You’ll find plenty of debate around the web, and lots of people with opinions on this subject on the streets of Lanzarote. Generally, the electronic shops in Lanzarote have a bad reputation for scamming clients with fake goods, and bad trade practices.
As a duty free island, with very low VAT, we have plenty of electronic shops, usually owned by people of Indian, Bangladeshi or Pakistani origin, that sell a wide range of electrical gear. Things like cameras, video cameras, MP3 players and watches.
You’ll hear all sorts of horror stories about some of these shops – debit cards being charged more than once, fake goods, or old models being sold and even a product people have been shown being swapped before it was put back into the bag.
Generally, our recommendation would be to take advantage of our low tax, and buy goods at recognised retailers like Elektron and Worten when you’re shopping in Arrecife.
However, if you apply some common sense and cut through their rather dubious sales and negotiation tactics, you’ll find, as I have over the years, that you can get a bargain at the resort electronic shops.
Above all, never pay the ticket price!
Their whole system is set up to negotiate with you.
Let me give you an example. I recently needed a cheap digital watch with a stop watch to help with my running training. Once I’d settled on a choice of two possibilities, I checked the price on the label, which read an astonishing €85! To cut a long story short, after several minutes of negotiation, including me gathering my things to leave, the final price I paid was €20.
It had been my original target price, and that’s the secret. Before you go into one of these stores, know what you want, and do some research as to how much you can get it for – it’s easy enough to do so via Amazon, or any of the major online retailers. I’ve even printed out a page from Amazon to show I can buy a particular camera at certain price. And that resulted in a price match and a free camera case.
So here’s my advice:
1/ Research the market and pricing first
2/ Ignore the sticker price and offer what you want to pay
3/ Be prepared to walk if you don’t get what you’re looking for
4/ Make sure that the object you’re buying is the real thing and not a copy
5/ Make sure the one you’ve been looking at is the one that goes into the carrier bag
6/ I’d advise using cash rather than a card
And remember. If it’s too good to be true, it probably is!
More reading: Avoid the villa scam in Lanzarote.