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“Avoid at ALL costs!”
Review of Crafts Market

Crafts Market
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Kingston Highlights Tour from Montego Bay
Ranked #58 of 78 things to do in Montego Bay
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Reviewed April 10, 2012

We joined this hop-on-and-off tram thing on a recent cruise to the western Caribbean in Jan. Montego bay was the first stop of three and we decided to just get the tram thing, for 15 bucks. This was one of the stops and i sure wish i had just stayed on back to the boat. When we first stepped off the tram there was a local there who pushed (literally) us towards their and their friends shops. Normally i am a laid back person, but i was continually pushed,pulled, yelled at by the shops owners. I quickly left not wanting neither their attention or the things they sold. I would advise people to not shop there!

3  Thank missmegan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 16, 2012

We decided to go to the craft market to get some cheap sourvenirs. we took a tour bus from our hotel. the tour guide handed us off to a lady who had a booth there. Immediately, we were swarmed but all the ladies who had a booth asking us to come to their booth next. Each booth is a little hit that is poorly lit and can get warm. The ladies will fan you while you shop while they encourage you to pick up things to buy. It was pushy. They would stand in the entryway almost preventing you from leaving. They will bargain with you. I noticed a painting that I liked. Initially, I was told $30 but was quickly lowered to $20 without me saying anything except turning to leave.

These women are poor and this is the way they keep a roof over their heads. I felt bad about not buying things but I felt pushed and pulled by them. As soon as you stepped out of one booth another lady is practically you to her booth. They quickly separated us from each other. One older lady kept harrassing me to come to her booth. I finally went and did not purchase anything. All the booths sell virtually all the same stuff. Afterwards, she kept mumbling something and giving me the evil eye.

I thought this craft market would be similar to the straw market in Nassau. This was different given the aggressive sale techniques. It was hard to tell what was actually made on the island and what was imported from China. This place is not for the faint at heart. Granted I do not take much pleasure in shopping, but talking to other parties in my group who love to shop thought it was overwhelming as well.

3  Thank inthewind2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 28, 2012

We hired a taxi who took us to 'his people' running a crowded, dark alley of enclosed huts the size of a large port-a-potty. Unfortunately, that is where most of the trinkets you find here belong, a port-a-potty. Very pushy, they coerced us to crowd in with them into these hot, dark, unlit shacks, forcing items upon us and guilting us into buying something. After 10 minutes of this, (we seemed to be the only tourists there), we were so rattled, we rushed with our driver back to the cruise terminal, where I gave him a handsome tip for not kidnapping or robbing us. Never go to this hell-hole of a 'shopping experience'...

3  Thank ron o
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2012

I took the $10 shuttle from the Sunset Beach resort with the expectation of finding some good bargains. We made 4 stops where we were given 30 minutes to shop. We were expected to first go to the designated gift shop before we could walk around the other stores. I have a few tips for those of you who are looking for a bargain.

Tip 1: If you see something you want to buy, walk away for a few minutes.
In the first gift shop, I asked the clerk what was the best price she could give me on a Jamaican shirt. She said she would sell it to me for a discount price of $15.00. I said I would think about it. I continued to walk around the store. The clerk came by and told me I could have the shirt for $12.00. So, I decided to buy it. The clerk told the girl at the cash register to ring it up for $12.00. Something didn't make sense about the money I had to pay.
This leads to Tip #2: Always check your receipt.
When I looked a the receipt , I noticed I was charged $16.00 and not the $12.00. When I identified this error, the girl immediately gave me $4.00 back. It was quite obvious that this error was intentional.
Tip #3. Be assertive when you bargain.
Our last stop was the craft market. As soon as my family and I stepped off the shuttle, a group of women directed us to visit their shops which are actually tiny shacks that display their products. One women begged me to purchase a bracelet that she put on my hand and a tiny wood turtle for $10.00. I knew this was a rip off , but I felt sorry for her because you knew she lived in poverty and depends on these sales. So, I agreed to buy it.
I did get a great bargain on 2 homemade bracelets which had the Jamaican colors on it.
As I was getting ready to board the shuttle, a street person started placing a bracelet on my son and I said "Okay, I will just buy one". He said it was $2.00. Before I knew it, he was placing another one on me. For $1.00 more he would sell me the second bracelet.
So $1.50 for these bracelets was a good deal. Since the hotel gift shop was selling them for $3.00 each.
Tip #4. Read the label. At the airport, there are 50 shops you can visit. I went into the Coffee and Spice store to pick up some Jerk Seasoning. I looked at the label of this one jar. It was Island Spices made in Wisconsin. I bought another jar that was authentically made in Jamaica.

16  Thank ProudToBeCanadian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed December 29, 2011

we were very dissappointed when we went on a half day trip to Montego bay (organised by Jamaica Tours Ltd) ; the plan was to get a feeling of local lifestyle and sightseeing, and to buy local stuff such as scotch bonnet sauce, a handmade barret for some of our friends and some of the famous blue mountain coffee.

During this trip, we were first dropped at a souvenir shop run by an indian guy at the hip strip, and noticed immediately that the price of the items was the same as in the hotel shops (rum, clothing, coffee), and unopened boxes of souvenirs saying "made in china"....
We did buy some bottles of hot sauce, and clearly the tour organiser and bus driver were angry that we didn't buy more.
We were not even allowed to walk a 200 m further along the hip strip, they only wanted us to buy in this one shop.

Second stop was this craft market.
It was totally different than what I think it should be, it was just a bunch of shops selling all the same kind of "rubbish" which I would assume a lot is made in china too ;-)
Difficult to determine what was really made by locals.
We only found the handmade barret at one location, and they asked 20 $, which they where prepared to lower to a 12 $ - OK, we did buy it, but I can make it myself at home for much less. Afterwards we bought a better one at the hotel shop for less.
We ended up giving some people just a few $ without wanting any item back (because we do realise they have to make a living of this), and spending the rest of the free time at the parking lot.

Our conclusion is that we payed a 20 $ per person to go to Montego Bay on an escorted trip to buy overpriced rubbish, which we could have bought in the hotel and spend the day relaxing at the pool.

Remark also that the "courtesy police" was present at both locations; to prevent tourist from being harrased apparently.

Not recommendable

7  Thank chitza
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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