Day 9: Market Day

Today in Cape Town was Market Day, which happens every Sunday. We attended three different markets of different levels.

Greenmarket Square

The first one we attended (Green Market Square) was outside and more casual. It was easier to negotiate with these vendors because they wanted your business and may have been newer to the business. It was interesting to interact with the vendors at this market, as they were all black and most likely  not making a substnatial amount of money. The second one was indoors (Blue Craft Barn at the Waterfront) and each small store had a name which was different than the first market. It was more difficult to negotiate with these people because of the quality of their products. They seemed to be more successful than the previous market and did not budge on their prices. Most of the vendors in this market were white and seemed to be making a substantial income as they sold their products in other places as well. The third stop was the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront was very similar to the second, as both were in an enclosed space with set prices. The prices were non-negotiable.

There were many differences between the different markets. The vendors in the second and third markets had more experience and have moved up into these places. They most likely started at the first market and became successful. It was easy to negotiate with the first market because they don’t have much business otherwise. Also, because of this, the vendors in the first market were much more persistant in you buying their goods, so they were willing to decrease their price. The other vendors were not persistant because they likely had other business.

Overall, Market Day was a success. We learned about how to bargain, and how to test the validity of their stories. For example, the vendors in the first market said they or family members made all of their goods, however, many vendors had the same goods which led me to believe that they may have been mass produced.

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