#1: When You Hear "Looking Is Free" - You Should Make A Mental Note That Nothing Is Ever Free
On my past cruise to Cozumel and Progreso, I continually heard shop owners yell the phrase "Looking is free". This was to make tourists feel welcome into their shops and encourage them to buy something. However, in many smaller stores, looking is not free. If someone showed any interest in a shop, many of these store clerks or owners would hound them to buy something. Looking at stuff in some of these shops comes with opportunity to be continually hounded by store's owner to buy something.
#2: Many Stores Sell Very Similar Things, But At Different Prices
In many ports of call around the world the stores often sell very similar things. However, the price is usually not the same. Before buying something, look at some other shops to be sure you cannot get the same item for less. In Cozumel, my family learned this lesson the hard way. We negotiated an item down to $25.00, but later found it for $10.00 in another store.
#3: When Negotiating Don't Fall For "My Boss Says I Can't Give The Item For Less Than.."
A sly trick I have heard many sales clerks use during negotiating with cruise passengers is their boss won't allow any item to go below a certain price. While this may be true in some cases, often the sales clerks are trying to make the most possible off of the cruiser. If you want to test the clerk's claim tell them you do not want the item and start to walk away. If the clerk then goes lower in price, the chances they lied to you are great.
#4: Count All Cash Out To The Cashier
When you are paying, do not hand your money to the clerk in a wad. You may have a clerk that purposefully miscounts your money to make you think you owe more. Instead, count out the money in front of the clerk as you hand it to him or her. For example, if you owe $5.00 and want to pay in all one dollar bills, you could hand each dollar bill to the clerk individually.
#5: Some Stores Will Try To Disguise Themselves As Cruise Line Affiliated, But They Are Really Not
Occasionally, you will see stores that try to make cruise ship passengers believe they are one of the cruise line's recommended stores. Always check with your cruise line for recommended port of call shops and try to stick to those shops. If a shop is trying to make cruisers believe they are cruise line recommended, but they are really not, try to avoid this shop altogether because you never know what else they may try to scam you with.