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Old 01-19-2009, 07:01 AM
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My wife considers it great sport to barter with the locals whenever we port - usually doing well. I attended the shopping talks on board for for our first few cruises but discounted their usefulness suspecting it was the cruise line's way of promoting shops that pay them for the sponsorship. A few weeks ago we were in Cozumel and my wife had bartered this guy down from $125 to $70 for a pearl & silver slide. He insisted it was real - as he took her money she rubbed it against her teeth (proven method for authenticity) and the paint came off - she demanded her money back and he accused her of ruining the piece - he demanded she get out of his store. I felt lucky not to be bailing her out of jail as 'm sure the local authorities would side with him. We went to another shop and once again she got a gold charm for a fraction of what they were asking only to find out when we got home when she brought it to her jeweler that it was 'monkey metal' - fake! Man - was she livid! She vows never to shop in Cozumel again - her favorite shopping still in St. Thomas. One cruise she had an issue with a piece she bought from a shop that was sponsored by the ship and was able to get it replaced. After our latest experience we can't help but think about how much of this must go on - imagine those who pay full price!
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Old 01-19-2009, 07:04 AM
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That's a shame, and also puts a black eye on the legitimate merchants out there. Is this something you can take up with your credit card company, or was this a cash purchase?
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Old 01-19-2009, 02:43 PM
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Unfortunately it was a cash purchase.
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Old 01-19-2009, 08:35 PM
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That is a sad thing to happen. I learned the hard way too. I just deal with my tried and true merchants now, I do like to haggle with them a little. At least I know what I'm getting is the real deal.

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Old 01-20-2009, 06:15 AM
 
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<<<<>>>> Caveat emptor.
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Old 01-21-2009, 07:27 AM
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well, i know it is too late, but had i been in the situation, i would have asked the vendor to do the tooth test before i bought it....that way you can't be accused of ruining the piece
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