Shopping in Bali – What Should I Pay?
Even if shopping isn’t your ultimate aim in Bali, chances are you’ll end up leaving with a bigger suitcase stuffed with fascinating and irresistible buys. Bali is a great place to stock up on summer beachwear, handicrafts, jewellery and other knick-knacks. If you’ve just bought a new apartment, then it would be a great idea to take home delicately crafted furniture and furnishings. Getting that shipped home is so easy and most suppliers can arrange this for you. Most of the stuff you’ll buy here is going to be considerably cheaper than back home.
Unless the price is clearly marked, like in the boutiques of Seminyak and Ubud, just about everything in Bali you can bargain for. Scoring a successful bargain for a first time visitor can be quite challenging but just remember sometimes you are bargaining over a few dollars so try and be fair. We thought we would give you a hand on what to pay for things in Bali.
Shop till you Drop
Whether you want some souvenirs to take home for the kiddies or some designer one off items for your wardrobe, we highly recommend that you check out the markets in Kuta, Legian and Ubud along with the cool boutiques in Seminyak. The vibrant markets are full of local charm, a great place to buy cheap bags, thongs, board shorts, sunnies, silver and jewellery.
As you walk along the streets of Legian and Kuta, you’ll find yourself popping in and out of shops all selling the same things. You can buy some cool Ray-Bans, Oakleys or Chanel sunglasses for as cheap as Rp 25,000 ($3).
When you’re shopping at the street side shops or markets, work on paying about a third of the price quoted, with the final goal of settling for half the price. If the shopkeeper refuses to budge, walk ahead to the next shop and chances are that you’ll find the same thing at a different price. This way you can compare the prices.
Most people buy Bintang singlets, shorts and tees, available in different colours at almost every shop on the streets. You can get a good quality Bintang t-shirt or Billabong board shorts at just Rp 40 000 ($4). Look out for good deals on beach towels (RP 50,000 or $5), batik style dresses (RP 35,000 to 80,000 depending on style, size and design), fisherman pants (Rp 25,000 or $5), sarongs (Rp 25,000 or $3) and leather sandals (RP 80,000 or $8).
For those looking for original Rolex watches or Gucci and Louis Vuitton bags, Bali is full of shops with genuine designer goods where the quality is not bad for the price you pay. We picked up a Chanel watch for RP 2,50,000 ($25) and a Jimmy Choo handbag for Rp 100,000 ($10) but you can find even cheaper bags then this.
Another popular buy from Bali are the latest and greatest DVD’s for only $1! You’ll find so many shops selling the recent movies, but make sure you always ask for the 100% copy to pick up the best versions.
If you’ve been wanting a leather jacket or handbag, but didn’t want to shell out an extravagant sum of money back home, then Bali is the place to buy leather. Walk up to a leather shop and custom design your leather jacket for about $80 – $150 depending on the size and quality of leather. How about a stylish tan leather bag from $40 to go along with the dress you bought? You can bring over a photo of a designer handbag and most shops will be able to copy this and have it ready for you in 3 days.
For an art lover who admires delicately carved statues, homeware and other handicrafts, you’ll find everything in the markets of Ubud. The whole area is dotted with woodcarvers shops and galleries suitable for a free-roaming spree.
Balinese style paintings, wood carvings, woven baskets, Moroccan-style oil lamps are typically found everywhere in Ubud.
Check out the silver shops for unique silver jewellery. Interesting earrings, pendants and bracelets for as little as $4 which is so reasonable when you think about what you pay back home. Keep in mind some of the silver might look like silver but it isn’t. Always look out for the number 925 engraved in the silver. This is to indicate the purity of the silver alloy used in the manufacturing or hand-crafting of the piece.
How about decorating your living room with handmade furniture in teak, mahogany or pine? You can buy furniture at a fraction of a price in Bali.
If you are heading to the markets, get in early as the first customers for the day always get the best discount. Just remember if you think the price is reasonable enough just pay the extra $1. At the end of the day an extra Rp 10,000 is only $1 but this can go quite a long way in Bali.