Bali Shopping

Bali is paradise for shoppers

The beautiful traditional culture of the island and its focus on aesthetics mean that locally produced handicrafts, textiles, and art are everywhere. As Bali is a thriving tourist center, products from around Indonesia and Asia can easily be found at low prices, while decades of cosmopolitan visitors have contributed to a thriving fashion scene.

The cost of living is low, and so are prices, allowing the smart traveler to enjoy the best of all worlds without breaking the bank. Traditional shops and markets offer flexible prices, making the best deals possible for those with bargaining skills, while most stores offer fixed prices that are so low that bargaining is unnecessary.


What to Buy on Bali

Bali is Famous for...

A lot of things...and LOW PRICES!
Even the most exclusive high end products will be considerably cheaper than what you would pay anywhere else, and particularly Europe, Australia, Korea, Japan.

Silver work, handicraft, art work and paintings, fashion & clothes, furniture and deco items, natural soaps and essences, coffee, cloth....you name it.

Planning Ahead

It is advisable to plan a ahead a little and find out on what Bali has to offer when it comes to shopping. Get a sense of what you would like to take with you from the island of the Gods. Many tourists realize a bit too late how much of a shoppers paradise it truly is. They arrive, go to two or three streets near their hotels and buy what they see and like.
But once they get around a bit on sightseeing they realize the true dimension on what Bali has to offer. By then the luggage might already full with items they would rather change for something different or the budget is depleted. Furniture and decoration are really beautiful and will remind you of the life-style and atmosphere of the Island of the Gods. One can easily  buy larger items and get them packed and shipped home.

You can hire a car with driver for less than US$50 a day.

With so many shopping choices in every quality and style, visitors will not be able to buy everything, and so should keep in mind some of the “must-have” items that make a trip to Bali complete.

For smaller souvenirs, gifts, and additions to your house, wooden and metal handicrafts and paintings can’t be beat. These come in all shapes and sizes and so the best idea is to go to a large shop or market and browse around. For drinks, a good bag of strong Balinese coffee is worth buying, as well as premium coffees from Sumatra, Java, and Sulawesi, or the infamous kopi luwak. Those who like stronger drinks can buy a bottle of brem (palm wine) or arak (rice liquor), both of which pack a punch.

Beach lovers will do well to buy beach sarongs, which come in thousands of designs and colors for only a few dollars (5-10US$ mostly). Traditional clothing, such as Balinese udeng headdresses and safari shirts and elegant kebaya dresses for women are also great buys. Bali is also famous for funny t-shirts, often featuring cartoons by local artists, and these can be found both in souvenir stores and the streets of Kuta, alongside budget surf wear and “designer” clothing. In Kuta, Legian, Seminyak and Ubud you will find literally hundreds of shops selling beautifully designed clothes and accessories from gifted international and local designers. Of course not to forget the international well known brands such as Mango, Zara which opened outlets in the department stores and malls.

Naturally on Bali you can surf shops of any brand that you might know. Super designed brabded shops from Quiksilver, Oakley are fun to visit and along the main street of Jalan Sunset you can find mega surf outlet factory shops with reduced items in tons.

Textiles from around Indonesia, such as batik prints and woven ikat cloth, are readily available, and are a must for shoppers who will not visit the rest of Indonesia. Silver jewelry in traditional and modern designs is sold at shockingly low prices, while beautiful furniture in ebony, mahogany, and teak can be bought at a fraction of the price in other countries.


Tips on Shopping in Bali

Shoppers will be in heaven in Bali, but should remember some tips that will make their experience smoother.

Cash and Credit Cards

First of all, credit cards are generally accepted but cash purchases are the norm in places that bargain and in smaller shops. Larger shops that do accept them will often expect you to pay a 2.5% to 3% processing charge - because this is the fee the credit card companies charges the vendor for processing the payment. If you do not want to pay this extra percentage, carry cash.

Always Check the Quality

Also, make sure to always check the quality of the products that you are buying. If you are not sure how to tell whether something is of good quality, ask local people or other travelers. Indonesians are very interested in the tricks that allow low-quality goods to be passed off as the real thing, and like talking about this, as do tourists who come to Bali to shop. This also goes for prices, which can vary greatly. Ask different people the same questions to get a feel for what the right price should be.

Bargaining

Another point to remember is that when it comes to bargaining, it’s best to be friendly. Bargain hard but don’t get angry or pushy, and don’t make insulting jokes. You will get nowhere, and might get in an argument. Keep in mind that prices in some tourist areas may be double or triple the normal rate, so start low and wait for the seller to come down to a rate that you like. If that doesn’t work, leave the shop. If the seller really wants to make a deal, he or she might give you a final low price, and if not, there are more shops to look at. Finally, if a shop has price tags and the seller tells you that there is no bargaining, even after a few tries, no bargaining is possible, and pushing the point will make you look rude. Follow these simple tips and dive into the shopping heaven that is the island of Bali!