Ask anybody about good shopping areas in Mumbai especially someone familiar with the city’s shopping destinations, you will in all likelihood be guided to visit Linking Road (once known as Dadabhai Navroji Road). A road that stretches from S.V.Road in Bandra to Santa Cruz and Juhu at the other end, it is literally a ‘shopper’s paradise’. A mix of all types - the big ones like Titan’s, Shopper’s Stop, Premm’s, who have marked their presence in this stretch, the hundreds of small retail shops and the even more thickly populated street stalls, Linking Road can never be boring for the standard shopper. A shopping destination for all purses and almost any sort of goods, from day-to-day needs, fancy stuff, to the more
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sophisticated stuff in electronics and furnishings, Linking Road has it all. No wonder it sees the Mumbaikars, the Indian tourists and the foreigners, all making a beeline for this enchanting world of ‘bargains and buys’ that keeps both shoppers and sellers happy.
The varied fare at Linking Road
You have stalls upon stalls of readymade garments, fashion attire, clothes accessories, trinkets, pearls, beads and all the fancy stuff that ladies desire, bags, belts, purses, clutches, footwear and what not. If it were not the limitations of time and the purse, many a buyer would have been hanging out in the place for hours together agonizing over what to buy and what not.
Who shops at Linking Road?
Anybody and everybody is interested in being at Linking Road and maybe coming back with a few hard fought deals also thrown in with the regular buys. Shoppers in all nature of outfits from the conventional Indian attire to the fashion friendly jeans and tops attire, the foreign tourists with their own brand of casual wear, the Indian tourists with their own version of looking hep, it is a colourful crowd that comes from all corners of the city and from all strata of society. For who in India does not love bargains? Sundays, festivals and holidays, the place literally chokes with visitors.
The thrill of the purchase
Always something new and exciting to display to the eager buyer, the street stalls are perhaps the most interesting of the lot, with criers enticing the crowd with their wares in the face of thick competition and the buyers responding with their interest or decline. A deal is struck after figures flying from both sides reach an agreeable one to settle at and the seller inwardly heaves a sigh of luck that he has managed to clinch it. The buyer of course is all smiles that the desired object is his or her possession. Any steadfastness on the part of the seller simply means a walk away for the buyer who can easily get the same thing in some of the adjoining shops and maybe at an even lower price than the one quoted first.
Taking a few breaths during the shopping
With eateries and bakeries and dhabas to good restaurants just a few steps away from anywhere along the stretch, taking a break in the buying spree to recoup one’s energy becomes easy, without having to plan for it. Transport at the end of the buying also is available in the form of plying rickshaws and cabs which make the shopping experience easy and enjoyable.
Tips handy for good bargains
- Designer bags, clutches and other items that seem dirt cheap could get cheaper if you asked around or had an experienced shopper with you.
- Never strike a bargain without looking round in a few shops of the same item to get it at a reasonably cheap price. Since shops or stalls of the same item are generally lined up together, so checking for prices becomes very easy.
- Never enter into a purchase without examining the object in question, seeing the tag or hearing the quote properly.
- Then start with a figure of at least fifty percent of the quote to haggle with and rise to meet the figure of the seller in small increases till you reach a figure in your estimate, should be the right price. If the seller agrees, it is your luck. Otherwise merely decline to buy and start walking away. In most cases the bargain works to the satisfaction of the customer with the seller stopping you and agreeing to sell as asked, grudgingly or otherwise.
- Regular shoppers get to know sellers who are willing to sell at the price asked for without haggling. The risk in such cases is the initial quote that could be higher if checking is not done each time in neighbouring shops.
- Better to go in small groups of three or four to avoid being harassed or brow-beaten to make purchases if you are the quiet type or unfamiliar with haggling methods.
The pressures of sustaining for the sellers
With such brisk business being transacted on a daily basis in good volumes, some even expanding their horizons to start bigger ventures, no wonder real estate prices of the area have registered new highs constantly to make it one of the costliest places in India for retail business of such nature that figures high in the Asian list as well. From the street sellers to the bigger establishments, all have a tough time with ensuring volumes of business amidst the competition to stay afloat.
The charm of buying at Linking Road
Everybody loves bargains and getting more than the worth of the money spent. This psychological urge is met at Linking Road only if the golden rule is met – Don’t be in a hurry to purchase. Always stroll down, ask around, stop somewhere, haggle and then only, if agreeable settle to buy. Decent inexpensive gifts like scarves, bags, trinkets, good quality footwear, bags, belts, purses, reasonably good and quite cheap at the street stalls, apparel and associated accessories and higher range goods at the retail shops, with the branded goods of all variety of items in the big establishments, makes the place the hottest destination for retail shopping in Mumbai and attractive for those visiting Mumbai even for a short time.
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For the bargain hunter and the brand buyer, the non-fussy type or the particular one, the local or the tourist, Linking Road will always be the choice destination and remembered place for serving fancy, exotic and purse friendly stuff that pulls all kinds of people towards it.