Footpath Shopping in Mumbai

Residents of Mumbai are well aware that the best bargains while shopping in Mumbai are to be had from footpath vendors. A wonderful place to bag good deals is in (1) Bandra and (2) Dadar. In Bandra, the most commonly sought-after goods are jeans, tops & handbags; in Dadar it is clothes – all types & styles.

Before you go shopping, here are some important tips:
* While Bandra & Dadar areas are generally crowded at any given time of day, it is best to avoid going there after 5p.m. In the mornings, visit after 11a.m., by which time all the stores will be open.
* If children are in tow, keep a tight grip on their hands as they can easily get lost in the crowds (this said from personal experience).
* Keep an equally tight grip of your handbags; ensure that the outer pockets are properly zipped up.
* Remember to hold on to your mobile when in a shop, as you may get carried away by your shopping spree & carelessly leave it somewhere.

In Dadar, the best day to visit is on a Monday, when you are likely to get even lesser rates. For example, a pair of casual pants bought on a week day for Rs.60/- could be had for Rs.40/- on the first day of the week. Also, anywhere in Mumbai & most cities in India, ‘boney’ time is when you are guaranteed to get your way – that is, when you are the first customer. Vendors consider it inauspicious if their first customer goes away without buying anything. So bargain repeatedly till you are happy!

Another reason to roam around in Dadar on a Monday is the unusual items that are sold. There is one vendor who sells some kind of cutting implement that speedily chops vegetables of all kinds. He will perch on a small stool; spread a cloth in front of him with cabbages, carrots, onions and potatoes. Then he will start chopping the vegetables. Within seconds, a small crowd will gather around him. What amuses me no end is that all the onlookers are men & not ladies (who are actually the ones who do the veg-chopping at home)! With intense concentration, they watch the spectacle in front of them – one would think they had nothing better to do.

Then there is the vendor selling small parrots. When pressed, the parrot emits a shrill squeak. Young kids who see it invariably pester their parents to buy one, but sensibly most parents don’t give in – who wants such noisy toys in the house!

If you are looking for gifts for young children, instead of a toy you could go in for an interesting and useful gift: the old-fashioned blackboard. A vendor sells the rolled-up type ones, which can be hung up on a wall or a door or simply laid flat on the table or floor. He also sells charts and books of alphabets, animals, fruits, etc. that are very good for a toddler’s first lessons.

Besides the usual salwar suits and night gowns, you can also buy packets of shiny sequins of every hue from lady vendors. These sequins are often bought by those wanting to spruce up their t-shirts, kurtas or dupattas.

Both Bandra and Dadar areas are also excellent sites to shop for luggage. Hand luggage or wheeled luggage, sports bags or school bags, small-sized briefcases or large suitcases – all are available at good rates at lesser than what you would pay at a branded luggage store. Just make sure you are getting good quality ones.

There are so many diverse and interesting things to browse through on the footpaths of shopping hubs in Mumbai – do try out a footpath shopping experience at least once. It is fun, gets you good bargains, and is a thoroughly great way to enjoy the day!


Author: Siddharth Pani24 Sep 2009 Member Level: Bronze   Points : 1

Vandana thank you. Your article is extremely informative. It would be great help for people who are vising the city for the first time. Great job done, keep up the good work

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