$10 bucks for a hat. $8 for a tshirt. $12 bucks for a pair of knock-off sunglasses. $10 for a top-of-the-range Captain America fidget spinner.
Cheap. Super cheap Kuta shopping. Or maybe not. Turns out, I paid quite a bit more than the ultra-savvy shoppers around me and was ripped off. (Note to self – should have paid no more than $5 for the hat.)
Kuta Shopping Price Guide
Have you ever done that? Paid more than the going price because you didn’t know any better. It’s one reason I like ‘fixed price’ shops in Bali. I HATE being ripped off, but equally I don’t want to feel guilty that I’m taking advantage of someone else.
One of the tricks I’ve learned with years of travelling with kids to exotic lands where bargaining and haggling over goods is the norm, is to find similar goods in an established shop or storefront with price tag stickers, and compare prices. This gives me a good idea of what the upper end of the going price might be, and it’s a good measuring stick for me so I don’t go over it.
Most of the time, the going price on the street is way under that, so I try to find a middle ground where we’ll both be happy.
Fair Price is the Best Price when it comes to Kuta Shopping
It’s not always about me getting the best price. I’d rather pay what I think is a fair price, compared to what I’d buy at home, even if that means it’s more than what the street vendor expects or will bargain down to.
In Bali, my go-to shop to gain a bit of insider knowledge is the Matahari Department Store. It’s also the place I go for a bit of peaceful Kuta shopping, when I can’t face another moment of the haggle. Plus, they have the best range of everyday shoes around and there always seems to be some kind of special sale happening.
There are three Matahari Department Stores.
Kuta Shopping – Matahari Stores
- Lippo Mall Kuta. Level 2, Jalan Kartika Plaza, Kuta
- Mal Bali Galleria, Jl. Ngurah Rai by Pass, Denpasar
- In the centre of Kuta Square, Jl. Raya Kuta No.5, Kuta
What to buy at Matahari Department Store
Here’s a list of some of the things you can find in the air-conditioned comfort of Matahari.
- SHOES – the range is fabulous. Slip on sandals, sports shoes, kids footwear, fancy shoes. Last trip, I bought a pair of shoes similar to Sketchers and it’s like walking on marshmallows- they are the most comfortable shoes I’ve worn in my entire life.
- reasonably priced clothing including t-shirts, dresses, shorts and swimwear (and somewhere to try it on)
- beauty goods including perfume, deodorants, shavers, shampoo and conditioner
- first aid goods and insect repellent
- all the make up brands
- handcrafted goods and dreamcatchers
- handbags and luggage
- locally handmade soaps and body lotions
- chocolates and lollies
- a selection of Bali’s favourite grocery items including sauces and noodles
- laundry goods including everyone’s favorite kispray ironing aid
- coffee including Bali’s own Kopi Luwak coffee, and teas
Bali shopping prices – handy resources to keep
There’s also plenty of resources out there about the going price of things in Bali. One of my favourite places to ask questions on the go is the Bali Bogans facebook page. This group is filled with 138,000+ people who are (super) passionate fans of the island, and who know the going rate, and where to find everything and anything you are looking for, at the cheapest price. They’ll tell you how much to pay for one of those glass blown fish bowls on natural timber, or how much is too much for a Bintang singlet. They know who to go to for imitation Kylie (Kardashian) cosmetics and where to find the best deal on “Mimco” bags. Beware though. It’s called Bali Bogans for a reason. Join the group at your own risk.
But the best handy guide for realistic prices at most Balinese markets is this one by Exclusively Bali. It’s pretty spot on from what I’ve found.
Cheap shopping in Bali
Do remember that Kuta market shopping is way more expensive than shopping in the market at Ubud, Sukawati, the Pasar Kereneng night market, or along the shopping street at Tegalalang on the way to the rice terraces. These markets also have different things for sale, so if you see cute woven plastic shopping baskets for the equivalent of $4 each, and fall in love with them, buy up big. Buy 10 even if you only need five. Friends and family will love them too, and no matter how hard you look, you’ll not see the same ones anywhere on the island again. Note to self – take my own advice.
Best places to shop in Bali for pretty dresses
A word of warning – clothes shopping in Seminyak or Canggu boutiques will cost you about the same as shopping in boutiques at home. $100 + for a dress, or outfit. This is not the place to go if you are hunting for bargains but if you’ve the time and the money to browse for one-off pieces, these stores are definitely worth a look.
Looking for MORE SUPER DOOPER FUN places to visit in BALI?
Click the links in blue below.