Aug 21, 2011
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Expatriates new to Indonesia and Asia in general will find shopping to be a slightly different thing here. Goods are noticeably cheaper and the entire populace encourages haggling as part of the process. In fact, other than luxury items from boutiques owned by brands such as Versace, Gucci, Armani and others of that like, it is advised to barter at the local shops to get the most out of the shopping experience.

One method is to quote a counter-offer of 40% of the price and work toward a 50%:60% ratio between the consumer and the seller. The trick is to start slow and allow the shopkeeper to bring up the price to about a third of half of the original quoted price.

There are a lot of traditional crafts and handiwork to be found in Indonesia. From hand-woven Batik items such as shirts and scarves to intricate carvings and sand sculptures, expatriates will find a wealth of Indonesian local products everywhere.

Bali is the best place to go for local arts and crafts goods while the bigger cities such as Jakarta and Yogyakarta are more commonly associated with mainstream and luxury brands. Lombok and Surabaya are popular for hand-woven cloths and traditional textiles.

Most expatriates find Bali to be the pinnacle of shopping as it not only promotes a large variety of goods but the quality is also usually very good.

Goods can be found in a variety of shopping malls or pasars, or market in English. Pasars tend to offer a lot of goods that can be cheaply purchased if haggled properly. Malls like Glodok Plaza in Chinatown are more known for their electronic goods and prices in places like this are more or less set in stone.

Plaza Indonesia in Jakarta is one of the more popular malls and it is filled with shops and boutiques from well-known brands such as Versace. Plaza Senayan in the Jakarta Business District has a Sogo and Metro departmental store as well as a few cinemas.

Indonesia is a large country with a plethora of options when it comes to shopping. The expatriate will be able to easily purchase a number of household goods and personal effects without incurring much cost.

It is therefore advisable to go with a friend who is aware of the Indonesian shopping scene if the expatriate is newly arrived in the country.

©RUMAH.COM Agustus 2011
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