Shopping in Morocco

May 20th, 1999, 09:37 AM
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Shopping in Morocco

We will be honeymooning in Morocco this summer and we love to shop. Any suggestions about what to buy and where?
May 20th, 1999, 03:24 PM
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The best things to buy are found in the medinas. Don't bother with Tangier or Casablanca; boring port cities. Fez and Marrakesh have the wonderful medinas; hire a licensed guide through either your hotel or at the tourist office and tell them you'd like to shop. They'll not only give you wonderful info about the city, but take you places you might not see if you were on your own, and then they'll take you to reputable dealers.
Things to buy: rugs, blue cloth of the Berbers, decorated tea glasses, pottery, tagine (cooking pots), spices, wrought iron lamps with leather shades, and inlaid tables and chests.
You are expected to bargain; it gets wearing after a while, but grit your teeth and get through it!
In the mountain village of Chefchaouen, we found some wonderful pottery and cloth.
May 25th, 1999, 09:05 AM
Jeff Spirer
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I would agree that Marrakech and Fes are good places to shop, however, a guide is totally unneccesary in Marrakech. The souks are very easy to navigate in Marrakech and the shops easily found.

One thing to watch out for is shipping costs back to the US. We bought an immense glass and iron lamp and it cost more to ship than to buy. We didn't know this until the call came when it arrived in the US.

Regarding bargaining - it is possible to get things at a very reasonable price, but it calls for an iron will. We found that typically giving a price of 1/3 asking price and not moving up as they come down works. We had started out with the usual back and forth, eventually meeting them in the middle, but after watching some of the locals do transactions, it was obvious we were paying way too much. Twice we walked out of stores because they would not meet our 1/3 asking and no negotiating, and both times they chased us down the street and agreed to the price. Also, try going to stores at closing time, you can get your own price much faster. And bargain for everything - we negotiated down meal prices, taxi prices, candy, whatever.
May 25th, 1999, 01:53 PM
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How do you arrange to ship the things you purchase back to the states? Do you use a shipping company and/or a consolidator?
Do you make the arragements that beforehand or do you arrange in in Morocco?

Can anyone suggest names of shipping companies?
May 25th, 1999, 06:37 PM
Jeff Spirer
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The store will arrange shipping to the US. I don't think there is any other way to do it, and I don't think you can get better pricing on the shipping anyway. It's just expensive. By the way, the packing was extraordinary - it took me half an hour to take apart the box our lamp arrived in.

One thing you should do is take an extra suitcase. We took a large rolling duffel empty since we planned to buy some things there. It was filled for the return (and we had to carry a few things too.) You are really better off doing this except for very large items.
Jun 9th, 1999, 05:53 PM
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I would suggest sending only from very reputable stores, even if it is more expensive. The tagine dishes we bought in the shop in the Palmeraie hotel, arrived very poorly wrapped with newspaper and egg crates, and most pieces were broken. We could never get any insurance to pay for it, as we realized later that the invoice was made on the letterhead of a flower shop in Paris! We should have checked better. But what we bought and had sent by La Mamounia hotel arrived fast and in perfect shape.

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