Saturday, August 9, 2008

Shopping in Peru

Updated 18 April 2014

If you go to Peru, you can't miss out on the shopping experience! From big department stores to markets to small mom and pop stores, you're sure to find something you love! Here are some tips that will help you out.

Bigger stores
When you go into shops with other bags or a backpack, you might have to check your bags. They give you a little number and you get your stuff when you leave again. You don't have to check purses. If you don't have to check your bags, then when you leave you will have to open them and show the security guard that you haven't stolen anything.

If you buy something, they often staple the receipt on the outside of the bag. When you leave you will have to show your receipt and purchase to the security officer at the door.

Markets can be found in every town and offer a variety of goods from food, to clothes and furniture. Just make sure that your money is well-hidden and don’t bring anything of value to a market. Bargaining is done, just don’t expect a huge discount. Usually they will take a few soles off the price, especially if you are buying more than one.

Shopping in Lima
If you’re in Lima and want to find bargain there are plenty of places you can go to. For info about markets, check out Hitting the Markets in Lima. You can go to Gamarra, which is famous for its low prices, located in La Victoria on Prolongacion Gamarra. It goes on for blocks and people come from Chile and Ecuador to take advantage of the cheap prices. 

There are buses that’ll take you there on Aviacion. The main area is block 6 to 9. Fabric can be found along block 15 of Humboldt and the 6th block of Gamarra. Imported fabrics can be found at Fanitex, Gamarra 661, Shop 114. Paruqe Canepa is between Prol. Gamarra and Huanuco, Unanute and Humboldt. 

Take a taxi to get there and go in the morning. Make sure you put your money in different pockets and leave your purse at home. Also, dress down. Look below for more market options
  • Arequipa around block 20 has lots of cheap clothing shops and opticians.
  • Jesús Maria. About a block from Republica Dominicana, Av Horacio Urtega and Av Arnaldo Marquez.
  • Magdalena around the municipal market. Jose Galvez, Tacna, Leoncio Prado and Castilla
  • Mercado Central on Abancay. ALso Chinatown and Mesa Redonda as well as El Hueco.
  • Polvos Azules, in Lima on 28 de Julio, near Flores, is another possibility, however, the quality varies and it’s not the best neighbourhood.
  • Polvos Rosados which is near Ovalo Higuereta is known to foreigners and Peruvians alike, but the prices are a bit high. A better bet would be to go across the street to Polvos de Higuereta, prices are better, it’s cleaner and there’s better lighting. There are also galleries next to Polvos Rosados, they’re located between Polvos Rosados and the Ovalo. Places to get manicures, pedicures, hair cuts and other spa treatments can be found in Santa Rosa, which is next to Polvos de Higuereta and the galleries next to Polvos Rosados.
Foreign Food
If you're interested in Peruvian cuisine, try reading Peruvian Food and Drink. Wong and Vivando are two grocery stores that tend to have a decent selection of foreign food. If you can't find it there, try the places below.

Parque Industrial in Villa El Salvador has hand-made furniture. Buses that go up Benavides or Tomas Marsano pass right by this huge market. It’s between Pachacutec and Sepradora Industrial Streets. The same furniture can also be found at Plaza Hogar on Angamos in Surquillo. Or else, just head to Saga and Ripley, they usually have a decent selection.

The place where you buy the furniture should have a delivery service. If you buy it in a department store, they'll use their own. If you buy it in a market, you'll have to bargain with the beatup trucks. The price will depend on the distance and whether or not your place has an elevator. They'll wrap your furniture in blankets to make sure it doesn't get damaged. Then you get in the truck with them and tell them how to get back to your place. If you don't speak Spanish, either write the instructions down or bring a friend with you.

More Tips
Don't forget that many shops have sales at the end of the season (August or February). Ripley, Saga, and Ace Home Center often have great sales. Some shops on Larco, near Ovalo Miraflores have good prices as well, though the quality might not be as good. Also check out the Yellow Pages and the ExpatPeru Garage Sale Forum.

Shopping Online
Peru has a huge online market as well. Though you won't be paying by credit card, instead you'll meet the seller in person and exchange cash for goods. Never go alone to someone's house. Don't go to bad neighbourhoods. And trust your gut instinct.



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