Beautiful jewelry but bad business practices.
I've been visiting Sayulita since 2003, and started buying jewelry here back when they first opened (2004-05?) under the name Joyeria del sol. I have purchased countless pieces of jewelry over the years for myself, and as gifts for family members and friends. I've also watched the town grow from a cash-only village with no ATM to the booming place it is today. I went in yesterday to purchase a couple of gifts and a ring for myself, only to have them pull a price-change on me at the register. Their prices are listed in pesos. But when I went to pay with a credit card, they first tried to charge me in U.S. dollars (without disclosing that they were calculating the exchange rate at 16:1 instead of the published 19:1 rate), then when I told them to charge me in pesos, their credit card machine was suddenly mysteriously not working. Shockingly, they had another method of payment available for credit cards, but the owner claimed she could only run it with U.S. dollars. The "other" method was Paypal. Paypal obviously does not only work with U.S. currency. I argued with her about the exchange rate, and she very rudely told me that she was "doing me a favor" by taking a credit card in the first place, and started giving me a spiel about what a cash-based town Sayulita is. False. Most places have taken credit cards for the last 3-4 years, including restaurants. I told her that I knew what she was saying wasn't true because I had been visiting Sayulita regularly for 13 years, and she stopped. She then faked surprise about the real exchange rate, which I don't believe for a minute (and I'm a lawyer - I get paid to figure out when people are lying). She agreed to a 17:1 exchange rate, which cost me about $20-$25 USD more than what I would have paid if she had charged me in pesos. I should have walked away, but the things I had picked out were primarily gifts, so I didn't. I don't mind a 3-5% surcharge for using a credit card (basically to cover the fees the merchant pays) if it's disclosed up front. Some places do that. I DO mind having a store owner decide she's going to single-handedly make up her own exchange rate and charge me accordingly without telling me about it. The ONLY reason I caught it is because I'm not as stupid as I (apparently) look, and can do math in my head quickly enough that I knew the USD amount was wrong at the current exchange rate. This means that she's been doing this to countless other tourists as well, most of whom probably never even knew. I'm happy to say that in all my years of traveling in Mexico, this is the first time someone has ever cheated me like this. And I note that the owner is not Mexican, and is not from Sayulita. In my experience, the people local to this town would never try to pull something like that. But as for this business, the jewelry is lovely, so if you're going to shop there, make sure you double check what you're charged. And the owner should know that she lost an 11-12 year repeat customer over $20. Because it's not the $20 -- it's the dishonesty that I find so incredibly offensive and, frankly, just disappointing.