Tips for Shopping in Turkey
Shopping in Turkey is best done in the morning when the salesmen have more time. Do not begin your shopping until the third or the fourth day of your visit. You will need some time to know the currency and browse the shops. Try to be one of the first customers because Turkish shopkeepers believe that the first customer is sent by their Gods and pleasing him or her brings good luck throughout the day. You may strike a good bargain here.
Bargaining for everything except food is quite customary in Turkey, but make sure you know the price of the article before you begin to get more information about the article as the shopkeeper often become irate when after trying to sell an item for some time the customer decides it is beyond his budget. You may be offered water, soda coffee or tea to drink at the shop. Do not hesitate to accept this without a sale, but if alcohol is offered, the shopkeeper generally expects a sale.
Bargaining is a skill you must master for shopping in Turkey. Be careful as the shopkeeper may hike up the price knowing you may bargain. As a thumb rule you should start with 25% of the price you are willing to pay for an article. You must hold back your real offer for as long as you can.
Another strategy is to select two items and snub the first choice. Start bargaining for the second one, which should be more expensive. Once it is obvious that it is out of your price range, reluctantly accept the first one, which should be by then readily available at a lower price. Of course, the responses will vary with each incidence, but with time and practice, you should get the hang of it.
Shopkeepers in Turkey are largely honest and will not try to pass off an imitation as the original, but it is always good to ask for a certificate of guarantee for expensive items like carpets or jewelry. While making the payment, you should know the rate of exchange that applies. Ask for a calculator and work out the amount in your own currency.