Shopping in Marrakech is a unique experience. With a labyrinthine souk bursting with colorful leather bags, vintage carpets draped over buildings with vendors waiting to discuss price over a cup of mint tea, and even spices and herbal remedies for all ailments, it’s a shopper’s paradise. But without careful consideration, you may overpay or return home with some buyer’s remorse. We’ve taken the trouble out of shopping in Marrakech and we’re sharing tips to help you navigate the colorful and bustling souks.
Haggle. And then haggle some more
In Morocco, and in particular in the souks, haggling and negotiating prices is common practice. When purchasing something in the souks, it’s best to start with a low offer and then work your way up to a price that you are willing to pay. It’s best to start negotiating approximately 60 per cent lower than the seller’s initial asking price. Keep in mind that the seller will not accept a price that is not beneficial to them.
Remember that expressing excitement and a keen interest to buy will result in a higher price. Don’t be afraid to walk away and wander through the souks to find something similar. But bear in mind that leaving without purchasing anything after spending time negotiating may result in a higher price upon return.
Look around, and then buy
It’s easy to get caught up in hard negotiations, the excitement and the overwhelming selection. The truth is the souk is filled with many vendors selling the same items. In fact there is an entire area of the souk dedicated to slippers, leather bags, carpets and more. Wander for a while to see what else is on offer, just don’t forget the way back!
Does it translate?
With all the glitz and sparkle and color, it’s easy to be overwhelmed and want to purchase everything on first sight. Often people come to Morocco and they shop til they drop, only to return home with buyer’s remorse. Before purchasing that bright pink leather bag, think about whether you will actually use it back home. Does it go with your wardrobe? Or style? And that colorful woven bedspread – will it look out of place or does it go with your home décor?
Head to Gueliz
If negotiating and navigating the souks is too much, head to Gueliz where many artisans have showrooms and all prices are fixed. The quality tends to be higher, and therefore so are the prices, but the experience is much more relaxed.
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