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Dec 22 2015

People often think of Mexico, including Sayulita, as a haven of discounts and haggling. While it is true that bartering is a part of the economy, it is not the rule for every retail store. Make note of the following shopping tips to keep in mind while doing holiday shopping this season.

Where it is the norm to barter:

On the street or beach. Most of the vendors will accept a lower price than originally offered. Once you seem to get to a price that acceptable to you, seal the deal. Remember, the vendor has a bottom line too! Will an extra 10 peso make a huge difference to you? It may to a vendor.

There are some artisans who sell on the street that do not bargain. For example, the Huichol artists in the plaza have firm prices.  

Where is may be okay to barter... or not:

Most boutiques have set prices. They try to offer the best price they can and do mark up to allow for bartering or discounts. It is not the norm to discount in this type of store. You can ask, but if the sales person tells you they don't discount or bargain, that is the store policy.  Most stores do not add on sales tax and pay it out of their sale price.  (This tax is 16.5 percent). Do not be offended if the store does not allow for discounts, think of it in the same way as any retail store in the US or Canada. 

There are stores that are all t -shirts, novelties and tourist items that will bargain.

Remember, stores and legal street vendors do have overhead and will have a bottom line!

More and more people ask for local discounts. Again, do not be offended if the store doesn't offer local discounts. 

Also, unlike the US and Canada there are some stores that charge an extra percentage to use a credit card. While not the norm anymore, it still can come up.

Most stores will take US cash. Ask what the exchange rate is. Right now the norm is 14 to 16 pesos per dollar.   

Most store employees can be a wealth of local knowledge and are happy to share information, answer questions, or point you in the right direction if you are looking for another locale.