Posted By: aruba
BEACH VENDERS - 01/21/09 08:58 PM
HAVE HEARD ABOUT VENDERS ON THE BEACH. IS IT BOTHERSOME?
Posted By: pamela604
Re: BEACH VENDERS - 01/21/09 09:05 PM
No they are not bothersome.
Posted By: Short
Re: BEACH VENDERS - 01/21/09 09:29 PM
Most set up their stand and wait for potential guests. Some kids try to sell necklaces and a "No" makes them move on.
Posted By: Nancy1340
Re: BEACH VENDERS - 01/21/09 09:36 PM
Aruba, the beach vender's were all very polite to us when we were there last year. The wood carvers will call out to you but a polite "No thank you" is sufficient.
I got a laugh out of one of the most persistent when I said "I spent all my money on beer". He laughed and said "Hey! I need beer money too". The ladies selling textiles will hold their work up and are very nice even if you go look the textiles over and still a "No thank you" or a "Maybe later" will suffice. The young boys selling bead/macrame are polite also if persistent. If you say "Maybe tomorrow" thought, trust me they will remember you and say "You said today" with a sly smile. They are still polite if you decline.
Please remember that most of these people make 100% of their income off what they sell. The young boys contribute greatly to their family income. There are very few jobs there but most all of the local people are very polite............if you are.
The expats are very protective of these young boys by the way. And that is a good thing.
Posted By: Belize-N-Us
Re: BEACH VENDERS - 01/21/09 10:05 PM
Since my sarcastic post got deleted along with the anti-tourist statement which prompted my response then I'll just say this.
The street / beach vendors are hard working, good people as a general rule. Once a hair braider walked our 12 y/o son at least a mile down the beach to us in order to make sure he was returned to us safely. We had already paid her for her service and we were not concerned about him locating us as he has made several trips and is familiar with AC. She walked a fair distance in the sand to ensure his safe arrival out of the goodness of her heart.
I recomend spending some of your money with these hard working, good people.
That said, if you choose not to purchase, a simple no thanks sends them on their way.
This is NOT like the experiences we've had in Mexico were the vendors are much more reluctant to take no for an answer. We spend money with them also though.
Posted By: ExOkie
Re: BEACH VENDERS - 01/21/09 10:33 PM
The little lady that brings the ceviche to BC's has been a welcome sight to me many times. I've always found the vendors to be very polite and when you smile and just say "No thank you" they go to the next person. Like you said it's their livelihood and I don't begrudge them of it. In fact I kind of like bantering with some of the wood carvers and the other more creative vendors.
Speaking of the local kids, is Nixon still around? I love that kid. A real entrepreneur.
I was wondering if the cookie lady was still around?
Posted By: KC Jayhawk
Re: BEACH VENDERS - 01/21/09 10:49 PM
she was as of last november . .best banana bread on the island!!
Posted By: Freezer
Re: BEACH VENDERS - 01/21/09 11:30 PM
Yes the cookie lady is still here, she was staying at a place in the south for awhile but has moved back to her place in town.
We buy from the beach vendors whenever we can, we buy wall hangings and blankets for our freinds back home and we will buy stuff for our condo in Belize when it is appropriate.
They are very nice hard working people and I have in the past purchased a wall hanging or two that we will never use. Hopefully we will find a home for them. I would never call them prblamatic!
Posted By: 6string
Re: BEACH VENDERS - 01/22/09 05:46 PM
We love the boys on the beach with the bead bracelets! Alex, Alexi and I can't remember the third one's name. Great kids, and excellent entrepreneurs. They are polite, and actually pretty fun to see each day. As it was mentioned, they will remember you the next day! My wife promised Alexi she would buy one more bracelet the day prior to our departure. She told him to come to Tropic Air before 10:00am the next morning. He showed up, bracelet in hand and a huge smile on his face. His mom had made the bracelet the night before as my wife had some special bead requests. We ended up "tipping" Alexi an extra $5 US and he was reluctant to take it, he merely wanted the sale price. We sure hope they still around this year, kinda miss the guys! Hope they got rid of the raccoon tho!
Posted By: Nancy1340
Re: BEACH VENDERS - 01/22/09 06:15 PM
Yeah Alex, he's the one that said "You said today". LOL When I said mayby later he just sat down by me at the chicken drop and waited. LOL Too funny. He asked me were I was from and talked a little with his shy smile flashing now and then. I feel bad now that I didn't buy something from him. This year I will make sure I do when he comes around.
Posted By: Peter Jones
Re: BEACH VENDERS - 01/22/09 06:44 PM
The street vendors in San Pedro (ignoring the timeshare salesmen, which I wish I could!) are honest, sell good products, and are a joy to deal with. A while ago at dusk I bought some fudge (delicious!) from a little girl, and gave her a banknote necessitating a lot of change (over $30). At that instant my phone rang and I moved away from the group of vendors and customers to answer it. It was a long call and it was quite dark when I finished, and having completely forgotten the change I continued my walk down the beach. A couple of minutes later the girl chased after me and handed me my change. I thanked her and tried to tip her but she wouldn't take it.
When I heard from one of her friends some weeks later that it was her birthday I handed $20 to the friend and asked her to give it to the birthday girl (whom I hadn't seen). I was prepared for my $20 to vanish. A couple of days later the vendor girl saw me, rushed up to me and showed me what my money had helped her to buy - an iPod. So that made two honest girls!
