I hate shopping! I am not a shopper….of anything! Mind you, I’ll go shopping from time to time without complaint, but to be honest, I’d rather stay home and read a book!
Shopping will still be a chore while I’m here in Mumbai- ughh, but I will do more of it so that I can truly experience the sights, sounds and everything else there is that makes Mumbai, Mumbai. Plus, as much as I’m not a shopper I do love a great deal. I will definitely go home a better haggler thanks to Mumbai markets! lol
So today I went pot shopping. My flat lacked some kitchen essentials so I began my hunt today- with support, for some of the things I need to make my flat a home.
Kalbadevi… that’s where I went with a local. Neat little shops in rows… well maybe not neat, but rows of shops that sell pots, knives, cutlery, and tiffins…
Oh how I love tiffins! I am going to have to arrest myself from buying a variety of them. lol
The first shop we went in to was rather typical to shopping back home except there was more stuff behind the counters than there was on the floor… upon going to the second shop- more on that later, I understand why.
Shopping at the market has EVERYTHING to do with the your interest in making a purchase AND the shopkeepers ability to ‘assist’ your interest in getting you to pull out your pocket book lol. It’s quite interesting. So in this first shop was stuff on shelves and on the floor in the centre aisle and everything else was behind the counters with the shopkeepers.
Picture a jewellery store where a counter separates you from the sales person. Now also picture that behind the sales person is a floor to ceiling wall of pots and tiffins. So here my local friend and I finessed our way to purchase some pots and knives- while melting in the heat, and then kept on shopping. This shopkeeper called me ‘sister’, thought I was from Africa, and then asked me if I was Indian. The dialogue went kind of like…
Shopkeeper: “You African?”
Me: “hell no!”… He then laughs. (note to reader: I only responded ‘hell no’, because that’s what most people assume. Black folks do live in other parts of the world, lawd!).
Shopkeeper:”You from India?” He asks this while smiling as he already knows the answer.
Me: I laugh and respond “Yes!”.
He threw in a couple of stuff for free in the end. 🙂
Now The second shop…
This is where I learned that “how” shopkeepers assist patrons is an important part of the buying experience when your competition is all around you. By this I mean the market strip we walked down had at least 15 small shops in a row all selling pretty much the same thing!
So we enter shop two and my local friend questions one of 4 employees in the shop (btw the cashier, sits on a narrow bench dug out on one side of the wall. The bench is barely wide enough to hold two butt cheeks lol). The shop is about 15 feet long and 5 feet wide, floor to ceiling shelves of stuff… anyway… he gestures for us to come…
Yes, he wants us to sit…on a bench…so he can “assist” us. It’s just like going to the shoe store and asking a clerk to try on shoes and they go in the back to get your shoe size and then you sit and try it on… except in regular stores they leave you.. and if you’re lucky they’ll check in with you. At expensive shoe stores, they don’t leave you. They stay with you, offer you their opinion, try to up sell you, or sell you an accessory. Yah, I know I said I don’t shop a lot, but I have had both kinds of experiences 😉
So we sit and he brings stuff to us… it was so cool! We just point… well I point, my friend translates. He gets, he offers, he tries to upsell. Now I know this is not common in Mumbai- a bench in a store and you sit and are served WHEN BUYING A POT, but it is unique.
Surprisingly, my purchases here were not that cheap-tupperware. So I ended up buying only half of what I intended and I sure did haggle!