Where it is better to buy souvenirs and gifts in Tunisia
About what exactly tourists buy in Tunisia, we have already talked in the article " What to bring from Tunisia ". Now let's talk about how and in what stores all this is easier and more profitable to buy, how not to overpay the artful Tunisian traders exorbitantly.
Shops Fix Price and without price tags
In tourist areas there are two types of stores - Fix Price, where there are price tags, the price is open and there is no bargaining, and the second type of shops - without price tags, where the price should be asked and bargained for each occasion.
Immediately say that the range in all stores is about the same, exclusive things are extremely rare.
Everyone has the same magnets, cards, drums and other souvenirs (pictured on the right, click on the photo to enlarge) produced in China , who would doubt their origin. Everyone has the same olive oil, dates, halva, spices and other purely Tunisian gifts.
Therefore, you should immediately decide - whether you want to bargain or prefer to buy everything at fixed prices. If you bargain, you can buy even cheaper than in Fix Price, but is there energy and mood for it?
Not surprisingly, 90% of tourists prefer Fix Price. If you are from such, then when you see the goods without price tags in the store, just turn around and leave. Do not think that asking a price, the dealer will say a number that will be lower than Fix Price, the price will always be 2-3 times higher.
Some traders argue that trading without price tags is the norm and tradition of the eastern countries, which is so common here. A hidden message of this statement: "You must buy from me, and not go to the Fix Price". Manipulation is obvious! Do not give in!
If you like the local shops, where the Tunisians themselves are bought every day, then there are price tags there. Tradition to bargain for any reason remained only in some markets.
Which Fix Price store to choose?
The first category is shops at hotels. This is the most convenient way to buy souvenirs and gifts, but also the most expensive.
Shops at hotels always multiply the price tag by 1.5 times or more. For example, a postcard can be bought on the market at a price of 1 Tunisian dinar for 10-12 pieces, and in the hotel store only 2 pieces per dinar. Olive oil on the market can be purchased at 8-10 dinars per liter, and in the hotel store for him asking already 12-16.
The hotel stores are good only when you need to buy a pair of magnets or one can of oil, and you do not need to buy anything else. In all other cases it is easier to reach a large store or take a taxi, the benefit of a taxi price in Tunisia is very low.
The second category of stores is large supermarkets. Network retail number 1 in Tunisia is the French network Carrefour. There are three types of Carrefour stores. The first one is called Carrefour Express - these are very small shops, the second is Carrefour Market and just Carrefour, they are bigger. Read the details in our article " Carrefour Shops in Tunisia ".
In the suburbs of Tunisia there is a Carrefour hypermarket "Beni Khalled" - it is just one such large for the whole country, its sales area is 1100 sq.m. , which is comparable to the Moscow Auchan.
Conventional supermarkets Carrefour in size similar to the Russian large "Pyaterochki" or "Crossroads" - from 300 to 600 sq.m. There are more than 70 of them in Tunisia, there is such a shop in every large village.
Here everything is arranged the same way as we do. At the entrance you can take a cart, "feeding" her a coin 1 dinar. In the photo on the right it is shown. The coin returns when the trolley is returned.
It should be remembered that Carrefour is not a tourist store, it's an ordinary supermarket. There are no magnets, postcards, drums, gifted Tunisian ceramics and other purely souvenir products.
But, here there are olives and olive oil, dates, harissa , halva and other oriental sweets, canned tuna and other delicious gifts.
Prices in Carrefour can safely be called "medium", as in the markets you can buy it all even cheaper. Street vendors do not pay VAT, hence the low price tags. Carrefour is obligated to pay VAT.
Go to Carrefour - this is an attraction for tourists, you can personally see the standard of living of Tunisians, what products they eat and at what prices they buy. You will be surprised, but the usual bananas in Tunisia cost 3.5 dinars per kilogram (in 2016 it's 100 rubles), and this despite the fact that they grow in Tunisia! And this is not the only amazing thing in Tunisia that can be seen thanks to Carrefour. We described in detail about many things in the review " Prices for food in Tunisia ".
And the third type of store - it's private shops Fix Price in the markets and tourist areas. This is an ideal choice for a tourist, but you need to be careful. It happens that these stores try to sell at exorbitant prices. For example, a flavored olive soap can cost 2 dinars (normal price) in one store, and another 5 dinars in another.
In large resort towns there are even shopping centers consisting only of Fix Price stores. An example of such a shopping center in the photo is the Costa Mall at the resort of Yasmine Hammamet .
