Morocco is the land of amazing carpets full of color and design. Moroccan carpets can be grouped into two catagoris: rural and urban, Berber or Arab. Some are influenced by the oriental designs of the Middle East and are beautifully decorated. Berber carpets are unique in their design. Their work is modern and goes well with the Western home design.
Some of the best carpets can be found in the medinas of Marrakech and Fes. If you have ready to buy a carpet, you should be prepared for barganing as Moroccan carpets do not have fixed prices. The medina in Marrakech is a highly frequented tourist destination and this has driven prices up. You may have a local guide who can assist with purchasing a carpet.
A general rule before entering a carpet shop with the idea of buying will be to check on the prices and variety of carpets in the local cooperation as this will give you an idea of where some set prices are. Most likely you will be able to get a better deal after skillfully haggling.
When entering a carpet’s shop, you will be warmly welcomed and asked some basic questions. These small talk questions actually have great significance since they will determine the initial price of the carpet.
Questions like: Where are you from? How long have you been into the city? Have you been before in the country and the city? may be asked. It can seem as completely innocent to begin your conversation with. Your answers will provide valuable information to the salesman who will then give you the sum. You will be offered mint tea to drink. Keep cool during the process and smile once in a while to keep the game going while prices are being exchanged. This process will be repeated till you agree on a price.
Top Tips for bargaining:
- Keep your cool at all cost
- Do not be over enthusiastic about which carpet you like
- Stay polite
- If you hear an outrageously high price, counter-offer with an outrageously low offer
- Set up a budget and stick to it
- If in the end you do not find a carpet you like, you may move onto another shop