Is it safe to buy clothes from street sellers in Barcelona? No.

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


No. It is illegal to sell counterfeit products on the street - and it is illegal to buy from these street sellers. You could be fined up to 500 euros.

Street sellers in Barcelona often layout their blankets on the street in popular Spanish tourist areas to sell their products. Don't buy from them. Everything about them is illegal. The sellers are illegal immigrants. The street sellers using blankets are unlicenced. Their wares are illegal because they don't pay taxes. The brands are low quality illegal fakes.

So do not buy any black market fake sneakers, football sweaters, fake designer bags or other fake brand items from street sellers in Barcelona or other Spanish cities and towns. If you are checked by customs at the airport you risk being fined and the item that you bought will be confiscated because it is also a crime to buy fake products. 

These street sellers are known as 'manteros' in Spain. This translates to 'blanketman' and they are called this name because they sell their wares on blankets which called a 'manta' in Spanish.

This illegal 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 then run from police carrying this huge bag of sneakers or bags or whatever it is that they are selling.
 
Personal safety

There are also personal safety aspects. The street sellers are often illegal immigrants, mostly from Africa and there have been incidents of violence with street traders even attacking and beating tourists in Barcelona with belts and in other incidents they have confronted local Guàrdia Urbana police.

The street traders take up a large part of the pedestrian walking area and so there are often problems with tourists disturbing their blankets and wares because of lack of walking space and this can easily spark a conflict.

Furthermore the street sellers do not pay rent, or taxes which is unfair competition to the local shops who have to pay rent and taxes. The street sellers sell wares which are manufactered in illegal factories which are unlicenced by the brand owners. You can imagine the workers conditions in those factories.

Don't support criminals. You are getting bad quality goods and supporting the criminal organisations behind this trade.

Related pages

Why you should not buy beers from street sellers 

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Last Updated on Saturday, 03 August 2019 14:24