Come and look at the prices. Here are some prices in 2016, which can be called "average": olive oil - 10 dinars per liter, a small piece of olive soap - 2 dinars, a magnet - 1 dinar, a medium size tadzhin - 10 dinars, postcards - 5 pieces for 1 dinar. If the store prices are higher, turn around, leave and look for another.
In such stores Fix Price you can bargain, but this is not a full-fledged trade, but a demand for a discount. You ask for a discount, the trader decides whether to give a discount or not.
In Tunisia there is one interesting feature. Cigarettes are rarely put on price tags. Even if the store Fix Price, there is often a price tag on all products, but except for tobacco products. We do not know why, whether laws are such, or traditions. On the prices of tobacco, read our article " Smoking and cigarettes in Tunisia ." By the way, in Carrefour cigarettes are not sold at all.
How to attract to stores without price tags
Russian and European tourists are well informed about shops without price tags, treat them skeptically and do not want to go there. Tunisian traders come up with ways to get us there. We briefly describe these methods.
Method one: "I'm a cook from your hotel . " This is the most popular method from which tourists are already nauseous.
On the street a tourist approaches a tourist and says: "Do you remember me? I'm a cook from your hotel, I have a day off today, you're from ....?". At the end he confidently says the name of your hotel.
In the photo on the right is just such a lure, whom we met near the Hammamet's medina . He leads us to the store, supposedly his brother.
Of course, he is no cook, but he recognized the name of the hotel by bracelet. He uses an interesting psychological device. Suggests several questions, but the answer to the latter can only be "yes." Responding to a "yes", tourists seem to agree with everything that he said. Manipulation is obvious! Do not give in!
Further, he says that his brother (matchmaker, father-in-law, friend, necessary to emphasize) next to a store, he will tell him that they gave you everything very cheaply and did not "smell" a fake.
To avoid encounters with such barkers, just hide the bracelets under your clothes, they will not fit. And if you approach and try to guess the hotel, say that he was mistaken.
The second way: "How is it called in Russian?" Already more interesting, but tourists are nervous.
A trader leaves his shop and addresses passers-by tourists for help: "Tell me how this product is called in Russian."
First, all of us from childhood have been taught that it is always good to help people. Secondly, tourists are flattered by the desire expressed by the seller to learn Russian.
Thirdly, in psychology there is such a thing as "helping relationships" - this is a special relationship between people. It is noticed that the level of sympathy is higher for the helper than for the one to whom they help, although logically it should be vice versa. This is the psychological phenomenon that Tunisian traders use. The tourist decides to help, goes to the store, where he begins to "vparivat" souvenirs at double prices.
The third way: "How much does it cost in Russia?" Better, but also not very pleasant.
The merchant pestered the tourists, showing the goods and asking: "How much does it cost in Russia?". If you call him a price, he will try to kill her. Or say: "It can not be, I propose for N dinars." In any case, it's a way to start a conversation with a potential prostitute ..., sorry, by the buyer.
Traders know in advance what exactly is in Tunisia cheaper than in Russia. The problem is that there are not so many such items, as the standard of living in our countries is comparable. First of all, they show for olive oil, because it is in Tunisia really two times cheaper.
Such methods of attracting tourists to shops without price tags are the same throughout Tunisia - from Sidi Bou Said in the north to Djerba Island in the south.
Technology sales at inflated prices
Suppose that the tourist is still lured into such a store. Let's talk about the methods that traders use for sale at inadequate prices.
As soon as you enter, the merchant will start to treat - adults with tea, children with water. So the seller is trying to make you in advance something he owes. Remember, he voluntarily and free treats you! You should not feel obligated to something, do not feel duty to buy something from him.
Many tourists come, drink tea and go home. The trader is angry, but this is his problem, that the manipulation was not successful.
The second method - the seller asks first to collect all the goods that you liked, and then bargain for everything at once. This complicates the buyer's objective assessment of the purchase price.
We recommend the following strategy. Choose one product and ask for a price, insist on saying the price for this product. Then draw conclusions.
The main advice
Do not buy anything in the first days of rest. First, go shopping, take a look at the assortment. Decide which souvenirs and gifts you want to buy, and make a list. Memorize the prices for these goods, if the memory is bad, then write down or photograph price tags.
Already in recent days, go shopping. You will already know what to buy, how much it will cost money. And one more important point: traders accept dinars and reluctantly take dollars and euros. Money will have to be changed , and you can change exactly the amount you plan to spend. There will be no problems with reverse exchange.
Successful purchases in Tunisia, and read other useful articles about this country on our website ( links below ).
Read about Tunisia on our website