Cape Town Shopping

Oct 28th, 2002, 01:37 AM
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Cape Town Shopping

We are visiting Cape Town next August. Presuming that the Rand is still fairly weak, are there many bargains in the shops? I am particularly interested in jewellery - both gold & diamonds are locally produced - is jewellery a VERY good buy? Should I start saving now!!
Oct 28th, 2002, 08:36 AM
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I have not found that gold & diamond jewelry is cheaper in SA, but it sure is fun to shop for it in the country where it was dug up!
Oct 28th, 2002, 08:51 AM
Selwyn Davidowitz
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Hello Gerda,

Many people who come to South Africa believe jewellery is cheaper in SA relative to the rest of the world only because all the diamonds and gold are found in our land. They would be wrong in thinking so. Diamonds and gold come at a standard price that is Dollar based throughout the world. With that said the only gain that one will obtain by buying jewellery in SA is via a Dollar/Rand exchange rate on the labour content of making the jewellery.

Also note that most tourguides and operators will not tell you the above as they are intent on having sales made and grabbing commissions.

The only way to go when buying is to find I a diamond wholesaler in Cape Town. When doing so you could save about 10-15% of the Dollar cost. Diamond wholesalers are at the bottom of the food chain. I.e they obtain the diamonds from the mines and sell them to the jewellers. Their prices are thus the wholesale prices of diamonds and are much cheaper than the retail sector. Most of these wholesalers have facilities to set these stones however this takes time to do. If you want to buy stones from a wholesaler I would recommend the purchase however it would be advisable to have the settings done back home if time is a problem of any nature. All wholesalers generally have the facility of having their stones certified and I would strongly suggest that you ask for this certificate no matter what.

As far as purchasing anything else in Cape Town is concerned I would suggest that you start saving now as you will find many, many, many bargains.

Hope this helps.

Oct 28th, 2002, 11:01 AM
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I just returned from a visit to CapeTown and spent a fair amount of time looking at jewelry. It is not cheaper and one should note that that which appears to be less is often 9 kt. Fun to shop, but saw no real bargains there.
Oct 28th, 2002, 04:49 PM
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Unfortunately there are no real savings to be realized on either gold or diamonds in South Africa. As a native of Los Angeles, I found there prices to be every bit as expensive as any jewelery store in the United States and far more expensive the Jewelry District of Downtown Los Angeles.
That is not to say that most everything else in South Africa is not cheap. My wife and I had a difficult time spending more than $50 USD per day and that was while eating out every day for two meals a day with a bottle of wine with most of our dinners.
If you really want to be amazed, go to a grocery store in Cape Town and see how cheap everything is.
For example, my wife and I went to an upscale market and bought a freshly made footlong sandwich from their deli that would've been about $5 in Los Angeles, fresh fruit (sliced) that would have been another $3 or $4 here, a 20 oz. Coke (maybe $1.50 here) and potato chips ($1 here) all for less than the equivalent of $3 USD.
Real estate is also very inexpensive in case Cape Town mesmerizes you as much as it has my wife and I. We literally spent two entire days looking at real estate and even went into escrow on a 0.4 acre parcel of land in a gated community in Hout Bay. Unfortunately, the Rand was at 11.5 when we made the offer and went down to below 10.5 within a one month period, meaning that our $80,000 parcel of land was now closer to $90,000. That and the fact that we were not successful in offering any less than a 50% down payment as foreigners, knocked us out of the market, this time anyhow. We do hope to buy a home there in the next few years and if we are blessed, pay off some real estate that we own in the U.S. and be able to use it as income generating property that would allow us to spend significant time in Cape Town, possibly even half the year!
Cape Town is a great city that I am sure you will love.

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