Of The Furthest West
Millennia Of History
Bring & Visa Info
of the Bargain
Hotels of Character
unavoidable in Morocco: if you purchase just about anything in
a souk, be prepared to bargain. If you approach it in the right
spirit and with the right expectations, it can be a lot of fun.
it's a game. A dance with words and gestures, accompanied by copious
amounts of mint tea. Here's some advice:
- Shop around:
browse the products of several merchants to get a sense of what's
available. Some travelers employ a "three shop" rule
- not committing to any bargaining until they've visited at
least three shops with similar goods. Or try one of the government-run
exhibitions - they offer fixed prices (which are always too
high) but give a good sense of what you'll find at the souk.
- Always raise
yourself slowly from your first offer. Just because a
merchant lowers his offering price by ten percent doesn't mean
you have to raise yours by the same amount. For example, if
a merchant offers 100 Dh, and you offer 50, and he lowers to
90, it's perfectly ok to offer 52, not 60.
- Don't go
in thinking you're going to get the deal of the century - most
merchants will have had experience with foreign travelers prior
to meeting you.
- On average,
in the larger souks, expect to pay about 60% of the first offered
price. You may do a little better here, or a little worse there,
but in the end, if you can stay in this ballpark, you're doing
appeals to your pride, manliness (or womanliness), intelligence,
and good taste. Similarly disregard any appearance of having
given offense. They are both part of the game.
- Write on
a small piece of paper: "I will have many carpets rolled
ceremoniously before you. I am free, even having seen ones I
admire, to walk away at any time." Read as a mantra before
entering any carpet shop.
crafts are highly regionalized, and cities and regions tend
to be known for one thing or another. For example, blue and
white pottery, known as fassi, will be much more abundant
in Fez, it's city of origin. Read up on the best of local products
before going shopping.
- If you feel
- Enjoy the
things you buy, and don't get caught up in worrying about whether
or not you paid too much. If you love them, and will have them
forever, then what does it matter in the end?
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