Foreigners throng Janpath market for variety at bargain prices (Feature with Images)

November 16th, 2008 - 2:08 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Nov 16 (IANS) Colourful stoles, silver jewellery, Kolhapuri slippers and a lot more are available at a reasonable price at the Janpath market in Connaught Place, a downtown shopping area in the Indian capital frequented by foreign tourists looking for a cheap bargain on trinkets and curios to take back home.The market is flooded with products like shawls, scarves, chunky jewellery, jootis and handicraft items.

The price range starts from Rs.10 for a simple scarf and can go up to a few thousands.

“You can get everything here - clothes, shoes, bangles, jewellery, Indian handicrafts and chunky accessories at a reasonable price. These things are the perfect gift options for our family and friends as they are very pretty and not heavy on your pocket,” said Christine Barlow, a tourist from Britain.

“In our country, all these things are very expensive, so I make sure that whenever I visit India, I take out time to visit this place to buy something for myself and my family and friends,” Barlow told IANS.

Another British tourist, Laura Davidson, on her sixth visit to India, was spotted in a green kurta with little embroidery, and she proudly said she had brought it when she visited the country two years ago.

“I got this thing from here two years back and, look, I am still wearing it. It is so comfortable. Also I have already shopped for pashmina shawls, Kolhapuri chappals and jootis and some handicraft products like elephants, boxes and chess to gift to my family and friends. They all are waiting back home for all these souvenirs, as they too love them a lot,” she said.

“I love everything about this place - the variety it offers is amazing but the best part is the pricing. It is so cheap here, we cannot imagine anything so good yet cheap in our country,” she added.

Arjun Wadhwa, owner of Novelty Store that specialises in scarves, stoles and shawls, said: “The market is always flooded with foreign tourists and their love for Indian prints make them come back to this market.”

Rajesh Kumar, the owner of a handicraft shop “V Kumar Bros”, feels that Indian craftsmanship fascinates foreigners.

The shop offers an array of choices for the tourists including souvenirs like elephants, boxes with intricate designs, chess boxes, junk jewellery and many more items.

“They shop for handicraft products with intricate design and they always question us about the making of the product. As in their country everything is machine made so they shop for these items,” Kumar told IANS.

A charge against the shopkeepers is that they quote sky-high prices. But Kumar denies it and says that it is a wrong notion.

“This market is known for the bargain factor and all foreign tourists know this fact, so you cannot fool them any more. They bargain very well and now we have to be cautious to quote the price in such a way that we too make some profit out of it,” said Kumar.

Elaborating on the “quoting price” part, Kumar says experience plays a pivotal role in the success of a business as the market runs completely on the bargain factor.

“You need to read your customers very well before you quote a price for any item and that comes with experience only. As we all know that tourists from countries like Thailand and Iran do not shell out much on gifts as compared to tourists from European countries and the US, so we price it accordingly,” he said.

“It is a matter of face reading and body language. If we do not master this, it will be impossible for us to survive,” he added.

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