Road. One recommendation is going to KATANO on Maoming Road. This shop has been making custom suits, shirts and men’s attire for over 82 years! Make sure you reserve enough time when having clothing made for you, taking into consider a few fittings before you have your final product.

Shopping for Your Bridal Dress

Types of wedding dresses

Though you probably have some idea of what you want your bridal dress to look like, going over the options available is always a good idea. While some will always pick a dress like their mother’s or like royalty, with the traditional long train, thinking has also changed over years with more brides looking for comfort over being dolled up. However, these needn’t be mutually exclusive categories either, and there are many options you can explore.

  • A casual wedding dress allows you to move about and socialize with your guests and even to let your hair down! Usually made of a light and manageable fabric, these are available in light pastels too. These can also be two-piece dresses, allowing you more freedom of movement. Pick the fabric and cut according to the season, setting and of course, sensuousness.
  • Pick a designer dress that everyone will remember for the rest of their lives. After all, it’s not every day that you get married, and if you want to go all out for the big day, why not look like royalty itself! Be it lace, pearls, Swarovski or diamonds that fascinate you, indulge in a pattern and cut that complements you. However, remember that it’s not quantity but placement and taste that matters, so don’t layer and embellish so much you end up looking like your wedding cake.

Getting it right

On average, a bride will go through at least 20 dresses before finding the right one, so be patient. Here are some tips to help you find the perfect dress:

  • Look, look, look, and look again. There is simply no short-circuiting the process, though a good way to do this is by starting early, so you can check out a few options like sales, online portals and bids. You need to have a sense of wedding dresses before you can seriously shop for one, and for this, you need to do your ground work well. Starting with magazine clippings is a good idea too.
  • Never buy a dress online unless you’re absolutely certain of quality and fit. For the same reason, don’t buy it much in advance, because as the wedding day approaches, the festivities heighten, and gaining a few pounds is only natural, unless you’re very particular about hitting the gym.
  • Always carry a swatch of fabric of dresses you have shortlisted. Keep these in your favorite handbag so you always have them handy. The final choice often depends on the perfect match with other accessories, so keep a few options unless its love at first sight for you!
  • Try on your dress with your wedding shoes on. Remember that this is essential, as especially if it is a long dress or one with a train, even a few centimeters can make all the difference. Also carry any special piece of jewelry that you absolutely want to wear on your wedding day, such as that heirloom necklace or your mother’s tiara.

Last but not least, dresses are as good as their wearer. Wear something that allows you to be yourself and makes you happy. Not something you fuss and fidget over. And get your hair and makeup appointments all in advance!

Shopping In Jacksonville

They say the day of the indoor mall is fading and the two newest and largest shopping centers in Jacksonville seem to support this theory. St. Johns Town Center is an outdoor shopping center that boasts 11 anchor stores and 150 brand name retail stores. You’ll also find many restaurants to choose from including, The Cheese Factory, P.F. Chang’s, Cantina Laredo, and may more. There are also apartments and condos close by.

River City Marketplace is on the North Side of Jacksonville near the airport. Built in 2006, they have a movie theater with 18 screens and a vast array of retail stores including a huge Wal-Mart Super Center, Best Buy, Michaels, Office Depot and many others. Restaurants include; Olive Garden, Chili’s, Red Lobster, Cracker Barrel, and many other types of restaurants to suit your taste buds and your budget.

If you want something a little more quaint and historical then you should check out the San Marcos Square. This is an upscale shopping area just south of downtown Jacksonville. There’s an eclectic mix of locally owned stores, coffee shops, and restaurants. Be sure not to miss Peterbrook’s Chocolatiers. They have everything from chocolate covered popcorn to chocolate covered french fries! Also located in the San Marco area is The Little Theater. It opened its doors in 1937 and claims to be the oldest continuously operating community theater in the nation. There is also a movie theater that sells pizza and sandwiches allowing you to eat at little tables while you watch your movie.

