Is it safe to buy clothes from street sellers in Barcelona?

Is it safe to buy clothes from street sellers in Barcelona?

It's up to your own judgement to decide if it's safe. It's generally safe in the sense that you will not be robbed or cheated by street sellers. Most street sellers are immigrants who are fundamentaly decent people but who have not had the same opportunites as many others to make a decent living and be integrated into society. It's very difficult to live on the margins of society, but many of the Barcelona street sellers have no other opportunities. So please always show the utmost compassion and respect. These street sellers are just trying to make a living and are not being helped much by Spanish and Catalonia society. If you want to support the less priviliged, please also consider making a donation to one of the many charity organisations that work tirelessly to help immigrants and the underprivileged

The street sellers are known as 'manteros' in Spain. This translates to 'blanket-man' - they are called this name because they sell their wares on blankets, which called a 'manta' in Spanish.

This street selling is also called 'top manta' because the wares are laid out on top of a blanket. The blanket often has strings at each corner so that the manteros can pull in all four corner strings quickly and run from police carrying this huge bag of sneakers or bags or whatever it is that they are selling.

We should point out that there are some potential risks when buying on the street albeit small. It is illegal to sell counterfeit products on the street - and it is also illegal to buy from these street sellers who are unlicenced. YOu could be fined up to 500 euros although it rarely happens. If you are checked by customs at the airport you could be fined and the item that you bought will be confiscated because it a crime in Europe to buy fake products. 

The street sellers using blankets are unlicenced. Their wares are illegal because they don't pay taxes or have permits. Their products are low quality copies of branded goods.

The street sellers do not pay rent, or taxes, which could be considered unfair competition for local shops who do have to pay rent and taxes. Street goods which are manufactered in illegal factories. You can perhaps imagine the conditions for the workers in those factories. So again. please respect the street sellers but also question whether you are helping them personally by supporting their trade. If you want to support the less priviliged, there are other ways like donating to charities, lobbying the authorities to provide jobs and support. You could also just give them them some money without taking their goods - or you could pay a little more than they the price of the goods which would help them personally. Please bear in mind that these street sellers are being exploited by the gangs that manufacture the goods by working for free or very low pay. They often live in very bad conditions in locations outside Barcelona.

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Last Updated on Friday, 10 March 2023 09:32