Be sure read all of our shopping tips before before buying anything at the hitting the centuries-old markets or local pazari in Istanbul. Knowing what crowed stalls mean, why you should bargain before paying, and why defolu can save you money, will ensure you get the most from your market purchases.
As well, always be sure to test for quality before making your final decision.
Here are few rules and notable tips to always keep in mind when you go shopping in Turkish markets in Istanbul.
1. Always Test the Quality
Before buying anything from a market test all products. Test their quality, check all details, verify if they are original or fakes. Don’t worry about being rude, the merchants expect you to do this.
2. Crowded Stalls = A Good Sign
In Istanbul, and Turkey in general, the merchant that gathers the largest crowd is usually a signal of high-quality items with good prices. Don’t get discouraged by the masses, go there if you want to find the precious stuff. The rule is to hold your product tight if you find something interesting. Don’t let it out of your hands, because somebody else might claim it.
3. Bargain First, Pay Later
Bargaining is the soul of Istanbul market shopping. Expect to negotiate, but don’t expect to always win the battle. You have better chances to get a good price if you buy more than one product.
4. Faulty = Good and Cheap
You can purchase numerous textiles and leather items produced by famous Turkish brands in local markets. The extra export production or products with minor faults go to these markets, many times without having the brand name on them. These products may vary in condition from perfect to faulty, with even lacking some elements. The last ones are called defolu in Turkish and they are where you’ll find some of the best bargains.