Holidays are coming and you may have thought about getting your family and friends some presents because they're the greatest people in the world. If you feel like your wallet does not agree with your plans, don't worry! We all know everybody's favorite bargain shopping spot!
Divisoria is known as a commercial neighborhood where you can find almost anything for a bargain price. However, the seemingly eternal sale that goes on at Divisoria comes with a cost - your comfort. In case this is your first time going alone (or at all,) we've written down some tips passed on by Divisoria veterans.
1. Make a list. It's true what they say about finding anything in Divisoria for a bargain price. Yes, you can find anything - even something you don't even need in the first place. Avoid impulse buying and reckless spending by making a list and focusing on what you need to buy.
2. Opt for comfortable clothes and shoes. Unless you planned a Divisoria trip as a first date with your crush, ditch the fancy clothes. Wear something comfortable because it's the least you can do to negate the discomfort of squeezing into a crowd. And since there's going to be a lot of people in tiny spaces, expect to be stepped on so just save your expensive and clean shoes for another day.
3. Be mindful of your gadgets and money! Separate your shopping money and be sure to pack a lot of small bills and loose change because once you have more than three plastic bags hanging on your wrist, it will not be so easy to pull out and put back money in your wallet. As for gadgets, we suggest you bring only your phone. Since you won't be using it that much while going around the malls, you won't need bring you power bank with you. Just be careful!
4. Bring an eco bag. If you're braving the Divisoria crowd, chances are you aren't in the neighborhood for just one item. Be sure to bring an eco bag so you can stuff all your small purchases in! If you're planning to get some major shopping done, pack a folding wheel trolley bag so you won't have to lug around a huge weight while crossing narrow but crowded paths.
5. Arrive early. It's best to go to Divisoria early in the morning on a weekday. Some malls open as early as 7AM. If you want to beat the crowd, you're going to have to beat the urge to hit snooze on your alarm.
6. Dare to compare. With the variety of goods you can find, you can consider yourself lucky if you find what you were looking for within the first ten minutes. Now, you have two options: You can ask for the price, buy it then and there, and regret it when you find another store that sells it for a cheaper price. Or you can take note of the store's location, explore a bit more, and compare.
7. Don't be afraid to haggle. Congratulations! You found just what you're looking for and they're selling it at a price lower than expected. Now, you might be pushing your luck, but you can still ask if they can give it to you even cheaper. The magic words usually go, "Last price na po 'yun?" You can also try and joke about taking P50 off the price because it sometimes works!
8. Mentally prepare yourself. They key to avoiding disappointment is to lower your expectations. It's a warzone out there so be ready to be pushed, shoved, stepped on, and, generally, get down and dirty. It's all part of the experience.
Be sure to get your Christmas shopping done soon! The closer we get to the holiday season, the bigger the crowd becomes. Just remember to stay vigilant. Happy shopping!
ALSO READ: Cheat Sheet: 7 Ways To Save Money For The Holiday Season
Banner Photography from Rattus Yu