4. Be nonchalant about it
The oldest trick in the book is not to appear too interested: the shopkeeper knows when you want that pair of leggings so bad. Act like you don’t want it and walk away until the shopkeeper mentions the price you want.
5. Try the product
Sizes in Indonesia are a tricky thing. There’s no standard measurement for an S, M, or L, so always try on whatever clothing item you plan on getting. For electronics, most stores won’t let you try it until you’ve purchased it, but make sure you do. And keep the receipts and warranty (and the store’s location!) for at least a week you use the product for cautionary measures.
6. Be really, really careful of your belongings
Almost a cliché, but you can never be too careful around Jakarta. Bring a decent sized bag with zipper, preferably a sling bag so you can keep it in front of your body at all times.
7. Come really early and get ready to spend your whole day!
Especially if you can only go on weekends, get there just as the stores start to roll up their door, usually around 9.30. Getting there the earliest goes a long way; as you can actually get a parking spot, the mall less crowded, the sales girls are still chirpy (which in some cases can mean more ‘boleh silakans’). Most importantly, clear your schedule for the day as usually you will stay longer than planned and it takes a great deal of willpower to stay as short as you had planned. But do notice that some trade centers have an office-like working hours, meaning they are only open until 5 or 6 in the afternoon. (although obviously open during the weekends)
8. Try the food
Except for the one in ITC Mangga Dua (not recommended as 90% of them are incredibly pushy, literally pushing their menus to your face the minute you step into the food court), the food in ITC food court are a good way to sample good Indonesian and Indo-chinese food. Particularly in Ambassador where rows of food stall serving Madanonese food can be found. On weekdays, this is the place where office workers from neighboring building get their lunches too.