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Shopping Advice

Fixed prices are the norm in department stores and a number of shops in Bangkok, but at most other places bargaining is acceptable and expected. Generally, shopping in Thailand is easy, fun and very rewarding, but the following advice is usefu,l especially when making gem and jewellery purchases

* Shop around to compare prices - this is especially important with gems and jewellery. 

* Obtain a receipt for goods bought and check if it is correct before leaving the shop.

* Never let a tout or "new-found friend" take you shopping. Stores give commission to these people, and the cost is reflected in the price you pay. 

*In general, jewellery items cannot be returned. If refunds are allowed, then often 25-30% of the selling price will be deducted as “costs of damages”. More reputable companies may offer a full refund although usually only within a certain time limit, such as 30 days. Do not believe any claims by shop owners that purchases can be refunded at Thai embassies, consulates or other government offices overseas. 

* Reputable shops will give a written agreement to a full refund on any goods returned within 90 days. If a shop refuses to do this, go elsewhere. 

* Shops in hotel arcades pay high rents and accordingly prices tend to be higher than at street shops. On the other hand, hotel arcades are very convenient if you have little time for shopping.