India is home to a billion plus population and for an expat arriving in India for the first time, it may seem that all of them are on the streets at once shopping and having fun. Shopping in India is not for the faint hearted as you are surrounded by a chaotic swirl of humanity and where the sleek city malls compete with street vendors to grab your attention.
If you want to shop in an air-conditioned atmosphere, you can head to the many hi-tech malls that have dotted all the prominent cities of India. World class brands and labels are available at these malls and you can shop to your heart’s content. But if you want to have the real shopping experience you need to hit the streets of India.
India has an amazing range of arts, crafts, shoes, trinklets, silver jewellery and handicrafts and whether it is high end or low end that you are after, India is something of a shopper’s paradise. Before you start exploring the many shopping avenues, it is advisable to do a little bit of research. This can help save a lot of time and effort.
India is an interesting mix of the old and the new and this adds to the timeless charm of this country. Shopping in the crowded streets and bargaining with the street vendors is an experience you can always cherish.
Always remember to bargain, especially if you are expat. Most street vendors have different prices for Indians and expats and the trick is to bargain in such a way that you get the best deal from the vendor. Do a little bit of online research to know the prices of arts, crafts and clothes you want to shop. This ensures that you are not fooled by the smart shopkeeper.
Be patient and smile as you haggle for the best deal. The trick is to make the other person give in to the persistent bargaining. Strolling and shopping through the maze of cramped shops is an experience that you may never get anywhere in the world.
Popular Shopping Destinations
Delhi and Mumbai are the most popular shopping destinations for expats. The Delhi Haat Market is one of the largest in India with over 200 stalls for handicrafts. The other popular markets include Khan Market, Chandni Chowk, Janpath and Tibetan Market and Sarojani Nagar Market. The famous market in Mumbai include Fashion Street, Crawford Market, Linking Road and Chor Market.