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Shopping for Expats in India

Author: Jason Zhou
Submitted: September 2013

India, the second largest country in terms of population, is famous for its various traditional specialities. It has a long history for silk, spices, relics, satin embroidery, handicrafts, leather masks, saris and tea. The sari is a popular clothing style in India and is created from a length of cloth draped around the body. Darjeeling tea is one of the top black teas in the world and it is produced in the Darjeeling district of West Bengal, India. Darjeeling tea has many categories such as; black, green, white and oolong. More information can be found here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darjeeling_tea

The best places to find such items are the markets. Among the thousands of markets all over India, Delhi and Mumbai are very popular.

Dilli Haat market is possibly the largest market in Delhi. It has 200 stalls and you can find all types of handicrafts there.  You will need to pay an entry fee of 20 Rupees (10 Rupees for children) to enter the market.  For more information about Dilli Haat, you can check here: https://www.delhitourism.gov.in/delhitourism/tourist_place/dilli_haat.jsp.

Other markets in Delhi include Janpath and Tibetan Market, Khan Market, Paharganj Market, Chandni Chowk Market,  Sarojini Nagar Market, Lajpat Nagar (Central Market) and  Sunder Nagar Market.  For more information about these markets, please see here: https://goindia.about.com/od/shopping/tp/delhimarkets.htm.

Mumbai, the largest city in India, also has many markets. Famous markets are Colaba Causeway, Chor Bazaar, Linking Road, Crawford Market and Fashion Street. More information about these markets can be found here: https://goindia.about.com/od/shopping/tp/best-mumbai-markets.htm.

Often you can bargain with the market sellers about the price. Here is a good website providing detailed tips on bargaining in India:

https://goindia.about.com/od/shopping/qt/bargainingtips.htm.

If you do not want to bargain in the markets and would prefer something more reliable, you can go to the department stores and shopping centres, brand chain shops, or some state-run shops. You cannot normally bargain there but you can get better goods.  

 

Online shopping

Online shopping has become popular in India. Many shops have their own online websites with payment facilities and free delivery if your purchase reaches a certain level.  Some popular websites are listed below:

  • Myntra.com: the leading fashion and lifestyle ecommerce portal in India
  • Flipkart.com: popular site for books, electronic goods and a variety of other products.
  • Jabong.com: the leading fashion and lifestyle ecommerce portal in India
  • Amazon sites: online retail website offering products of all kinds
  • Snapdeal.com: online retail website offering products of all kinds
  • HomeShop18: online retail website offering products of all kinds

You can also buy what you want online from all over the world with websites such as eBay. Please be aware that this is a form of importation and may trigger custom duties and VAT. Some items are not even allowed to enter India. Please check this website  https://www.cbec.gov.in/customs/cst2012-13/cst1213-idx.htm to see what is acceptable.   

 

Shopping hours  

Shops normally open six days a week, some may open seven days. Typical hours in a day are listed as below:

Mondays to Saturdays            9 am to 19 pm

 

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