"Beware Fes Carpet Sellers!" Fez Tourist Trap Tip by flashpacker07
Fez Tourist Traps: 1 reviews and 0 photos
If you engage a guide to go through the medina, they might temp you into seeing an "exhibition" of antique carpets woven by women of the surrounding area. You've already told the guide you aren't interested in buying anything, so you think.."well the carpets are pretty so I might as well have a look." WRONG!BEWARE! SCAM! What will happen is that the guide will take you into a shop [for example, Dar Benhayoune 5 Derb Benhayoune but there are lots] and give you a nice tour of the carpets hanging from the walls, with some history thrown in. Then you will sit down for tea. Then they will teach you some arabic/berber words as they start unfolding carpets in front of you, complete with a demonstration of how they can fold a carpet into carry-on size so you can take it on the airplane. All claims of "but I don't want to buy anything " will be dismissed as just showing you the craftmanship. Just google Fes carpet shops and you will get a detailed description of the scam.
Unique Suggestions: Leave before they give you tea! Be persistent, say you are in a hurry, have plans, etc. NEVER name a price as you will be obligated to buy, even if they phrase it like "how much would you pay for this, or how much is it worth? Realize that no matter how nice they are it is a scam, and your guide is in on it. You can also say that you want to buy a carpet DIRECT from the woman who makes it- she is the one who deserves the inflated price, after all.
If your guide tries to get you to go to a restaurant for lunch before or after the carpet shop, make sure you look at the menu first!!! You might think you are getting a local experience, until the bill comes. This happened to us- our lunch was more expensive then our most expensive dinner, and our guide had said it was "reasonable."
Fun Alternatives: You don't really need a guide to the medina in the first place. However, the maps are very confusing and there aren't very many of them. The problem arises when you stop to look at your map and become a sitting target. Maybe an Iphone would be helpful in this situation. This is where guides are helpful- just be sure to get recommendations first, and beware the guides w/o fixed prices- the ones who say "whatever you think is fair."