Vietnam: General Shopping Tips

Welcome to Vietnam, the new paradise for shopping. If you look at the surface, you will be disappointed by the large number of mass produced and many times low quality items in just any cities. If you dare to search, you will be caught in a complete surprise: Vietnam has every shopping scene that can match popular names such as SoHo in Manhattan, Kensington Market in Toronto, Chapel Street in Melbourne and Chatuchak in Bangkok. Here are a few tips before you begin your exploration:

Bargaining

Yes, unfortunately, you will have to bargain most of the time to get the price right (see tips on bargaining). Unless you plan to go to shopping mall or supermarket where price is printed on the product. It is not an intimidating task like it seems, and once you will get used to it, you will miss the bargaining scene found in Vietnam and in most of Asia.

Sale

Vietnam does not have a sale culture like many other countries. What are on sale are usually products that can no longer be attractive enough or they might have many defects. Here and there in big cities you will catch sight of a local crowd surrounding a sign “Đại Hạ Giá” but don’t bother to join unless you want to sweat or to give your bag to some pickpockets. In shopping malls, there are price marked down but do not expect it to go below 30%. The good news is, most items are affordable even without sale.

Have it tailored

You are in Vietnam, and why bother looking for Nike and Louis Vuiton? You can have your clothes, shoes and apparels made to your size and preferred colors and styles at significantly lower costs. What you will have is unique, and it’s time to show off your special taste as well. Hoi An is a great place to start for tailor-made clothing items. In Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, you will have to go out of your way but the quality is worth all the effort.

Price matters

Do not buy things just because it is cheap. There are inexpensive items that will catch your eyes and cost you a dollar. And the next thing you know it is out of order. This mostly applies to garment products in green markets or electronic goods at certain stores in big cities. On the other hand, expensive does not equal top quality, since you might be ripped off or they are just not worth all the currencies. It is good to start with recommended places and you will develop an instinct how shopping works in Vietnam.

Don’t overload

You have only so much space in your luggage. Unless you want to send some home over post, try to avoid heavy and massive items. Many stores offer free shipping service so check for your convenience. Shopping in Vietnam is a culture, a ritual and a lot of fun. It is rewarding for those who really take it more seriously than just getting some souvenirs off the shelf. Whatever reason you come to Vietnam for, make sure shopping is one of the bullet points in your travel agenda.

Conversations (0)
Join the conversation
Your comment...
POST COMMENT VIEW ALL
Conversations
Join the conversation
CANCEL Remaining: 1500
ALL COMMENTS (0)
There are no comments. Add your comment to start the conversation.
read next
Shopping Clothes in Vietnam - Everything You Need To Know

Shopping Clothes in Vietnam - Everything You Need To Know

Vietnam used to be just a shopping paradise for travelers on a shoes string. Today the fashion world has broadened extensively to cater to just any need, from the most basic purchase to world-class brands.

The Must-Read Guide About Buying Books In Vietnam

The Must-Read Guide About Buying Books In Vietnam

More than a simple sightseeing or adventurous destination for expats and long-term travelers, thanks to its own unique reading culture, Vietnam is gradually becoming a great place for bookworms to start their first backpack trip to Southeast Asia without interrupting their reading indulgence.

Vietnam Supermarkets - The Basics

Vietnam Supermarkets - The Basics

The retail market in Vietnam can be roughly divided into six types of modern distribution with specific characteristics, including hypermarkets, supermarkets, commercial centers, shopping centers, convenience stores and specialty supermarkets.