The country provides lots of amazing shopping opportunities. Although it might seem as simply activity, there are some rules to stick to. Italian shopping etiquette does exist. It is very important to know how to behave in certain shopping situations.
First of all, first impressions do count: respond to being greeted upon entering the store. This is common courtesy and sets a pleasant tone for your shopping experience. Do not assume the seller speaks your language. Even if you don’t speak Italian well, making an effort goes a long way.
Eating and drinking while you shop are high on the list of things you should not do for obvious reasons. Lighting up is generally considered forbidden in a shop. Chatting on a mobile phone is frowned upon in Italian shops. If your phone rings, make the conversation brief or, better still, take care of business first, move on and then return the call.
Asking for a discount
About two-thirds of shop owners say that it is not bad form to ask for a discount. Handling the inventory is considered the rude. Window displays are absolutely not to be touched. Many stores have very little window space and if it is disrupted they cannot put their best face forward. The merchandise in the window is available in the store. Just ask, or smile and point. How much touching is too much depends on the type of merchandise. For example, at leather goods store it is okay to pick up and feel the leather, but don’t unzip and handle roughly. Salespeople will gladly unzip and empty the handbag so you can take a closer look.
The rules are more forceful at high-priced stores with merchandise made from beautiful textiles. For example, exclusive children’s apparel and exquisite linen will quickly become shop-worn and unsellable from too much handling. In grocery stores and produce markets, it may be considered offensive to touch fruit and vegetables. Use the plastic gloves provided or allow the vendor to bag your choices.
Every retailer, with the exception of the produce vendors would exchange merchandise if it was presented in perfect condition, accompanied by the receipt, and within a reasonable timeframe, usually one to two weeks. In the case of a manufacturer’s defect an exchange would be granted as well. Surprisingly, refunding cash or crediting a charge card is not allowed. Taxes are paid according to what is rung and once the sale is completed on the cash register it cannot be undone.