A back yard remodel managed to direct me to Mexico when my client wanted a Mexican tile rug in her outdoor dining set up. Fortunately LA is so close and we had our passports so it seemed silly to not go straight to the source. Ill have another post about this back yard project but we are here to talk about how to shop in Mexico. If you need to see pictures of the project, follow our progress under my Interior Design page under "Black/White Backyard".
First off, we had a mission; Mexican tile. If we got nothing else on this trip that would have been ok so we made sure to prioritize during this quick two day shopping spree. We started in Rosarito where there were a couple large tile shops along the main road. Our first tile store stop was actually a great success and despite only getting half of the tile there the first day, we actually returned the next day to get the bigger tile as well as we realized from shopping around that it was the best pricing. That brings me to my first tip, buy when you are sure. There is no returning things so when it is a big purchase, shop a couple stores to make sure you are not jumping the gun.
Once we got the tile we explored the neighboring stores. This particular project is actually using minimal color and if you know anything about Mexican tile, you will know it is anything but that. So this made it easier to just admire from a distance at all of the Talavera with the exception of just a couple gift purchases. What you will learn is every price is negotiable. I found that when buying multiple pieces from the same vendor, it was easier to negotiate. For example, say you see a planter and it is $50, offer $75 for two. It is harder for the vendor to pass up $75. Treat it like its an all or nothing deal. That brings me to my next big point. Don't treat it like their pricing is fair or unfair. Think of it as you are working with a budget and trying to spread it out. And if you need to say I only have $20 bill left for this trip, you would be surprised just how much they will help you spend that bill. But always always always show gratitude when they work with you. And try to bring cash as much as possible. Most vendors only take cash but if they do take card it might add a charge. This brings up a sort of elephant in a room. Using a card can lead to information stealing. There was absolutely a time I was at the pharmacy on this trip and I'm almost positive I saw someone take down my card information. At the end of the day I'm not terrible worried about it because if something happens I can dispute it with my bank but it just goes to show that cash is better all around.
Below is a list of items we purchased and the price. Beware, the prices are insanely good and it might make you want to go down to Mexico yourself just to score some great finds. A couple things I did not purchase but definitely saw a great deal on were cement planters, marble and granite slabs, and huge live edge dining tables.
Cow Skull and Horns - $25 each. We bought two which had great horns and no crazy creepy holes in the head from the slaughter house. =/
Cement Hand Chair AND Gray Large Chimnae - $125 total (holy crap, right?!)
Mexican Blankets - $10 each
Leather Sandals - $25 each pair
Sacred Heart Mirror - $85
Tile - Total purchase was $650 for tile rug and planter
White Gold Hoop Earrings - $40 (the jeweler also did an acid test for us to prove the quality)
Talavera Sun - $30
If you go shopping after being inspired by this post, please use #HinkleGotMeShopping !