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Retail World of Montevideo

I've been a bit flustered before with Uruguay in my process of buying an apartment here. It has been a struggle for me, and even more so an intense cultural lesson when money is on the line. I enjoy learning from different cultures in a variety of settings, but when my money is at risk and my time is not unlimited to look for opportunities my tolerance decreases. You have just entered part of my world for a second.

Yesterday I went looking for some electric appliances on 18 de Julio (the main street here in Montevideo). vendedores de montevideo y uruguayNot only did the "sellers" not get up out of their seats at times, I felt as if they didn't want to sell me anything. I.E. looking at a kitchen oven for 3 minutes, looking over at the seller dude as if to say 'I have a question' a few times, and the man stayed sitting. Then after telling him that I found a better deal next door, he said "great", but did not think to give me a discount until I returned 5 minutes later and bluntly asked him (to which he immediately said 'yes' to, as if he didn't understand that this is what I was going for).

I understand the argument live to work vs. work to live. But I didn't understand what happened at a few stores yesterday when the sellers were basically pushing away money from an interested buyer with basic questions and needs. Later on I learned of the 'group commission' set up in the stores and how no one likes to work for their workmates. So all of them sit around. Logical.


Anonymous said...

Typical lazy attitude for the country that is why they are not as progressive as other countries.

Anonymous said...

Hi Dom,
Congratution for your decision to buy a apartament in Uruguay.Good luck.
We love you

Your family

Nilda and Jose

Anonymous said...

The problem with the attitude comes from the management/owners. Training; financial incentives, employee recognition are the tools needed and not part of the business culture in the country. The owner lost the business and the employee did not suffer the loss of revenue. Over or under qualified employees are the ones that tend to offer poor service. Things will not get better until the country’s Businessmen change their ways… Daniel

Anonymous said...

Hi Dominic!
Ya compraste tus electrodomésticos?
Para mí el mejor lugar para comprarlos es Carlos Gutierrez, en Colonia y Ejido. Hace muchos años que compro allí para mi casa y la casa de mi mamá todos los electrodomesticos : televisores, equipos de audio, dvd, lavarropas, licuadoras, batidoras, etc.
Tengo amigas que compran desde siempre....tengo amigos y familiares que les han comprado computadoras..
Es más barato que cualquier otro comercio y son de buena calidad. Tuvimos un televisor Panavox (la marca que ellos venden) por más de 20 años.
Eso sí, hay que tener paciencia porque siempre, siempre hay que esperar mucho, hay largas colas que a veces salen del local, pero vale la pena.
El problema es que no aceptan tarjeta de crédito, por eso alguna gente no les compra. En realidad, no aceptaban, ahora no se.
Pero, muy bueno el post, realmente hay muchos vendedores que son exactamente como los describís.
Cuando me tratan mal no les compro, así tenga que pagar unos pesos más en el comercio de al lado.

Dominic said...


Si, ya yo compre la mas de mis cosas alli! Muchisimas gracias por tu consejo. Siento bien en eligir esta tienda (especialmente despues de leer tus comentarios!).
Un abrazo.