Madhur Tankha

Foreign exhibitors are offering good discounts

NEW DELHI: More than genuine buyers, bargain hunters are having the last laugh at the ongoing India International Trade Fair at Pragati Maidan here.

Carrying bags full of imported products, Lakshman Madhukar Kale, a senior citizen who runs his own business, says: “For the past 29 years I have been regularly visiting IITF. But this year’s fair is special as foreign exhibitors are offering good bargains. My wife has bought a number of goods for our home.”

Another visitor, Anil Malik, was in for a pleasant surprise when he walked into Hall No. 12 A on Tuesday. Pakistani designers who are selling exquisite ladies’ suits and a wide range of saris are flexible with the price. “The Pakistani stalls are willing to give 20 to 30 per cent discount on their products,” he says.

Afghan carpet seller Mohammad Ali, who is selling a wide range of carpets, says he is willing to accommodate within reasonable limits. “We don’t mind customers haggling as long as they end up buying something from us. Normally the prices of most of ours products are fixed. Here we are ready to bring down the prices. But beyond a point we will not agree even if it means taking goods back to Afghanistan,” he says.

Importer Arun Ganguly, selling Pakistani spices and pickles, says he is selling three packets for Rs.100. “As the first five days were reserved exclusively for the business community, there wasn’t much bargaining. However, after the general public was allowed entry into the exhibition ground, there is scope for bargaining. We have a lot of attractive schemes for customers.”

Pakistani leather seller Sharmam, who has put on sale leather jackets and belts, says a lot of bargaining is going on as the fortnight-long fair approaches its end. At times we have even agreed to sell our products at customers’ price.

Amilla from Sri Lanka says though the material cost of his papier mache products -- bags, coasters and pen holders -- is low, his working costs are very high. “People feel that newspaper is cheap and hence products made out of them should also be cheap. Our products are reasonably priced, we have to include the transportation cost also,” he says.

However, Thai seller James complains that Delhiites have a habit of bargaining even on products where there is virtually no scope. “I am selling two packets of roasted fish for just Rs.100. Some people are asking for three packets for the same price!”