Monday, June 13, 2011

My purchases

Ugh. The MTN network appears to be down, so I have no internet access.
Bummer! Hopefully this will be posted before I get home!

I know that first-time travelers to Ghana sometimes wonder how much they
should pay for certain things. As an obruni, most people here will
charge you at least double what they would take from a Ghanaian person.
You must barter to get the best possible price. I think the key is just
to keep it light-hearted. Lots of smiles, much respect, but also stay
tough on the price you want to pay. If you go to several vendors about
a particular item and none of them will sell it to you for your price,
you know your price is probably too low. Come up a bit and see if that
makes a difference. I usually pay 40-60% lower than the original price
quoted to me. Here are the items (and prices) that I paid for certain
items at the market yesterday:

IN GHANA CEDIS (about 1.5 cedis to every 1 dollar)

Dress for 10 year old girl-- 15 cedis [First price was 25]

Traditional outfit for 6 year old boy (shirts and pants) -- 12 cedis
[First price was 22]

Soccer Jersey (nice material, not t-shirt material) -- 15 cedis
(although I had to work REALLY hard for that price, 20 would be more
normal) [First price was 40!]

Simple single beaded bracelets -- 1 cedi [First price, 2 cedis.]

Beaded Necklace -- 4 cedis [First price 18 cedis.]

2 inch thick wooden bracelets -- 2-4 cedis [First price 10 cedis.]

Bolga Basket (medium size) --25 cedis [First price 50 cedis.]

Bolga Basket (smaller size) -- 15 cedis [First price 40 cedis.]

Oware Game (aka Mancala) -- 10 cedis [First price 20 cedis.]

Artwork (12 X 24) --- 10 cedis (but I think I got a really good deal,
15-20 would have been fine) [First price, 30 cedis.]

Woven Fan -- 3 cedis (probably paid too much) [First price 8 cedis,
which was ridiculous!]

Satchel Bag (small) -- 8 cedis [First price, 12 cedis.]

Satchel Bag (large) --10 cedis [First price, 20 cedis.]

Cloth-- 4-6 cedis per yard, but many times you must purchase at least 2
yards. They don't want to cut it smaller. 2 yard is the size you need
to carry a baby on your back. I got lucky and found a guy who had
several 1 and 1.5 yard "scraps". [First price, 6-8 cedis per yard.]

Small Drum (8")-- 10 cedis. This is for a tourist drum. For larger
drums that people here would actually play, expect to pay 40-200 cedis.
[First price, 18 cedis.]

Small once piece nativity -- 30 cedis (and had to work hard for it)
[First price, 60 cedis.]

Multiple piece ebony wood nativities, expect them to start at 80-100 and
try to get them down to 45-55 cedis.

In comparison, I paid 27.50 (set price) at Global Mamas for Kendi's
dress. It's fair trade and the quality is somewhat better than at the
markets, but it's definitely more expensive!

When I get home I'll add pics to this post. My internet charges me by
how much I upload/download, so I can't afford to upload many pics right now!

Anita Gillispie
mom to Taevy (9, Cambodia), Samren (8, Vietnam), Bright (4, Ghana) and Kendi (2, Ghana)