How to shop in Italy like a local?
Italy is home to several famous brands in the world; it presents consumers with excellent quality products and, of course, with more attractive prices than those practiced in other countries, but don’t let it go to your head, all that glitters is not gold! Today I bring you some tips on how to shop in Italy as if you were a local, that is, buying quality items and paying fair prices! Here at Your Travel to Italy with Ana Patricia you make the trip of your dreams!!! ALSO: see our “Accommodation in Italy – Tips for your holidays!”
Let’s go shopping! Ah shopping in Italy! Always delightful. Italy is the birthplace of several famous brands, top quality products and offers very attractive prices, especially if we compare with prices in other countries. But one of the “mistakes” that travelers make most when they go shopping in Italy is the fact that they are dazzled by everything! People, let’s take it easy! Are prices in Italy more attractive? Yes, but each product is different!
How to shop in Italy like a local? Italian products in your country
Nowadays, several Italian products are on sale around the world, and in all sectors: food, cosmetics, clothing, accessories, etc. Some brands already have stores outside Italy, as I mentioned earlier, and the prices – both in Italy and in other countries – are very similar, in other words: it’s not all worth buying here! See the post What is worth buying in Italy?
How to shop in Italy like a local? About famous brands…
Regarding famous brands: Italians like, and appreciate, the quality of the purchased item! And that goes for everything: car, clothing, accessories – especially durable items. For them, it’s much more worthwhile to buy a product of a good brand that will last for a long time, paying 300 euros, to buy something that, perhaps, is not of such a good quality and, in two or three months, it will have to be replaced with a new one. Therefore, our first tip is: prioritize the quality of what you’re buying! Even if you pay a little more.
How to shop in Italy like a local? Another very important thing: the sizes of clothes and shoes
In several stores, the sizes are in English. Why am I talking about size? Because the modeling varies from store to store, as well as in other countries, so whenever possible, try the piece on! For a look at the already converted sizes, you can click here!
Why do you need to know your size?
To avoid buying an incredible piece, which is on a must-have sale, but which isn’t your size! Stolen! Unless you like the “oversized” line or prefer something tighter. Otherwise, you’re going to waste money buying something you’ll never use!
- Buy regional products! They are cheaper, easy to find in many stores and the prices are excellent! If you want to buy clothes and shoes (especially from famous brands), prefer to buy in Milan, Rome or Turin! If you are in Florence, prefer leather items such as jackets, accessories and shoes.
How to shop in Italy like a local? Looking for a souvenir for the whole family?
Browse local craft stores, especially if you’re looking for fridge magnets! They sell magnets at newsstands, for example, but they can be expensive, so take a walk and look for craft stores! You can’t go wrong! The products are beautiful and the prices are very affordable!
Do a lot of research
One should, really, really, shop around! Before travelling! If you want to buy something ‘dreamy’, you can do it again BEFORE you travel. But be careful with the prices, because, as I told you, they can be very close to those practiced in your country.
- Take advantage of outlets throughout Italy! They often offer us incredible values, especially when it comes to clothing and accessories! Discover The best outlets in Rome
- Pack light when you leave home! Why? Because, on the way back, you’ll have a heavier suitcase! Be sure! So: travel with a light suitcase! See our tips: The seasons in Italy! How to pack?
How to shop in Italy like a local? Set a budget for shopping ONLY!
Organize your trip, even financially! Set aside a specific amount to spend ONLY ON YOUR PURCHASES and don’t exceed that value! Make a list of what you would like to buy, review the list, and ask yourself over and over again: “Do I need this?” “Do I find it in my country?” “Does it have to be THAT brand?” We often buy on impulse, and this ends up jeopardizing our entire budget, so it’s important to know what you want to buy and how much, approximately, you are going to spend!
- If you want genuine Italian products, always keep an eye out for the MADE IN ITALY brand! Many products are made in China and Vietnam and sold as Italian products, but they are not always of Italian quality, as they are manufactured in other countries, so if you insist on having an authentic Italian product, always look for the MADE IN ITALY printed on the merchandise.
How to shop in Italy like a local? Don’t be alarmed by very low prices.
Why? Because, most of the time, they are seconds, so the part may have some defect and, therefore, they sell at prices quite below a flawless product! Analyze the piece, look for defects and, if something is not so obvious: why not buy? Some defects are a snag, or an imperceptible scratch in the fabric on the inside, but this is enough to lower the value of the product offered well, so beware!
Another important tip: prefer lesser-known Italian brands!
- Some Italian brands, especially clothing, are not known by the general public, but the quality of the smaller brands leaves NOTHING to be desired for the big brands. So, if you pass by a store that looks interesting to you, but is not ‘known’, just enter! You can get real finds! Really!
- To buy food, sweets, and alike: go straight to the supermarket! You can’t go wrong! You will find the most famous brands, but also excellent quality local brands.
- Don’t make a point of brands! Italy has a multitude of MADE IN ITALY products from little or not known brands that will SURPRISE you! Even when we talk about the famous hazelnut cream: don’t just “stick” to that famous brand that starts with ‘Nu’: there are hazelnut creams as good as that one, as well as white chocolate, pistachio, Gianduia creams, among many other options!
Money or credit card?
If your purchase is not large, prefer paying in cash! Remember that the credit card charges PER OPERATION, that is, it is not worth using for small purchases, or day-to-day, such as paying the bill at the restaurant, so always carry cash with you! Coins? Italians LOVE it! Abuse of coins in Italy! Also read What to do if I lose my credit card in Italy? and How much money should I take to Italy?
Ask for tax free
If available: ask for tax refund! What is it? How does it work? How to ask for it? I invite you to read our special post on the subject! How does Tax Free work in Italy?
How to shop in Italy like a local? Make your purchases during the SALES period!
When are these periods? From January to February and from July to September. The discounts are AWESOME indeed! No exaggeration! Some products offer discounts of up to 80%! Keep an eye out, it’s worth it!
Be careful when queuing to pay for your purchases! Why? Because that’s where the ‘products’ are kept for just EUR 1.99; EUR 9.99… the famous .99! Falling into this temptation can be a mistake, as the products there, not always, are actually worth the price charged, so: pay attention!
How to shop in Italy like a local? Last but not least: prioritize experiences, not products!
All this enchantment with the price of products in Italy is something, really, that only stirs the tourist’s mind, because the Italians themselves live a simple life, without worrying if they will be using THAT famous brand, THAT expensive bag or THAT incredible accessory !
Folks, of course a good quality product is something exceptional, and Italy is master in offering amazing products, but don’t be impressed by everything! Of course, if you spot THAT dreamy item that you know you can only find there, or that in your country it costs double the price: don’t hesitate! But always following the premise: will I use it? It is necessary? Don’t buy on impulse! Never, never, under any circumstances, ok?!
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How to shop in Italy like a local? Buying like a local is prioritizing your money! It’s being aware that there are great products and that they don’t necessarily “carry” a famous and expensive brand! Keep this in mind, don’t fool yourself and buy, in fact, only what is necessary. Otherwise, have a nice trip!
Are you insecure?
If you feel insecure, have no time, and need help to organize your trip, don’t hesitate to contact me! I will love to help you make your dream trip to Italy come true. And how can I do that? Keep reading this post until the end and you will understand how we make your life and your trip much easier 🙂
Did my post help you? If so, be sure to post your comment below, but if you still have questions just send me a message I will answer you as soon as possible!
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