If you have just arrived , get a general idea of how much people
are paying as the sellers are very quick to know who is a "newbie"
in town and who isn't . This way you will help avoid the first
day rush to buy and then find you paid 2 or 3 times what you should
have. Before you start bargaining , always have a price in your
head that you won't go over . ( Generally 1/4 to 1/3 what the
starting price is ) Don't be too shy about this way of shopping.
The first rule is don't give a price unless you intend to buy.
Once you give a price...no matter how small, you have started
the process of bargaining and if the seller agrees on your price,
it is considered very rude to then not purchase the item.
Once you have found something you like and the seller has given
you a starting price you then offer a counter attack price. (
Your counter offer should generally be 1/5 to 1/4 what the seller
is offering ) They will of course , claim that this is too low
(which it is ) and that they will not make any money from the
sale. They will then make a counter offer lower than their starting
price , and away you go....As a guide , if the seller comes down
in 10,000 you go up in 5,000. The best bargainer will walk away
with the best price. Remember as you get closer to your intended
purchase price , you maybe haggling over a few cents...but don't
let this worry you, as the Balinese are very good at haggling
. If it is a few cents over your intended purchase price and the
seller will not relent.....who cares...get it !
*Note : If a price is offered in Dollars....It is always US$
unless first stated. If buying something small, always double
check it before you hand over your money as the street sellers
are very good at sleight of hand and you may end up buying a watch
that isn't working or your finest silver bracelet is now a piece
of tin. ( This is not common practice , however it does happen
If you do not want to engage in a bargaining contest and are
not interested in the seller's wares , do not make eye contact
with the seller or stop and browse through a hawker's offers.
Bali Traditional Markets
The best place to bargain. You will find one of the largest outdoor
markets at Kuta. Remember to bring cash as not many of the market
stalls have credit card facilities.You will find that there are
hundreds of small shops all selling similar things and a great
place to try out your new found bargaining skills. Wood carvings
, silver wear , cassette's / CD's and DVD's, Tshirts and sarongs
are a few of the items laid out to tempt you. Generally the t'shirts
are copies and therefore bring a cheaper price than the originals
but they do make great last minute gifts for friends stuck at
home. For as little as 25,000 Rp each, you can bring an armful
home and the quality is still fairly good.
The Kumbasari Market near the river gives an interesting overview
of an Indonesia market with household wares and clothing on the
third level, spices and dried goods on the second level and traditional
market in the basement.It can be a bit dark in the basement. Nearby
is Jalan Hasanuddin, a whole street of gold shops, selling 18-22
carat gold jewelry. Not far away from jalan Hasanuddin is jalan
Sulawesi where all manner of fabrics are available. The whole
street consists of fabric stores on both sides with a few household
ware stores in between.
Kuta Art Market has a multitude of shops selling a wide variety
of goods including, sarongs, handicrafts, jewelry, clothing, furniture
and leather goods. You can find some good pieces if you look carefully
and smart bargain.
Sanur's main shopping street is Jalan Danau Tamblingan and it
is more peaceful then shopping in Kuta. Sanur has an interesting
variety of shops with lots of nice restaurants.There are still
a few hawkers but they are not as aggressive, except at the beach
market. You can find woodcarvings, sarongs and other handicrafts
in Sanur Art Market.
Sukawati has a new art market and a traditional market on the
main road and side streets. Set in a two-floor building, the market
sells everything from statues to dance costumes, all at reasonable
prices. A large assortment of woven baskets can be found here
along with Balinese ceremonial items made from colorful "Prada"
- gold painted cloth. These include dance costumes, fans, umbrellas
and clothes worn at tooth filings and weddings. Bargaining is
Mall & Designer Stores
Stores like : Reebok , Nike , Hugo Boss , Animale are just the
tip of the iceberg for what's available in Kuta Square..the location
of the largest grouping of Name brand apparel shops on Bali. As
these shops have to compete with the markets just outside their
doors , you will find specials and sales on all year round. Some
of the sales are up to 50% OFF and in some cases for old stock
, 70% OFF. Although there is NO bargaining involved ( Phew you
say ) The prices offered are 1/4 to 1/2 what you would pay at
home. The stores are also air conditioned and are worth a pop
in just to have a browse and cool off.
Duty Free Shopping
Plaza Bali and DFS have duty free shopping outlets in Kuta, Sanur,
Nusa Dua and the airport in Bali. They have a wide range of designer
label boutiques. Bare in mind some products in Indonesia don't
have a high duty, such as cigarettes.
Situated on the bypass Rd to the Airport.. At Carrefour you will
be able to stock up on many everyday items available in "Bulk"
Great if you have a large family or there are a few of you. Carrefour
stocks everything from electronic equipment, fridges, Microwave
ovens to noodles, beer, soft drinks, water, fruit and vegetables.
Once you leave the hub's of Kuta or Sanur, you will find that
each small town you visit produces its own type of goods. A small
selection of these small towns and factory outlets can be visited
in a days Trip to Kintamani ( Bali's still active volcano ) The
tour driver will no doubt take you to one of his family or friend's
shops(as they will get commission if you purchase) so if you would
like to visit a particular area or shop its best to advise him
before you start your journey.
Shopping in Bali Villages
Home for Stone carvings : Traditional stone sculptures carved
from soft Volcanic rock. If you have the time in bali , they will
Home for paintings : The centre of the artistic scene in Bali.
Originally the home of paintings in Bali but a walk along the
main street of Ubud will find stores selling clothing, antiques,
jewellery, homewares and handicrafts. There are also numerous
Temples, ancient sites and of course, great restaurants around
Ubud. You may need a day or two just to relax away from the bustle
and take it all in.
Home of Siver and Gold smiths : Huge stores hosting a wide variety
of intricately designed pieces of jewellery. Bargaining is a must
however the best deals can be found in the side streets where
the silver and goldsmiths work and live. Earrings, bracelets rings
and brooches are just some of the pieces on offer.
Home of the Woodcarvers : This village and the nearby villages
specialise in the carving of the soft woods into sculptures. Spend
some time watching these very talented craftsman at work and using
only chisels and sand paper, they create statues from a few inches
high to several metres.