Traditional malls and boutiques can be great places to find awesome products, but with warmer weather settling in there's a good chance that you'll want to hit up local street markets or outdoor shopping centers and find some truly amazing one-of-a-kind pieces. If you're new at the street market game, it can be a little intimidating — not to mention overwhelming — your first time out. If you're looking for a few tips and tricks to help you navigate street markets and find great deals, then here's what you need to know.
Unlike exclusive boutiques or high-end shops, vendors at street markets won't really be impressed by fancy clothing or designer shoes — it might actually make haggling harder if you look incredibly well-off. Jewelry can get lost easily in the hustle and bustle of the market as well, so it might be a good idea to leave the rings, bracelets, and necklaces at home.
If you're looking for clothing — or even think that it might be a possibility — you'll want to dress in layers, preferably with a tank top underneath a shirt or a jacket. This will let you try on clothing easily (shirts, especially) without sacrificing modesty. Remember, most street markets don't have convenient dressing rooms, so dress accordingly.
Street markets can be incredibly overwhelming, especially if you're a first-timer, so go in with a plan of what kinds of things you want to buy, how you'll transport them, and how you'll eat and drink during the day. Many street markets have food and drink vendors, but if you have allergies or are on a tight budget you might want to bring your own nourishment.
Some street markets give out maps of the market or post a map online, so make sure to grab one. That way you can mark down vendors you like, stalls you want to go back to, or booths where you left items for pickup at the end of the day.
Bring Cash With You
ATM fees are incredibly expensive, but most street market vendors will only take (or will prefer to take) cash, so make sure you come with cash in hand. Make sure you have a lot of small bills, as making change can be difficult, especially early in the day when most sellers haven't performed a lot of transactions.
With any amount of cash on your person, however, you'll want a way to transport it without it falling out of a pocket or getting stolen. A satchel that rests on the front of your body is the best choice to keep your cash in, as you'll be able to see it at all times without having to hold a purse in your hands.