Shopping in Mumbai is a great idea for two reasons. One, all the items on sale are very inexpensive by Western standards and may even be subject to special discounts; and two, most of the items are not available anywhere else in the world.
The following items are the most popular shopping commodities in the city. First is authentic Indian clothing called Khadi clothing. Made from local home-spun cotton, this type of garment was advocated by Mahatma Gandhi himself as a protest against the use of foreign goods. The production, marketing and sales of Khadi clothes created employment and source of livelihood for rural townsfolk during Ghandi’s time. Today, local cotton spinners and manufacturers of Khadi are far from losing their jobs since tourists regularly flock to buy their unique products.
The leading manufacturer is Khadi Gram Udyog Bhavan on DN Road, which is run by an organization that was founded by Gandhi himself. The leading products sold here are blankets, sweaters, shirt, shoes and other fabrics that are made from pure cotton wool and silk. Mumbai is known worldwide for its cotton products. Another popular cotton vendor is Cotton World.
Tourists also enjoy purchasing and trying out traditional Indian musical instruments. The most interesting instruments are the straight flute, harmonium and tabla. There are a number of music shops all over the city and the most popular ones are L.M. Furtado and Ghaisas & Bros.
Other popular souvenir items are traditional clothes and handicrafts. The most popular items sold in hotels, boutiques, and shopping arcades are clothing, paintings, carvings, sculptures, pieces of art, decorative pillows, quilts, home furniture, and so on. These are locally made, so that each purchase is helping local artisans and their families.
Other must-buy products are ethnic clothes, tunics, leather jackets, antiques, traditional carpets, rugs, ethnic shawls called ‘pashminas‘, and colorful sarees. A visit to India is never complete without taking home a saree. These leading items are what to buy in Mumbai.
Meanwhile, the leading shops and stores in the city are Colaba Causeway, Fashion Street and Chor Bazaar. Colaba is Mumbai’s center for tourism and shopping. It is very near the famous Gateway of India, one the leading colonial landmarks in the city. Colaba Causeway offers antiques, carpets, and other interesting souvenir items that are sold on roadside stores. Vendors have a tendency to overprice, although the amount may still be considered very cheap by Western shoppers. It is best to negotiate until the selling price gets to a fourth of the original offer.
Chor Bazaar, on the other hand, is known to sell items at very cheap prices it is almost like stealing. Chor Bazaar actually means “Thief Market”. The open market is made up of rows and rows of street vendors selling all kinds of items, including electronic gadgets and pieces of jewelry, most however are fake. Meanwhile, Fashion Street sells just clothes that are very cheap, and yet vendors are still open to bargaining and haggling. These are where to shop in Mumbai, including Zaveri Bazaar, Bhuleshwar Market, Mangaldas Market, Dadar Flower Market, and Crawford Market.
Shopping in Mumbai is a thrilling experience for tourists and local shoppers. Stores and shops accept major international credit cards and debit cards.