Shopping in Sri Lanka is value for money and one of the great temptations for Western visitors as it will all come to you at bargain prices. The best shopping places are the large modern shopping malls in Colombo, such as Majestic City or Liberty Plaza, and also craft shops and hotel boutiques along the south west coast or in highland resorts. Almost all bigger and more established private and government shops across the island will have prices marked on each item for sale which is far easier for the customer.
If you are browsing around antique shops, craft shops, bazaars and small shops in tourist towns like Unawatuna and Hikkaduwa you’ll be expected to bargain. However, do remember to check out the reasonable prices of items to avoid being overcharged. Further, Visitors need to be wary for fakes, in particular when buying gems or designer clothes.
To get the best value for your money, here are some tips to practice your bargaining skill –
- Observe if the goods or products are with price tags. If not, you should bargain
- Some shops, although they put the exact price tags, you may bargain, but bargain in a cautious way.
- With street vendors, you might bargain up to 50%, but also be cautious (also recommended at 10-30%)