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South Africa Flea Market Vendors Always Willing to Bargain


A street vendor at the Bruma Flea Market in suburban Johannesburg, South Africa

A street vendor at the Bruma Flea Market in suburban Johannesburg, South Africa

While the World Cup football festival continues, vendors at the Bruma Flea Market in suburban Johannesburg try to capitalize on World Cup fever.

The Bruma Flea Market is located in a suburb of Johannesburg, on the site of a former drainage basin. Now, six days a week, locals and tourists alike come looking for bargains.

Local artists sell traditional African arts and crafts. But like most of South Africa, the market these days is in the midst of World Cup fever. Prices are always negotiable, so I decided to give it a try.

VENDOR: "This one here is going down because South Africa is not going through that's why the price [is so low]."
REPORTER: "So you'll give me a good deal on it?"
VENDOR: "No problem as long as you talk nicely your going to get a better price."
REPORTER: "Well I'm very nice."
VENDOR: "I can see. I can see. I can see."
REPORTER: "How much do you think I should pay for this?"
VENDOR: "For this jersey I'm selling for 200 [Rand], but I'm going to give you a good price. I'm going to sell for [this] 150 [Rand]."

The currency conversion of 150 Rand is approximately $20. Some seasoned shoppers might have been able to get a better price but it seemed good to me.

REPORTER:
"And that's your best price?
VENDOR: "That's the best price. That price you can't find in the market. That's the best price. I'm [basically] going to give it to you."

With the afternoon Johannesburg sun beating down, I decided I needed to shop for a cap

REPORTER: "So the special Voice of America price for these hats is what?"
VENDOR: "Ah, the special Voice of America for this hat, OK, I'm gonna give you a 10 Rand discount I'll give you for 90 Rand each. This is original FIFA 2010 World Cup hat."

REPORTER: "And you've paid the license fee to FIFA?"
VENDOR: "Oh yes, oh yes, oh yes. I did pay the license if I didn't pay the license they [would] to take it from me, confiscate it but I paid the license yes."

Expert shoppers might have been able to get better prices, but I'm satisfied with my deals.

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