These were girls, but the boys are the same. Just like the street food vendors - use them with confidence, and remember that it's almost certainly the only source of income for them and several others.
The kids are great and very polite as well as the Guatemalan ladies who sell their wares. A simple "No thank you" and they are on their way and are nothing like Jamaica or some parts of Mexico. Do go by Central Park in the evening and check out the vendors and support them if you can and the food there is pretty good and inexpensive too!
Posted By: azbob
Re: BEACH VENDERS - 01/22/09 07:09 PM
6string, the raccoon, or another one, was there in Nov. hanging out at BC’s.
I am in agreement with everyone; I like the kids and particularly the family of vendors (husband, wife and children) who are so courteous. After a day or two all the vendors get to know you and smile and say “Good Morning” even though I may not be buying.
KC that was great banana bread!
They still had the racoon in November. The only problem we had was with one particular girl that tried to scam us with a story about raffling off a watch to raise money for her school, and she had the watch but no tickets. We were reluctant to buy food for obvious health reasons and we can't bring wooden items back into our country. We tried to explain this to one beach vendor and he got a bit argumentative, but we just said sorry and walked away and that was the end of it. Generally there were no problems. Timeshare vendors are far more aggressive.
Posted By: 2Aggies
Re: BEACH VENDERS - 01/22/09 07:30 PM
Aruba - by all means look if you have the time. We found the vendors to be polite and not pushy. Alex won Ms. 2ag's heart the 1st day we met him. She is a proud owner of 3 of his pieces. He later went on a search after overhearing her say she wanted a wooden bowl. He found us in the park and politely informed us no one had a wooden bowl at that time. The wood carving guy waited patiently for 6 days, we bought an Eagle Ray. The textile lady (very soft spoken and obviously talented) sold us our table runner. We enjoyed the beach stroll in the evening and learned it's ok to look without the fear of a hard sell. Plus it's great to meet new people.
We have been to Aruba and the people of San Pedro have the same friendly warmth that the people of Aruba have.
For the most part everyone is nice enough...but I would suggest a firm "no" if you are not interested and to never tell anyone where you are staying. Most likely you will find a knock on your door if you do.
Posted By: HavinFun
Re: BEACH VENDERS - 01/22/09 07:52 PM
Our favorite street vendors are Rosie and Vanansia. We have known them since July 2005 from when we stayed at Exotic Caye and have a large collection of their original designs
They remember us each time we come to AC, by name, and have become our friends. Rosie works with her mom at a stand at the park by the church - at least that's where they were last July.
All of the street vendors are polite and from our experience accept a polite "no thank you" if you are not interested.
Posted By: skippy
Re: BEACH VENDERS - 01/22/09 07:55 PM
"ignoring the timeshare salesmen, which I wish I could"
Peter, I was wondering why everyone was ignoring this. You can't separate them out and pretend they don't exist because they are located in the same areas and sometimes in the best spots to prevent passersby from avoiding them, and they do not take no for answer, or remember that they hit you up the day before.
The vendors are great. Polite, friendly, happy.
The timeshare salesmen are not. Sure, they will always be there. But let's not give aruba the wrong impression.
Posted By: 6string
Re: BEACH VENDERS - 01/22/09 09:33 PM
We started out telling the Banyan Bay sellers we just bought at Capt Morgans, and vice versa.... worked pretty good. Then I decided to put another spin on it, told them I just bought a house in town, that was good too. This year I am going to tell them I don't need property and then I'll point to the biggest yacht sitting in the sea, and let them figure it out! I believe in having as much fun as I can when them!
Posted By: Peter Jones
Re: BEACH VENDERS - 01/22/09 10:32 PM
never tell anyone where you are staying. Most likely you will find a knock on your door if you do
I've never heard of that.
Posted By: Otteralum
Re: BEACH VENDERS - 01/22/09 10:33 PM
great attitude 6string.
This is a great thread because it goes to the heart of why we love Belize. Mrs. Otter and I have been to 7 countries in the caribbean and Central America and Belize is by far the most palatable when in comes to street vendors.
On our very first visit we were walking close to Central Park when someone asked us if we'd look at their wares. We said, "no thank you," and they said, "okay, God Bless." We were so amazed after having been to Mexico that we made a point of going back and buying something!
Posted By: Nancy1340
Re: BEACH VENDERS - 01/22/09 10:36 PM
Otter, we had the same experence with a couple of the venders. Kinda makes you to "HUH ?"
Posted By: ScubaLdy
Re: BEACH VENDERS - 01/23/09 04:42 PM
Isn’t it interesting how a little kid can become a celebrity? Alex will surely grow up to be very successful – maybe even a politician! Once Alex learned I live here he does not try to sell me anything but makes it a point to come give me a big hug and talk to me. When I have guests I won’t let them buy anything from anyone else until they see Alex’s stuff.
All the other kids know this and only wave and say hi.
One of the problems I have with this is that there is a law against anyone under 14 (I think that is the right age) selling anything. I have never seen it enforced but I have witnessed some restaurant and bar owners telling the kids that and chasing them out.
The second problem is when some one comes back to me to show me their “authentic Belizean” fabric. I explain kindly that it isn’t Belizean but Guatemalan and their faces fall. One of my friends bought a handbag and she got caught in the rain. The dyes ran all over her good clothes. So, beware.
Pam, “The Cookie Lady” is still here and selling her wonderful wares. She usually comes out around 3:00 in the afternoon and makes her rounds.