Shopping Tips from The Women’s Travel Group

Pack heavy tape; boxes and bags are easy to find, but not tape. Same with bubble wrap if you plan to buy ceramics.

Check on Ebay or other, for US prices of foreign goods, then gauge from there for your prices.

Bargain with Dollars and Euros; the latter are more acceptable in many parts of Europe and elsewhere.

Do not change money on Fridays; banks add margins to their rates to protect against weekend fluctuations.

Before you leave, look up the local words for Sale, Special Price and Discount. Google translation can be helpful here.

If shipping anything, photograph it for insurance purposes. Warning: US credit cards do not prevent you from fraudulent purchases overseas.

Make sure insurance and freight forwarding are included in shipping prices.

Know the exchange rates before you bargain; if necessary make a chart with 1,5,10,20 Dollar equivalents, and do not be afraid to ask for a calculator.

If buying expensive items, get recent references from the vendor; do not depend on the guide or tour company to dispute your purchases later on.

Once home, check wood objects for bugs, fabrics for fading or bleeding dyes, and jewelry for wobbly clasps.