If you're shopping for gift-giving this Christmas, going to Divisoria is a good decision if you are tight on budget or you are going to shop in bulk. There are many reasons why Divisoria is the best place to buy gifts for the season, but there are several things you have to consider if you decide to go there.
Divisoria is the center of commercial trade in Manila where wholesalers and retailers flock together. Most Chinese merchants have maintained the area to do their business there, from since the Spanish times. From textile to everything else that you will need in your home, to the food you can serve in your table, you will find them there. Since Divisoria is a huge and busy place to shop especially near Christmas season, you will have to plan your shopping and prepare to be bumping with other people as you walk the streets.
First of that plan is to make your list. Make this list as detailed and organized as possible. This list will make it more easier for you to do your shopping and it will do a lot convenience in terms of moving from one place to another at a lesser time. In your list, make sure you have the names and a guide for you on what to buy for them. Example if you're buying gifts for kids and when you're thinking to give them toys, write down on your list your preferred type of gift to give that person. Then, you can sort this list as to the types of gifts that you would give.
Second, you should know where to go. Divisoria is known for suppliers of all kinds of goods. The shops that sells similar products can be found concentrated in an area. For a variety of goods, Divisoria Mall, Cluster Mall, Tutuban Mall and 168 Mall may have all you need. There are also other shopping stalls inside the building nearby. Don't hesitate to explore them because you may find good buys at a lesser price there. If you are going to buy toys for kids and you want to save some more from your budget, it would be better to drop by at a building across Divisioria Mall.
Third, check the goods you buy for some defects. As a consumer you have the purchasing power and the right to quality products. While we shop we tend to be tired and so we just want to finish shopping as soon as possible. Another thing is that we tend be visually attracted to the design and color of the products that we are looking at. With these, we tend to forget to check the quality of the products that we buy, to find our selves regretting later on what we bought. Check if the product your buying is working, especially if they operate mechanically. Check the clothes your buying for some stains, holes, loose seams, fabric quality etc.
Fourth, haggle beyond the last price that they will give you. Divisioria is a bargain mecca. If you go to shops, you will find that they post price tags on cardboards. But as you approach and pretend that you are thinking, they will whisper to you the last price. That last price is just for retail. Remember, if you buy in bulk they will give the wholesale price. The wholesale price is always lower than the retail price. A shirt sold for example at 80 pesos can be bought for 150 if you buy two. But if you know how to haggle, they will give that to you at 75 for a piece. If you're buying 6 or dozen, you should be able to get that for 70 or 60 pesos.
Fifth, be mindful of your belongings and your safety. Divisoria is a market place. It is not a place for social function to flaunt how wealthy you are. Don't come with accessories, even if that is fancy because you don't want to cut your ears. Make sure your money is placed where no other hands can get in without you noticing it. Place your money in tight front pockets, never inside your bag that someone can pull from you. Never bring handbags because you don't want those pretty bags slashed with surgical knives. Take a big market bag with you where you can put all the things you buy. If the things you buy get heavy, you can politely ask some store attendants whether you can leave the packs you buy in their stores for a while.
Sixth, for your protection and support to our economy, make sure that you get your receipt. Your receipt will compel the store owners to pay their due taxes, and the same receipt is your proof of purchase, so in cases that you may need to return the product you bought if it had defects you may do so. But some shops don't have any recipts. If they are shops inside a building they should, so you must demand for a recipt. Only those stalls outside the building don't have receipts, because they are selling retailers and micro enterprises. Buying in these stalls do not give you any warrantee aside from the fact that the prices there are really no comparison with those from wholesalers.
Lastly, take your time in shopping. You might find yourself in a Christmas rush, but don't be in a hurry. Take your time as you shop, choose and have some time to rest. While you are in Divisoria, you'll be walking and walking, and stop only to ask for price or check goods. Being in a hurry is a compulsive buyer's behavior. You would need to think of what you are buying, as to its price, quality, brand or authenticity. Find some time to rest also when you feel tired. Try some authentic chinese cuisine from the area. Try the streets foods for your gastronomic delight, but if you're digestive track is sensitive. But if you are prone to easily get sick because of what you eat, dine in the fastfood and drink only bottled water.
I hope those stuffs I mentioned here may be useful for you. There is idiom for compulsive buyers: "Shop till you drop". With the many things you can find in Divisoria, I'm sure you'll drop as you will have all the fun and adventure of shopping. I was there today, and yet I was not able to finish my shopping list so I guess I'll find another day of shopping there again soon.