Discover the best bargains and fashion trends at Numaish

It may not be the wisest way to lift your spirits, but there's still a lot to be said about retail therapy. As every seasoned shopaholic will tell you, the only thing that can make shopping even better is a bargain. And if it's bargains you're looking for, the ongoing Numaish shopping extravaganza should be your next stop. This year's Numaish is no different, and the bargains only seem to be getting better.

“I'm a mall rat – I like wandering around in the air-conditioned malls and window shopping – but nothing can beat the bargains here,” says college student Supraja Reddy. “I love how every shop has a little placard saying ‘Fixed Price Only', but you can always shave a few rupees off the price when you buy something.”

Bargaining is one of the cardinal rules when it comes to shopping in India, and here, all the tricks of the trade come into play. “I usually don't dare bargain, because my Hindi is hopeless and shopkeepers can always spot a novice,” laughs 24-year-old Miriam Joseph. “But even here, I manage to get by. My strategy is to pitch the price I want and then walk away very slowly. Nine times out of ten, the vendor will capitulate.”

Prices are more than reasonable when it comes to clothing and accessories, but a little leeway is always a feel-good factor. “Buying in bulk is a sure way of getting a good deal,” says Supraja. “My friends and I wanted to buy tote bags. Since four of us bought bags, each of which were about Rs. 400, we got all four bags for only Rs. 1000. It's quite a steal!”

Walk around Numaish and you'll notice that most shoppers travel in packs, and there's usually one person who is the designated spokesperson when it comes to bargaining.

At a bangles shop, a group of girls stand huddled together as their friend aggressively talks to the vendor. “You give me three sets in different colours for Rs. 10 and I'll bring more friends!” she shouts, as her friends nod their heads vigorously.

It takes the vendor less than five seconds to gauge the situation. “Three sets for Rs. 15,” he says firmly.

A bargain is struck.

The price is right

Fashion trends aren't always created on fashion runways in Milan or design houses in Mumbai. Sometimes they are generated in as ordinary a place as an exhibition in Hyderabad.

Amidst stalls selling everything from electronic gadgets to handicrafts; fashion trends are unobtrusively being formed and followed.

‘Numaish', is a haven for shoppers. At a stall called Fancy Stores, a group of teenage girls look through piles of clips and barrettes. “Oh, look at the polka-dotted clips,” says one girl, grabbing at a pile of colourful hair slides. Her friends gather around with exclamations of ‘how cute' and ask the harassed looking man behind the counter if he has any more.

Nineteen-year-old Shaheen says that Numaish is an opportunity for them to buy trendy items without having to spend too much. Shaheen and her sisters are buying chunky gold hoops and delicate chandelier earrings. “These look like the earrings Katrina wore in De Dana Dan,” says Shaheen, holding up a pair. At another corner of Numaish is a store called Jeans Corner. Ripped, stonewashed, acid washed, and embellished – the choices of denim are endless. “What's best about the stores in Numaish are the prices,” says college student Rajiv S. “I can buy jeans for as low as Rs. 200 and still keep up with the latest styles.”

The stalls selling materials from Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh are a hit with amateur designers. Twenty-year-old Kritika Reddy browses these stalls every year. “I buy chikan work and printed patolas and then have my tailor stitch it according to designs I like from fashion magazines.” Kritika says that whatever the latest fashion rage, a cheaper counterpart can be found at Numaish. “When shawls were a big thing, I found pieces here for Rs. 300 in brilliant colours and prints. They might not be pashminas but they serve the purpose and look stylish.”

From totes to clutches and slippers to sandals, Numaish has something for everyone. So if you are looking to make a style statement without breaking the bank, visit the exhibition.