Shopping in malls can become predictable and almost ordinary, but shopping in a wet market is on a league of its own, especially in the Philippines. With the variety of fresh produce and meats to choose from, the unpredictable swarm of market-goers you might have to compete with, and other random occurrences that can only happen there, every trip is a trip to remember. Of course, there are other places where you can buy your groceries, but the prices and varieties offered in Philippine wet markets make the hassle and stress worth it.
Looking for a tip you can carry with you the next time you have to brave the wet market? ShoppersGuide has five! Check them out below.
1. Be an early bird.
The popular saying “the early bird gets the worm” applies for shopping in a wet market.
Fresh produce and meat are usually delivered before the crack of dawn as they come from other parts of the Luzon or even from other parts of the country. Shopping at this time ensures that you get the freshest produce the market has to offer, and since it is still early the place will also be less crowded, so you can shop without having to worry that someone will grab the best items before you do.
That seemingly useless loose change you have lying around the house might just be of big help.
This tip is just common sense. Having sufficient small change with you will make it easier for you and the vendor to transact, especially if you come early in the day when most sellers do not have small bills and change yet. As for the reusable bag, this is a possible savings tactic as more and more vendors are offering plastic bags at a price. Aside from that, you also get to help save the environment by not contributing to waste.
3. Have a suki (favorite) vendor
Having a suki might do you a world of good.
Building rapport isn’t just for the office; it can also prove beneficial in your shopping trip. By having a suki or a favorite vendor, you could have first dibs on his or her best products and maybe even a discount here or there. Besides that, you’d also get to help with your suki’s steady livelihood. Of course, this is a mutual relationship: you also have to play your part in being loyal and committed to your chosen vendor. So choose wisely on who you trust with your meats and produce.
Asking if a discount is possible is never a bad idea.
This is where you get to show off your charisma and your people skills. Although some vendors are not willing to lower the price of their items, there are others who are open for negotiation. By haggling with vendors over your purchases, your wallet might receive a rush of savings. Of course as a buyer, you must also consider if the item is worth asking a discount for. Also try to be as positive and upbeat as possible, since research shows that people who convey positive emotion tend to be more liked.
5. Judge a book by its cover.
When buying meats and produce, only the freshest and the ripest should be selected.
Although you’ve been trying your entire life to not judge anyone or anything based on appearances, this is where you should make an exception. If the items in a stall look spoiled and rotten, it’s better move along and continue searching. When buying any kind of meat, make sure to check its smell, color, and texture. You can tell that the meat is fresh if it doesn’t have foul-smelling odor and has a vibrant color and if its meat fiber isn’t falling apart. As for fruits and vegetables, opt for the ones that are brightly-colored and are firm but not hard.
Shopping in Philippine wet markets for the beginners (and the oblivious) might become a challenge but these tips and tricks will make your mission easy, breezy, and even enjoyable.
Do you have your own shopping in wet market tips you would like to share? We’d love to hear about them in the comments below!
About Eunice Sheene Fulgencio
Eunice knew that she’d be writing for the rest of her life from a very young age. Naturally introverted, she is selective with how she uses her time and who she spends it with. Has a penchant for sweet treats, sentimental proses, and online personality quizzes. A true-blue INFJ.
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