Pushy Vendors

When on vacation I always enjoy doing a little shopping.  But one of the hardest things to deal with and that really takes away from an enjoyable experience is overly pushy vendors.  You can find them in several different countries though Egypt is the worse place I have seen. 

While in the Caribbean, as soon as we got of the bus at a tourist site, we were surrounded by vendors who would try and put items in our hands and then insist that we pay for them.  When I got of the bus a man shoved a figurine in my arm and then refused to take it back.  So I carefully placed the item on the ground and walked away.

In Egypt, there were street vendors set up at many of the tourist sites.  At times we were surrounded by pushy vendors.  Which made it impossible to shop.  The nice thing about going with a tour group is that the tour guide will take you to some nice places to shop where there are no pushy vendors. 

No matter where you are, if you come across pushy vendors you should never engage them.  They will try to start a conversation with you and then tell you they have a special deal just for you and you’ll never get away from them.  Often times they will ask you where you are from as a way to start a conversation.

We call having to walk through these vendor areas, which are often at the exits often tourist sites, running the gantlet. It is best not to even make eye contact with them.  If you look they will take that as a sign you are interested.  Walk quickly. 

The video below is my son and I walking through a small market.  We were trying to get through it as quickly as we could.  At one point we just couldn’t get by two slow walking men.  You can hear one man trying to guess where I am from.  This market was mild compare to some we had to maneuver through.  I even saw vendors hold on to a mans arm to keep him from walking away.

Some people in our tour group really got upset and let these pushy vendors get to them but if you go prepared its not really that big of a deal. 

* Don’t make eye contact
* Don’t look at them
* Don’t speak to them or answer any questions.
* Completely ignore them or just shake your head and say no.
* Don’t take anything from them including a “free gift”
* If they put something in your hand or on you and won’t take it back, gently sit it on the ground and
   walk away.