|Feria Libre outdoor vendors|
Poor people don't shop at Supermaxi, and don't use it as their comparison either.
Vendors weren’t born yesterday. They’re going to see that you don’t speak a lick of Spanish, and they will take advantage of that. And if you have to pay someone to go with you every single time, then you surely won’t ever be even near saving any money. We shop there because we’re a family of five adults and our household lives on $1000 per month total.
This smacks of inappropriate tourism profiteering in a place that it does not belong. People that are spending money just to be taken there, to Feria Libre outdoor Mercado, are not going to have a clue as to what prices they should be paying and more importantly, not paying.
On top of that, the selling is volume based, meaning that the savings are on large amounts of food, i.e. five or ten pounds of tomatoes at a time, etc. Is a retired couple really going to need that much food? Smaller packages just don’t provide enough savings worth paying anyone to take you there. See?
We are a frugal family. We live well on small means. Part of that is being diligent shoppers, which means actually knowing what everything is supposed to sell for on a local price. And that includes all stores all over town. Supermaxi is not our benchmark. The whole city is. Every store in town is a potential place to save money, and we’re well aware where all the best bargains are.
There is a certain vegetable that we won’t mention, gringos are putting on forums where to go at Feria Libre to buy it, because there aren’t many places to buy this particular vegetable. Well guess what, I went to that lady to buy and she’s selling for a 100% markup to the local price. I asked the lady to sell to me for less but she said she didn’t have to because the gringos are paying her price. I later found that same vegetable in another stall that is not known on the forums, and I paid half of the gringo price. And that’s the way we do things. Gringo prices are for tourists, not residents, i.e. locals.
Once a new Mercado in Cuenca Ecuador was advertised in the Gringo press. We went there just because we’re diligent and want to know everything that’s going on around town. Well guess what, the prices were gringo prices, the highest in town on almost everything for sale. Needless to say we never went back to that Mercado.
Will this happen to Feria Libre? Now that people are taking “tours”? We hope not. We sincerely hope that people on a budget and the local people will at least have some places in town left, where they can go shop for their large families, and not have to pay u.s. prices. Please people. Use some thought and consideration. Thank you.
Frank, Angie and sons
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We're an Expat Family of Five, Living Frugal, Healthy and Happy Abroad. We live in Cuenca, Ecuador and travel the Ecuador coast whenever we get a chance. We just adventured throughout the country of Panama for five weeks! Come along and enjoy some of our experiences with us!