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Beach vendors are Mexican people who peddle their wares along the beach. They usually wear all white clothes. Some of the women put on a colorful pinafore over their white clothes.
Sometimes the older Mexican men wear navy blue slacks instead of white. On the very small, not popular beaches the vendors wear their regular street clothes like blue jeans,
The vendors walk along the beach carrying whatever they are selling from around 11:00 AM until about 3:30 PM. A lot of them have backpacks which they store more of their wares. During Christmas some of the familiar vendors changed what they were normally selling to a more Christmas theme. If they were selling tablecloths, at Christmas they started selling Christmas tablecloths. They began peddling plastic poinsettias during Christmas. Or they pushed a wheel barrow full of real poinsettia plants. Now that it is getting closer to Easter, some have more of a religious theme to their wares. We have seen shadow boxes in the shape of a cross and inside of it Jesus on the cross. We have also seen these on the death markers along the highway.
“No, Gracias”. That means “no, thank you”. We say those words over and over to the vendors on the beach. Some beaches are busier that others with vendors. At Sayulita they came up to us about every 15 minutes because they had a long beach to walk. As soon as you sit down at a beach then all the vendors take their turn approaching you. So they may come up to you every 3 or 4 minutes at that time and then slowly make their way back to you in a while. Most of the vendors are not real aggressive like they are in the streets on the border towns. The vendors are not there just for the “NortoAmericanos” but for the Mexican tourists as well.
One day we had traveled to Punta Mita and had just been seated in a palapa type restaurant and had received our menus. We were much more interested in reading the menu than seeing the same vendor stuff we see at each beach. As soon as we started reading the menu about 10 vendors took turns coming up to us with only a minute or 2 in between. We just said no gracias to everyone of them. We were more interested in eating. I thought at the time this is very irritating. If they would have just waited until we were finished ordering we might have been more receptive to looking at their stuff. Some have not been taught the techniques of doing business with achieving good results.
La Peñita, one of the beach towns has a market on Thursdays. We see the same things the vendors along the beach sell. After a while you begin to know what you can bargain the vendors down to for a better price. The more populated and popular the beaches are the higher the mark up. All the vendors get their stuff wholesale up at Tónala near Guadalajara. (See our story about Tónala – Click Here)
Every once in a while you will find a vendor that will not lower their prices, usually if they are the only vendor selling the item. One day a new vendor was selling toy parachutes with Barbie Dolls hanging from them. They are like a small kite. I just had to have some of those!! He wanted 150 pesos (about $15 US) for them. Way too much!!!! I walked to him rather than him coming to me. Maybe that was the problem! He would not come down at all. He walked the beach all day and every time he passed me he would look to see if I had changed my mind. I didn’t and he didn’t.
A few weeks later I spotted the parachutes on a Puerto Vallarta beach for sale. The lady said they were 70 pesos ($7US ) and so I bought 2 without even bargaining with her. HA! HA! to the Sayulita vendor who would not bargain with me.
When we were in Mazatlan we made a comment about if we were a vendor there are certain items we would not choose to carry and sell. One would be carrying the cello in a Mariachi band.
See for yourselves which ones of the following vendors you would or would not like to be.
What kind of beach toy would you like? This cart was a 3 wheeled bicycle with a top above to hang down all the enticing beach toys. It was so heavy 2 people just pushed it around.
They said these plants were about $100 . Who will pay that? No, gracias!
This is a wheel barrow full of nuts and candies. A 2 in. by 3 in. sack of gum drops are about $3. That is expensive. But would you like to push that through the sand constantly day after day?
Who would like to buy a bathroom sink?
Need a new dress? No, gracias!!!
I will sing and play a song for you and then you can buy my CD! No, gracias!
Rugs are heavy!!!!!
Look at my purses or bracelets. No, gracias!
How about a horseback ride? No, gracias!!!!
This was new for Christmas. Ice cream, anybody? Si, gracias!
Want your name on a bracelet or ankle bracelet?
Working with just string they can make your letters in your name on the bracelet. Amazing!!! Si, gracias.
More silver jewelry vendors than anything else. Si, senor!!!!
Do you need a hat to keep the sun out of your eyes?
Or would you rather have an umbrella? Si, senor, ours is broken. At least he gets to walk in the shade all day long.
How many Waldos (vendors) can you find in this picture?
The little girl in the purple skirt was selling little bead necklaces. She waited patiently until the lady bought candy from the wheel barrow candy man before she approached the woman. I watched the girl for quite a while. She was walking up and down the beach by herself.
A lot of the women vendors bring their children along with them while they work. If they are babies they carry them in a pouch. If they are like 2 years old the mother will have a strong sash tied to herself with the other end tied to the sleeveless shirt on the child. They are very well behaved and walk right along with her never stopping until she stops. If they are old enough to carry and sell something they either go before the mother or right behind the mother and offer something different than what the parent is selling. The mother supervises any money transactions. This is how the Mexicans develop their strong work ethics. You will not find the school age children selling things during the school hours.
Now if you have seen something you would like, just let me know. I probably have several of everything in the 5th wheel. Just don’t tell Rick!!!!!!