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How to Shop NYC Street Vendors

Learn how to shop NYC street vendors from fashion editor Verena von Pfetten in this Howcast video.


So one of the great things about New York City is the shopping. Yes, there's the big stores like Saks and Bergdorf's and there's Soho where you have nothing but brands next to each other. But one of New York's specialties is the street vendors. You'll find them in Midtown, you'll find them in Soho sort of lining the streets and you can obviously find them on Canal Street. That's sort of New York's best known street vendor area.

And what you're going to find at these vendors are accessories and they're not going to be expensive and they're not going to be particularly well made, but if you're in the market for some cheap sunglasses or you know a bunch of brightly colored Pashminas or maybe even some jewelry, that's where you want to look. The best part is actually in Soho. Some of these street vendors are local artists and they're selling their wares.

You know it's sort of hand made jewelry, you can even find some leather goods, those are going to be a little bit more on the expensive side, but you can always find a wide variety. Now, the thing with street vendors is that you can bargain. It's not like walking in the store and that price tag is, you know, it's not moving, you can absolutely bargain. And the best way to do that is to act like you're not interested.

And the other thing is if you're a tourist or you're visiting they're usually going to try and sell you at a higher price because you know the local New Yorkers know that you're not going to spend more than ten dollars on a pair of sunglasses. So something to keep in mind is always start low. These guys want to sell their wares, they want to sell the sunglasses, the scarves just as badly as you want to buy them.

So there should be a way for you to find you know a happy medium that you can afford and that makes sense and make sure you're not getting ripped off. One of the best things to look for, again, are brightly colored scarves. This is a great way to buy accessories. You can usually find a rainbow of colors and you can get, there's usually deals where you can get five for 25 or four for 20. And these are really good gifts that you can bring back.

You know one of my favorite things to do, if I'm going home for Christmas, back to Canada, is picking up a bunch of different scarves for my family and it's a cheap, easy way to do it. And especially if you bargain, you're going to get a great deal and it's a really good way to spice up your closet, buy a ton of different accessories and not have to spend a lot of money. If you're like me and in summer you lose your sunglasses all the time, I try not to buy expensive sunglasses. So one of my favorite things to do is go to a street vendor and buy sunglasses.

You know you spend five or 10 dollars maybe get a few pairs and bargain a little bit and get a few different shapes or colors and you can test them out and really decide what you like and switch up your sunglasses in a way that you don't have to worry about scratching them or getting them sandy. But you can sort of play with your style especially in the summer.

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