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Shopping at the Colon Free Trade Zone

denver
4 posts
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Shopping at the Colon Free Trade Zone

I'm planning to stop at the Colon Trade Zone in a few weeks; any shopping advise?? How are the prices compared to the U.S.? I'm looking for fishing gear for ocean & river and other sporting goods.

Any hotel advise or travel tips?

1st Panama Tripper

Port of Spain...
2 posts
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11. Re: Shopping at the Colon Free Trade Zone

Hello, i am looking for a bulk of cutlery(knives, spoons, forks) dinner plates, wine glasses, water glasses Table cloths etc will i be able to get this in Panama in bulk?? please let me know if its worth my time . . . .

Port of Spain...
2 posts
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12. Re: Shopping at the Colon Free Trade Zone

hello Roberto, i am looking for a bulk of cutlery(knives, spoons, forks) dinner plates, wine glasses, water glasses Table cloths etc will i be able to get this in Panama in bulk?? please let me know if its worth my time . . . .

CDY
Medellin, Colombia
Destination Expert
for Panama City
Level Contributor
3,866 posts
99 reviews
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13. Re: Shopping at the Colon Free Trade Zone

It might be worth your time since you are from the islands and prices tend to be high locally for you and you are buying in bulk.

The CZ does have a lot of wholesale buyers from the Caribbean

Toronto
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1 post
13 reviews
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14. Re: Shopping at the Colon Free Trade Zone

Skip the Free Zone. It's not for retail shoppers, and if you do find a shop that will sell you something retail, it's not much of a bargain, and, you have to pay 'bribes' to various security guards to exit the zone if you walk out with stuff. A lot of people might buy some sneakers or sunglasses, watches, and wear them out, so it looks funny when you see people with brand new sneakers trying to get out of the place and getting stopped by guards and then forking over $5 or $10 bucks bribe, erasing any 'savings' from buying the overpriced junk.

Also, Colon is a hell hole. Nothing to see, nothing to do. Colon was used as a 'Haiti' locale for that Bond film, and there's a reason why, it's dismal and looks just like a big garbage dump. Oh, if you're a smoker or drinker, buying booze in the zone is definitely a bargain, it's just a hassle smuggling it out.

Note: if you do go to Colon, do NOT go during monsoon rainy season, because you might get stuck when the main highway floods, and then you're really going to know what it's like to live in Haiti.

Aruba
1 post
1 review
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15. Re: Shopping at the Colon Free Trade Zone

I am wondering if we have to pay to enter the Free zone Colon?? passport is a must? children have to pay to!pls we are leaving to Panama next friday

Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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2,043 posts
5 reviews
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16. Re: Shopping at the Colon Free Trade Zone

An interesting note, my Panamanian wife says she cannot go in because she is Panamanian....

CDY
Medellin, Colombia
Destination Expert
for Panama City
Level Contributor
3,866 posts
99 reviews
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17. Re: Shopping at the Colon Free Trade Zone

FTZ does not cost to get in, but you need a pass fron the office in front of the main gate, it is not shopping for locals, goods come in there and import duties are not paid, it is basically a wholesale mall for buyers from other countries.

I know some Panamanians do shop there and resell the goods they buy, but somehow (propina) they are doing it under the radar.

Again unless you are wholesale buyer - skip it.

18. Re: Shopping at the Colon Free Trade Zone

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Removed on: 14 July 2013, 15:58
Crown Point, Tobago
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19. Re: Shopping at the Colon Free Trade Zone

Leaving for Panama in 2 days to shop at the Free zone. Please advise me of a reasonable, safe Hotel to stay

and how to get around. Should I rent a car or can I hire a taxi to pick me up and drop me off daily?

I do not know how far the Hotels are from the shopping area.

Edited: 11 August 2013, 17:48
Panama City, Panama
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17,889 posts
27 reviews
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20. Re: Shopping at the Colon Free Trade Zone

Have you read this whole thread ? Look at post #7 for example.