One of my favorite activities in the Caribbean (other than spending time on the beach, of course) is shopping in the crafts markets. I love checking out the beautifully handcrafted items available. I've seen so many items offered from intricately woven baskets, scarves, hand carved wooden statues, original paintings from local artists, hats, and jewelry boxes just to name a few.
What's important to remember, though, is that by touching something and picking it up you're actually indicating to the seller that you're an interested buyer. That's the way the bartering system works in the Caribbean handicraft and produce markets. So unless you're sure that you're ready to make a purchase, look but don't touch! You don't want to cause confusion in the marketplace. If you have questions, just ask the sellers, they'll go out of their way to help you. So look around and have fun, but know how to play the bartering game!
One of my favorite purchases from a Caribbean marketplace is from Negril, Jamaica. It's a small brightly colored painting of people taking a break after harvesting fruit. After some bargaining I got it for $20.00 USD. The bargaining process is part of the fun for me.
Want to share your story about your special find at a crafts market? Feel free to comment below on what you bought, where you got it and how much you paid.
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