If you decide you need to eat healthier, try The Farmer’s Market. It’s open every day of the year and offers over 200 vendors selling a huge assortment of fresh farm produce. It’s located at 1810 West Beaver Street, which has been its home since 1938. The Jacksonville Farmers Market is known to be the oldest farmers market in Florida.

If you’re looking for something off the beaten path, George Street in St. Augustine offers a variety of small shops and deli’s offering unique menu items. Taking a trip to Centre Street on Amelia Island makes you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. Enjoy the specialty shops, then have a cup of coffee at Seattle’s Best or stop by the bakery for a fresh-baked treat.

About Gurgaon Shopping Malls

At present there are about a dozen Gurgaon shopping Malls spotted across the city and about hundred and fifty are to be erected as planned. Renowned brands are now volunteering to sponsor the construction of the malls in Gurgaon. Every new mall cropping up is promising a unique specialty to attract shoppers. In fact, the infrastructure and the quality of the malls loaded with brand new goods and accessories are no way inferior to those of the Western countries.

List Of Gurgaon Shopping Malls

  • The Sahara Mall, DLF City Center Mall, MGF Metropolitan Mall, Shoppers Stop, Vishal Megamart are some of the famous shopping malls in Gurgaon. The following is the list of some of the most visited malls of Gurgaon.
  • Sahara Mall – Since the year 2001, Sahara Mall has been frequented by the shoppers coming from various parts of the city. The mall covers an area of about 3.89 acres.
  • The MGF Metropolitan Mall – This mall occupies about 400,000 sq feet. Famous national and international brands like Nike, Benettone, Denim, Levis, Shoppers Stop, Reebok, Nakshatra have opened their outlets here. This mall is also ideal for shoppers who are food buffs. Popular food corners like McDonalds, Baristaa and Café Coffee are located in this mall.
  • The DLF Mega Mall – The DLF Mega Mall is another commonly visited mall in Gurgaon. It is erected by the real estate giant, DLF. The total area covered by the Mall is about 300,000 square feet and boasts of having a three-screen multiplex.

Being located at one of the fast growing cities of India with highly developed and latest shopping facilities, the Gurgaon shopping malls have turned as one of the major attractions for the city dwellers.

Shop During The Sale

I’ve been guilty of being talked into buying something that wasn’t really ‘me’ or did not represent my style which I’ve later regretted, thanks to the pushy salesperson. Once I set foot through the doors of a shop, I can sense straight away if I am going to fall in love with something or not. It’s instinct. A classic example of my impulse purchases is driving to a shopping centre to get some ‘milk’ but at the back of my mind, I have a hidden agenda.

I end up going home with a pair of shoes, a clutch and a top on sale (minus the milk).

Shops have a subtle way of seducing innocent shoppers to spend more and stay longer. The upbeat or mellow music, the dark lighting, the scent, those wonderful mirrors that can make you look longer and slimmer. Fashion mistakes happen all the time. Wrong purchases are bought everyday. Time and time again I have vowed to stick to a written list which almost always disappears every time I head out. And with so many clearance sales, it’s so easy to be tempted and succumb to the reduced prices.

Here are some shopping tips to ensure you only buy items you need to fill the missing gaps in your wardrobe.

  • Say goodbye: Go through your wardrobe and cull items that you no longer need, want, are out of shape or you haven’t worn in months or years.
  • Shopping List: After de-cluttering your wardrobe, create a list of missing items. This is the most important step, so be honest and don’t skip this (and don’t forget this when shopping).
  • Go for comfort: Wear something comfortable and dress appropriately. You will find you will get treated better.
  • Luxury is sexy: When buying items on sale, go for luxurious textiles like cashmere, which can be very expensive when not on sale.
  • Love your shape: Buy for your body shape and ignore the size on the tag. Remember, if you buy something that is too small, you will end up with the dreaded ‘muffin top’.
  • Stick to classics: Classics will never be out of style. Think leather jackets, dark denim, white shirts and black dresses.
  • Feed yourself: Never shop when you’re hungry. As strange as it may sound shopping on an empty stomach could mean rushing a purchase and not being able to think straight.