merlin

Member
Tours Tours and....Shops!
I spent some time last week at the Friday market and despite being here nearly 5 years I still get the old spiel from the marketeers operating tours and excursions.

Thought I would outline some things you should consider before booking any tours. This also covers the ones that are sold by your travel rep at the hotel.

Hopefully this article will have you better prepared and make for a better excursion!

Some tours seem such a bargain.

In fact, I have heard experiences where some tour companies almost pay you to go on a tour!

How can this be?

In a word, shopping.

Many land based tours include a "shopping component," a stop at one or more shops selling carpets, ceramics, furs, souvenirs, etc. where you are invited to buy things.
What's wrong with that?

In principle, nothing. We all want souvenirs of our trips: photos, postcards, apparel, jewellery, carpets, etc.

The shops to which your guide takes you may have good-quality merchandise and provide helpful, reliable service.
I see three problems:

1. Higher Prices

The prices at tour shops are often higher than in non-tour shops. They may even be substantially higher.

Outrageous?
Not really just business. If you are satisfied to have the item for a certain price, who's to say you're wrong?


2. One Shop

Tour shops are often in isolated locations, well away from other shops, so it's impossible to compare quality and prices, or even if you're not interested in shopping you often feel compelled to look.

Even if your tour is cheap, your holiday time isn't. You could be seeing and doing other things if you weren't in shopping exile.
Some tours label the shopping stop a "cultural educational visit," which it may be: you may learn interesting facts about Turkish crafts or carpets. But that's not really why your tour stops at a shop.

3. Commissions

The main reason tour shop prices are higher is that shops pay your guide and/or tour company commissions on all your purchases. Is this a bad thing?

You make up your own mind.....

Commission is just another word for mark-up and/or finder's fee, a normal business practice.

Commissions have been around for thousands of years. Every time you buy an airline ticket, or book a hotel room, buy insurance, a guidebook or a mobile phone, or purchase any of a hundred other items or services at home, you pay commissions.

So what's wrong with commissions? Well, in some tour shops they may bevery high. Yes, your guide has provided a service by bringing you to a shop which they believe has good-quality merchandise and service.

But is the guide's service worth the mark-up? Sometimes it is, sometimes it may not be.

Many guides are eager to give good service to visitors, and honestly want to help.

Some others may be more interested in the commissions. And for yet other guides, the shopping stop may be arranged by the tour company, and the guide may have no control over it.


What You Should Do
Here are steps you should take to have the best possible tour:

1. Ask about shopping before booking your tour

If you don't want to spend time in shops, tell the people selling you the tour.

Chances are they'll confess that there are stops in shops, but that's why the tour is as cheap as it is.
If you really don't want shopping stops, buy your tour directly from a company that is forthright about the presence or absence of shopping in their itineraries or buy a private or semi-private tour where you control the itinerary (which will probably be more expensive).

2. Study the shopping market before your tour

Shop for souvenirs on your own, finding the shops yourself so no one can claim a commission from your visit. Go to two or three shops and price similar goods to get an idea of average prices and quality. Turkish shopkeepers are usually extraordinarily helpful, happily explaining how items are made and the different levels of quality.

If you know something about the market, you'll be able to judge whether or not the prices in a tour shop are appropriate for the goods and level of service.

Merv!;)
 

alain01

Member
Tours Tours and....Shops!
It's a bit like the local supermarket charging up to 30 percent more than the major supermarkets because half of tourists don't know where the bigger shops are...
 

Jenny

Member
Tours Tours and....Shops!
shopping trips, dont i know about them!
DO NOT go on the goldtrail fethiye market and kaya kouy trip, all it is is visits to shops, and an hour or so at the market then you look at kaya kouy from the coach window beofre heading back, what a load of crap!

Jenny.x,.
 

Mushtaq

Founding Member
Tours Tours and....Shops!
I went with Oracle Tours to Ephesus and Pamukkale late year, the shopping trips spoiled the tours.
 

merlin

Member
Tours Tours and....Shops!
quote:Originally posted by Sylvia

Merv
keep them coming, very interesting

I have posted tons of stuff like this on the old forum I was at but now I cant even get on there to copy them over. (IP Locked out) Truly put a lot of work into some of the articles, hopwfully other new members that have joined from that forum can copy some of the more interesting ones over. I cant be bothered to setup proxies TBH.

Merv!
;)
 

alain01

Member
Tours Tours and....Shops!
I think a major reason some of the tours stop at shops is because some of the trips are so long on the coach...if you going to Pamukkale it maybe better to do the overnight trip..nothing worse than keeping kids cooped up on a coach for hours on end...apart from that some of the trips are cr*p as Jenny said....
 

blossom

Member
Tours Tours and....Shops!
Though we did do a few Tours booked through our Rep. on site, soon learnt that it was a lot cheaper and just as easy to make our own trips out and a lot more fun:) now that we don,t do Package holidays and have not for ages, find that getting about is no problem and can provide quite an adventure, plus a great way to mix with the locals;)
 

alain01

Member
Tours Tours and....Shops!
It's amazing what you can discover when you go it alone...going from place to place must be as cheap by Dolmus if you don't wanna drive over there ..Alan.
 

merlin

Member
Tours Tours and....Shops!
quote:Originally posted by alain01

It's amazing what you can discover when you go it alone...going from place to place must be as cheap by Dolmus if you don't wanna drive over there ..Alan.

Never ceases to amaze me Alan - the Ephesus tour can cost up to 35GBP per person [:0]

Dolmus from Kusadasi 2.5YTL
Dolus from Ephesus to Kusadasi 2.5YTL
Colour Book (80 pages) to explain all about Ephesus 12YTL
Entrance 14YTL

Figure that!

Merv!
 

blossom

Member
Tours Tours and....Shops!
much cheaper Alain and more fun, plus you can take your own time to explore at leisure, not just a quick 1/2 hour or an 1hour there!! [8D]
 

Jenny

Member
Tours Tours and....Shops!
we would normally go it alone, but this trip was only about £2.50 with lunch so we just thought, why not, wish we didnt though!
 

jeanne

Member
Tours Tours and....Shops!
We did the mud baths last year from Hisonaru. OK it was only a £10 each with lunch included. But so boring going round the shops, esp when a ring I was looked at started at £800 and went down to £350 - didn't buy in the end was a touch suspicious!!! And it was such a long day. We where gonna go to Salkenent Gorge but this put us off as we were told this involved going round carpet factories. However, we were told we could get the Dolmus from Fethiye, but ended walking round this beatiful town instead.
 

merlin

Member
Tours Tours and....Shops!
Thats such a shame jeanne because Saklikent is an experience not to be missed!

Maybe next time hire a car and DIY?

Merv!
 

jeanne

Member
Tours Tours and....Shops!
Well we're off to Altinkum in June, couldn't resist the the offer of free accomodation.:D So if you know of any area's or place of interest, we should visit I'd appriecate it. Got a book about Turkey but there's nothing like personal recomendations.

I looking to visit my mate in Antlaya later in the year, so may get her to drive us there, cos I want to want look around Kas and Kalkan.
 

merlin

Member
Tours Tours and....Shops!
The drive from Bodrum to Antalya along the coast road is heaven on earth! Go do it! I promise you its great.

Take it slow and enjoy!

Merv!
 

merlin

Member
Tours Tours and....Shops!
Thats why I said take it slow - its not a trip for 48hrs. Loads of lovely little hotel on the way to stay and you can make a 4 or 5 day trip that you will remember forever

Merv!
 

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