How it works:
- Version 1: overcharging you on your credit card by adding another zero.
- Version 2: shortchanging you hoping that you do not notice.
- Version 3: prices are generally not fixed here and you can be quoted you wildly overcharged prices, even for items like a simple SIM card – 10 different stores can quote you different prices for SIM cards with the same amount of data!
- Version 4: swapping your product after your purchase – for instance, sending a substituted art piece/sculpture to your home country address.
- Version 5: fake branded products and trekking gear (e.g. North Face). That said, some of these products do last and are fit for purpose.
Places to beware:
- Kathmandu: Thamel
What to do:
- Find out a fair price by going different shops or check with your hotel/hostel/driver, then bargain hard (start with ~1/3 of quoted price).
- Learn how to separate the wheat from the chaff, or only visit licensed, reputable shops. If a price is too good to be true, it is.
- In general, you can find a wide variety of things (e.g. pashmina shawl, Thangka paintings, trekking gear) at Thamel in Kathmandu or Lakeside in Pokhara, upscale clothes at Durbar Marg, handicrafts at Patan and pottery at Bhaktapur.