How to cheat in the markets of Egypt: read and don't be fooled

How to cheat in the markets of Egypt: read and don't be fooled

Egyptian markets know how to be attractive: magical aromas, smiling sellers, exciting fuss – it is absolutely impossible to pass by without looking at least with an eye. Especially when they literally grab you under white hands and practically forcefully bring you into the shop, simultaneously putting huge mangoes, then some multi-colored trinkets, then figures of camels and pyramids “made of real stone!” into a prepared bag.

“Subtleties” are sure: the Egyptian market is a must-see. At least in order to feel its atmosphere and watch how skillfully the locals bargain. True, one should not forget that it is in the markets that guests of the country are most often deceived. Here are five of the most common ways.

1. Do not use understandable numbers

In the markets of Egypt, on the price tags (if they exist at all), you can often see some incomprehensible symbols instead of the usual numbers. In fact, these are also numbers. Moreover, these numbers are even Arabic. Only not our Arabic, but Egyptian Arabic, and an ordinary tourist will not be able to understand what they mean: there is no skill. Of course, you can check with the seller, as they say, “how mach.” And hear anything in response, except for what is actually written on the price tag. If it is important for you to understand the real price that is indicated for the goods, before going to the market, download the table where the Egyptian letters are translated into an understandable number system.

2. They call “tourist” prices

It's already a classic. The absence of price tags on goods is, of course, not carelessness at all. Egyptian traders perfectly see which of the tourists can take more. If an older woman in gold jewelry and a young guy in a T-shirt and shorts come to the same counter, they will definitely hear a different price. But in any case, it will be tourist, that is, much higher than for their own.

3. Can't find change

If you are going to the market of Hurghada, Sharm or another resort, you should stock up on smaller banknotes – unless, of course, your plans include an attraction of unprecedented generosity. Because with a large bill, the seller, by a sad coincidence, will not be able to find change. It's such a hassle! Moreover, he will do everything that is possible: he will loudly and expressively interrogate all the neighbors, look in all the pockets – and not just once, but in the end he will sadly shrug his hands: no change, Inshaallah! And do you feel sorry for a couple of dollars? Of course, it’s not a pity, but he gets 1-2 dollars from each tourist by the end of the day, a hefty increase in revenue. Not counting, of course, the legal tourist markup.

4. They give change with the wrong banknotes

However, in some cases (for example, if a tourist is caught especially tight), change is still found. The 50 piastres notes are great for her – they are almost out of circulation, but some merchants save them just for such cases, slipping them instead of 50 Egyptian pounds. Travelers, of course, do not understand native cash: the banknote says 50, and 50 of which is the tenth thing. At the same time, there are 100 piastres in one pound, so such an innocent substitution is a way to make money on change by 100 times. On the other hand, when else will you feel like a real pirate with 50 piastres in your belt? Kar-r-ramba!

What else to read on the topic

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  • Why Hurghada is for simpletons, and Sharm is for the rich ?

5. They sell fakes

In Egypt, it is recommended to buy local cotton, papyrus, teas, spices, and gold. True, in order not to run into a fake, you need to know trusted outlets. And it's definitely not the nearest market. Cotton is Chinese there, papyrus is the cheapest, made from banana leaves (it is shaggy along the edge and breaks at the folds), tea is flavored with no idea what, but they give a good taste, so in the end the stunning taste of the drink will overtake you only at home. As well as the answer to the question – was it worth paying three hundred pounds for it? You should not hunt for spices and gold items in the markets either. First and at home you can buy at reasonable prices, tea, not the Middle Ages in the yard. And for gold, you need to go only to the place where all the necessary documents will be issued for it. Yes, there are such places in Egypt too!

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