Nine tips for perfect overseas shopping - including good manners in Paris and handing over money in Malaysia

Travellers planning on splashing their cash when on holiday have been warned about some of the pit-falls they may face.

Monday, 17th June 2019, 10:13 am
How to buy abroad

Researchers at online presents retailer come up with nine handy tips to help shoppers make the most of their time – and money – whilst travelling abroad.

The travelling tips include not expecting to be able to shop in Spain between the hours of 2pm and 5pm and ensuring you don’t hand folded notes to Japanese cashiers.

A spokesperson from Personalised Gifts Shop said: “Going on holiday abroad is the perfect time for a shopping spree whilst saving money due to exchange rates and cheaper taxes.

“Each country does, however, have its own etiquette when it comes to do’s and don’ts when buying your items.

“Haggling in countries such as Morocco is well-known, but our list includes lesser-known tips, such as making sure women don’t try on clothes when shopping in Saudi Arabia and not being alarmed when members of staff follow you in South Korean department stores.

“Just make sure you’ve got enough space in your suitcase to bring your purchases back.”

Here are Personalised Gifts Shop‘s nine tips to help holidaymakers make the most of their spending spree:

1. Spain

The Spanish siesta is still very common, with many of Spain’s shops closing between the hours of 2pm to 5pm. Originally it was to give those working in the fields the opportunity to shelter from the harsh mid- afternoon sun and it seems to have stuck! Also check if you’re visiting Spain during a Fiesta. Spaniards take their celebrating very seriously and will be up until the small hours, meaning everywhere is shut the next day.

2. Japan

The Japanese are well-known for their manners, and they’re no different when it comes to paying for your shopping. Notes are expected to be handed to the cashier fully unfolded in order to save them time. If you’re also paying by card this should be placed on top of the cash when you hand it over, to ensure to cashier doesn’t miss it.

3. Middle East

In the Middle East it is deemed acceptable to haggle over prices when you are purchasing items. When shopping in their markets, however, only ask the seller the price of an item if you’re considering buying it, as this is seen as the start of negotiations.

4. France

When entering smaller boutiques and shops in France, particularly Paris, it is good etiquette to say ‘Bonjour’ to the clerk who is working there. Good manners will help make you shopping experience even better.

5. Saudi Arabia

It is not un-common to find separate male and female areas when it comes to shopping in malls. It is also frowned upon for women to try on clothes when considering what to purchase.

6. Finland

If you were hoping to buy wine and spirits in Finland, you need to look out for specific ‘Alko’ shops. The government owned store is the only place you can buy beer over 5.5%, with less alcoholic options being sold in food stores.

7. South Korea

When shopping in department stores and some markets, salesclerks will follow you around closely. This isn’t because they don’t trust you, but is seen as being polite as they are there straight away should you need to ask them anything.

8. Italy

It is seen as bad manners to touch items on display in many shops in Italy, especially up-market fashion houses. If you want to buy something, you should point at the item and the seller or clerk will come and help you with your purchase.

9. Malaysia

When paying it is expected that money will be handed over with your right hand. The left hand is seen as unclean and extremely rude in Malaysia.