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Beware of Scam!

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San Jose, California
12 posts
Beware of Scam!

If a tour guide takes you to oil canvas paint shop, Don't buy it! unless you get 80 to 90% discount on the asking price. I believe they all work together as a team. If tour guide brings customers than he will probably get a commission. The store owner tried to sell me oil canvas painting for $200usd and claimed that the canvas was painted by a well known artist. I haggle with him and bought it for $35usd. As we were leaving I saw a 6 year old boy sitting in the back of the shop painting all the pictures. He was tracing the picture with a stencil. LoL. I'm so glad I was able to barter the price down. I felt bad for the man joining our tour group because he fell for the scam. He bought the painting for $170 thinking that he got a great deal.

Haggle before you buy anything in DR. Ask for 80 to 90% if they don't agree just walk away. They will run after you. These sellers are money hungry. This young man was trying to sell me 2 fresh coconut for $24! Once again i haggle with him and bought 2 for $2.

Barrie, Canada
Level Contributor
2,073 posts
16 reviews
21. Re: Beware of Scam!

I have some valuable swamp land for sale from a well known realator.

Punta Cana...
Level Contributor
24,104 posts
22. Re: Beware of Scam!


sorry guys, but i name that just simple plain stupid.

a well known artist?, waht's the name of the artist and where do you know that well known artists work from which you claim they copied/scammed???

20 pounds for a Bag that you see to be worth 5 ppounds?, heck, so why did you pay 20 bucks for what so value at just 5 bucks?

of course you could never find any painting of any "well known artist" anywhere for a couple hundred bucks, heck, well known artists do not sell their paintings in masses(that shop had a couple hundred similar paintings shown there, right?) at a touristy street store where your tourguide drags you in to make a extra comission(which is usual on all tours you can take around the area).

the going rates for those paintings are between US$5.- and US$10.- depending on size of the painting, the very big ones go for around $35.- -max $50.- per piece as the usual going rates.

Vendors are of course used to visitors to haggle down a lo, A LOT!, so of course they show a high starting price, if a buyer does not haggle it down enough means they made a extra profit, but a Scam?

think first and always first what a specific item form a specific "well known artist" is worth for you to have it, and then haggle around that price, doesn't matter what a sales person asks for.

a painting of which ever "artist"/painter is only worth what it is really worth of a value to You, the buyer, who wants to hang it on the wall at home.

happy smart shopping


Burlington, Canada
Level Contributor
28 posts
23. Re: Beware of Scam!

flabbyprum, I read your post yesterday and knew what way most of the responses would go, with the inevitable 'pile on' posters. Typical of many forums. Don't sweat the negative responces as your op had no malicious intent.

Bebington, United...
Level Contributor
1,294 posts
34 reviews
24. Re: Beware of Scam!

Mike, not stupid, just inexperienced.

The OP had value, maybe not for you with your worldly experience but obviously does for many new travellers, we werent all born with this sixth sense of when you go to DR you have to haggle.

I agree it wasn't a scam, it is the way of trading in many countries, as I said I was 17, on my first trip abroad and had no idea about haggling for a bargain. I learnt pretty quick and passed that on to my son.

We didn't have TA way back then (It was a long time ago) where open forums could offer help and the benefit of their own experiences to others.

Believe it or not, there are loads of people out there less travelled who really don't know how things work outside their own countries and value the lessons learnt and shared by others.

United Kingdom
Level Contributor
2,691 posts
25. Re: Beware of Scam!

I cannot understand what all this fuss is about. Everywhere through out the developing world where tourism is a big income earner, this sort of thing is going on. How else do the local populace make money? There is nothing wrong with it!

It could be paintings, it could be products sculptured out of wood it could be new mouldings of ancient Chinese vases, it could be anything like [insert your own item here]. It matters little. If you like something and you have money already allocated and burning a hole in your pocket, then you are going to consider the purchase. If you are daft enough and gullible enough to pay the full price, you are a fool and as stated in another thread (tips) a fool and his money are easily parted. If you do not apply due diligence then that is your problem. Nobody else's whatsoever. No matter what gets posted saying " ahh! but or whatever". It is your money and if you are happy then that is the end of it. If you later see by whatever method is available to you (looking through a window, reading something, comparing with someone else's purchase), that you could have got it at a fraction of the price, then you have joined the ranks of the people who have gained knowledge by experience. When you buy something and this applies even in our developed world you do the following:

1. Apply due diligence.

2. Listen.

3. Watch.

4. Learn.

5. Never trust a tour guide who takes you to a place to purchase anything. This is the last place you must buy.

6. Carry out paragraphs 1 to 5 again.

Not sure? Walk away.

By the way in Thailand and this now applies in just about ever 3rd world country, the vendors carry calculators and show you a price. They start at silly prices at the top. I say no and they give me the calculator to put my price in. I stuff the calculator into my pocket and we all start laughing and now the communication starts because we are now friends. You cannot do business with enemies.

By the way I have more short sleeved shirts that I can shake a stick at and more paintings in the loft that I can count. I got what I wanted at the price that did not break my bank and the vendor made a small profit for his/her work.

Sheffield, United...
Level Contributor
1,824 posts
35 reviews
26. Re: Beware of Scam!

Take a tip from a seasoned 'haggler' of the Marrakech souks.

Don't show any interest till you sure you want to purchase.....

Smile.... Start negotiations and start low...

If seller wants a sale ( you can bet they do!) price WILL come down...

Keep your head and be firm but be fair and give a price you know you can both walk away satisfied...

Shake on that price and deal done.

Walk away if you both can't agree.... More goodies will be just round the corner.!!!!

New Jersey
Level Contributor
633 posts
9 reviews
27. Re: Beware of Scam!

I personally don't like posts such as this one because its typical of certain travelers that keep trying to reinforce this unfounded image that the DR (and others like it) are these third world countries where everybody is trying to take advantage of the poor innocent tourists and that you have to watch your back at all times. I was reading another post the other day from somebody that was telling possible travelers to beware and avoid the hotel photographers because they are crooks as one was trying to rip them off and scam them. The photographer wanted $800 for a CD of the pictures from their photo shoot, yet when asked that that person person confirmed they went on a photo shoot with that photographer for over 2 hours and never negotiated a price or budget for the digital prints upfront. Hello???

Please...this goes on times Square in NY CIty and just about anywhere else in the world. The vendors are trying to make you pay inflated prices and there is a good chance the taxi driver will try to overcharge you there too.

Its not a scam, its not because its the DR....its a free market and use common sense.

Sheffield, United...
Level Contributor
1,824 posts
35 reviews
28. Re: Beware of Scam!

Oh and by the way any country selling goods with no price tag is open to negotiations in my book....

it's no scam it's called trading.....

29. Re: Beware of Scam!

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