If you’re really into getting the best of the vendors, here are some tips. Don’t deal with the kids, as your resolve will melt. Don’t stop and think that the guy with all the blankets has ridden 14 hours on a bus and is sleeping on his stock in a 4 X 8 room and has seven kids back home where the rest of the family in Puebla toil 16 hours a day themselves to make the articles he’s selling. Think of him as having a BMW parked up the road and when you make a purchase, slap him on the back and insist he owes you a drink at the expensive watering hole that evening.

Actually, if you want to let him win and come off well yourself, buy a cheap boom box radio and trade goods with him for the radio. Make your deal early in the trip and finalize on the last day. (This isn’t very efficient anymore since NAFTA has opened up markets for these hitherto hard to get items). A better item to deal to trade now would be Bejing tee shirts or popular sports attire. Cash is King however and you’ll treasure whatever you buy (even if you never use it). Bear in mind that these vendors are territorial and actually pay a daily license to vend on the beaches.

Many good deals are made at the beach and hammering for the last nickel only serves to brand us as a people as “not fair bargainers” (and other salacious adjectives) . To bargain is expected and there is a great deal of fun in it for both the vendor and you if YOU handle it right. Think of the story you’ll have to tell when you get home with the object. I’ve never regretted a purchase made on the beach yet! Remember, you spend more on liquor or gasoline for your auto than this guy earns to handle everything, including raising a family.

If you don’t want to buy don’t make eye contact and when solicited just say ‘No Gracias’, then look away.

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