Best items for use in bartering in Tanania?

Jan 5th, 2008, 05:32 AM
  #1  
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Best items for use in bartering in Tanania?

I have read here that pens paper and tshirts and jeans are good items to use , but was wondering what items are most valuable to native Tanzanians.

As I mentioned in this other thread regarding buying and shipping sculptures back home:
http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...t=0&dirtyBit=1

I plan on possibly making a number of purchases, most of which will have to be shipped home.
Im not sure if most sellors prefer cash or should I try to aquire items that are in short supply and if so can anyone reccomend the best list of items to use in that respect?

Another idea I read would be inexpensive Timex watches. My problem would be determining the value of the watch to the person I am offering it to. Hence my need to know what is most valuable to Tanzanians. I have not done a whole lot of bartering so this will be a learning experience for me.

Thanks again guys.
Kmank is offline  
Jan 5th, 2008, 09:33 AM
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Best item? Cash! If you're purchasing wood carvings, you'll probably be doing so in established shops, as mentioned in your other thread (Cultural Heritage Centre, for instance.) They'll also take credit cards.

If you're in a Maasai village, they'll have a lot of beaded items, but not much in the way of carvings. While they might be willing to trade some items, you'll probably still have to part with some cash.
ShayTay is offline  
Jan 5th, 2008, 10:04 AM
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And your old takkies.
luangwablondes is offline  
Jan 5th, 2008, 11:21 AM
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"Takkies"?
ShayTay is offline  
Jan 5th, 2008, 12:09 PM
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I might even have new ones, if I knew what they were. Takkies?

I paid for something with a baseball hat one time. It was one of those designed to look rugged and weathered, but it was brand new for the trip. The Maasais I was bargaining with did not believe me that the cap was new. They kept saying, "Look at it. This is not a new hat. Don't try to tell me it is new." So I didn't get the best exchange rate for it.
atravelynn is offline  
Jan 5th, 2008, 12:42 PM
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sneakers. tennis shoes. beat up, torn, smelly, old, ugly, worn and ready to be recycled in Africa for more mileage -- shoes. Can't find laces for those special shoes, then take them to Africa with some mismatched laces. Btw. the wider the better.
luangwablondes is offline  
Jan 5th, 2008, 09:50 PM
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Something very strange to us, but I cannot count the number of times people at the shops (Zambia) asked for tee shirts. They esp. love ones with sports and brand logos. Go figure. One reaon why perhaps, is that it was virtually impossible to find shops selling tees. Actually rather refreshing.

And, totally unlike Mexico, the Philippines and virtually any other place I've traveled where every other shop is peddling tee shirts.

Jim
steeliejim is offline  
Jan 6th, 2008, 02:51 AM
  #8  
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Thanks for the responses so far guys,
any and all info is appreciated .

If I have room after all my hiking and photo gear I will try to bring some of my Tee'sthat are in good shape that dont fit anymore along with some of the other items I mentioned.

Yes I imagine cash is still king but if I have something that cash cannot easily buy over there then that may be better in certain circumstances.

Cheers
Kmank is offline  
Jan 7th, 2008, 05:19 AM
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When we were there I believe people bartered and paid with cash. Pens, pencils and t-shirts were given as gifts; not used as barter. We took a large number of pencils and a few pencil sharpeners and donated them to a local school.
Bobcaat is offline  
Jan 7th, 2008, 06:26 AM
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I was curious about "takkies" so I googled it--athletic shoes!!
JaneB is online now  
Jan 7th, 2008, 02:04 PM
  #11  
 
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We were in Tanz less than a week ago and they were BEGGING to trade for anything that we had, but were most interested in wrist watches. Take some inexpensive watches plus extra batteries if you can.

Good luck!
cat_lover is offline  
Jan 8th, 2008, 02:18 AM
  #12  
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Thanks guys appreciate the posts!

I have purchased a few inexpensive yet decent quality name brand watches to bring with me.

And I have been planning to bring some pens and pencils strictly as gifts as well 8)
Kmank is offline  
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