Gold jewellery and objects from Thailand are usually called Thai Baht Gold or just Thai gold. Baht is the currency of Thailand and also a unit of measuring gold in the country. Thailand has various shops that sell gold products crafted with precision and intricacy. According to the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), Yaowarat Road, also known as Golden Road in Bangkok’s Chinatown is the most famous shopping destination for Thai gold buyers.
- Skill level:
Learn the amount of a Baht. One Baht of gold is approximately equal to half an ounce, or 15.16 grams. When measured in carats, Thai gold usually has a purity of 96.5 per cent gold, approximately 23 carat with 3.5 per cent alloys such as silver and bronze. High purity gives Thai gold its characteristic yellow colour. Thai gold is also sold by actual product weight measured in Baht; therefore it is one of the most profitable forms of investment, according to Yabz.com.
Browse through several stores before you make a purchase, because it is easy to get scammed in Thailand. According to the TAT, taxi or tuk-tuk drivers have a bad reputation of tricking tourists into buying spurious gold products, because they receive a cut from every deal. It is recommended that you check the buying and selling price of gold in newspapers like the “Bangkok Post.” Remember that there are no holiday sales on gold products, and anyone who makes claims about the King’s birthday sale or Buddha’s birthday sale is definitely a scammer.
To get a list of stores recommended by the TAT, check out the Shopping Tips on the Amazing Thailand web site.
Familiarise yourself with the return or exchange policy of the store where you are shopping. Most stores don’t have any such policy, since return and exchange is not as common in Thailand as it is in some other countries. However, you could get at least 80 per cent refund within the first 45 days of your purchase, if you shop at the member stores of the Thai Jewel Fest Club (TJFC), a not-for-profit set up together by the TAT, Thai Gem and Jewelry Traders Association (TGJTA), Thai police and government.
Request receipts and purity certificates. These are the only proofs you have of the purchase made.
Obtain a Value Added Tax (VAT) refund. The Thai government grants all tourists a VAT refund, if they shop at participating stores. Look for the VAT Refund for Tourists (VATRT) sign at participating stores and ask for a VAT Refund Application for Tourists Form (P.P.10), as directed by the VATRT Office.
However, the form is issued on one condition: on a particular day, goods purchased at each participating store should be worth 2,000 Baht. The refund is applicable for the total purchase of minimum 5,000 Baht, including VAT. For a list of participating stores check the website of VATRFT Office.
Tips and warnings
- If you ever get cheated in Thailand, you can report it to the Reporting Unethical Practice Department by phone or fax at 011-66-0-2216-6512 or e-mail at email@example.com.
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