Thursday, 7 August 2014

Camden Town Market (and being ripped off at the Darkside shop!)

Teen and I hopped on the train and headed to Camden.  I have to say I love my student railcard as two travelcards cost us just over £24.  That's good value!

Arriving at Camden this time, we aimed straight for the Stables Market which we entirely overlooked last time!  Wow!  This place is huge.  Absolutely adored all the wonderful horse sculptures everywhere.  Had a good look around and J got the cutest little necklace that is actually a mini pocket watch style.  What a neat idea.  There was a huge variety of styles of them but she settled for one with little wings.  She said it looked like The Golden Snitch from Harry Potter films.

Found a lovely lady selling some steampunk gear and had a good chat to her.  I'm going to need a fortune for this trend.

Having had a good look around, stopped for lunch at our favourite Chinese place at Camden Lock and ate our dishes of rice, bang bang chicken and sweet & sour chicken. Very filling. Lovely sitting on those half Vespa bikes. What a good use for old stuff like that.  Refreshed, we walked around that part of the market.

Next we headed off and picked J up a lovely H&R dress.  She looks amazing in it.  I decided to buy one two but in a different style. Having tried a couple on (quite a challenge over clothes you're already wearing) I found one that was perfect.  The stall holder wanted £85 for them both, giving me a 'saving' of £10. I said £80. He said £85 get the drift.  Anyway, we settled on the two dresses we liked, he bagged them up and I handed him £80 and said, there you go, £80 as agreed. He looked bemused. We said goodbye and walked off.  Smug face (but only for a while - I'll tell you at the end).

Then off into a shoe shop as J wanted some school shoes but a DM style. She spotted a pair she really liked and tried them on. They looked great and she said they were really comfortable. I was surprised at the price - just £30. Turns out they are vegan shoes!  I asked about leather ones and was told they had 'proper' DMs but they were almost £100.  Hey, vegan is great ;-)

Darkside Camden - come on in (and be ripped off big time!)
We then headed off to try and find a band merchandise place we'd seen last time we were there. Having walked up and down the street twice, we just couldn't spot it.  I then decided to head into Darkside to gawp at the amazing boots they have and have a look at their steampunk and Hell Bunny clothing. I spotted a cloak I'd have loved (but where would I wear it?), a 'Victorian' style outfit (hubby would have killed me at over £200 for a skirt and top) and a boddice for £90.  We then went downstairs to see some more dresses.  I tried on a Hell Bunny hell bunny one (yes, the rabbit on the dress had demonic eyes) and then a Spin Doctor - Hell Bunny's darker side - one with 3 straps at the waist and a kind of occult type pattern.  Very funky. I fell in love with the Spin Doctor one and with it costing £69.99, just £10 more than the HB one, I decided to go for it.  Yippee!  Two dresses for me.  We then headed back to the market to pick up a band t-shirt for J and I got a t-shirt with skulls on too (J liked it - it says 'forever young' which made me smile as she said I am) :)

Having now shopped for over 3 hours, we decided to head home as there was nothing else we wanted.  Nice train ride back and home late afternoon.  Hubby loved my dresses and J looked amazing in hers (without her other clothes underneath).

This is where it all goes wrong....

I decided to see what sort of bargains we had got today.  It turns out none.  Yes, you heard me, NONE!  It seems Camden Town Market and shops are now the biggest rip-off going.  Why?  Let me explain.

Firstly, Darkside.  A store selling Spin Doctor and Hell Bunny outfits to name but a few.  My dress £69.99.  I have found the same dress - THE SAME - on 5 other websites. Guess how much?  An unbelievably, ripped-off, sick feeling £49.99.  That's £20 CHEAPER than Darkside.  WTF?  I sent a stinking email and Tweet to them.  How could they possibly justify such a price hike?  Had their pricing been incorrect?  Hey, I'd like a refund of that 'extra' £20 you appear to have skimmed off me.  Their response?  Nothing. Nada. Zip. F*** all.  My advice - NEVER, EVER, EVER buy from DARKSIDE CAMDEN! Go in, try it on, then go home and order it online for far less money  (from Kate's Clothing, Violent Delights, The Gothic Shop or even Amazon!).  Use them as a glorified changing room.  I'm utterly disgusted.  Serious lesson learned.

Oh, it gets worse still. The two Hearts & Roses (H&R) dresses I bartered the market trader down to £80 for?  Yep, you guessed it.  J's is £25 through Amazon (£15 less) and mine is £35 on Amazon (£5 less). So in all, going to Camden *COST* us £40 more for the clothes we bought.

Now, all that said, we had a lovely girlie day out together which you just don't get online shopping.  But I'll tell you something for nothing, if'/when we next go, I'll be looking at Amazon's website, and places like Kate's Clothing, etc as I'm in the shop or at the stall, and will pay not a penny more than they are asking or we'll try it on, test it for fit, and buy it at home where we're not treated like mugs!


  1. I agree that Camden is very expensive, especially Darkside! But the rent they pay is extortionate and they are trying to cover their costs. That's why a lot of them, especially in the markets, resort to pressure selling. There is a big discrepancy between the price of sellers in Camden though so it's a good idea to shop around. I definitely agree to avoid Darkside, they will always be on the high price range and the service isn't great at all, as you saw from your lack of reply. They generally treat every shopper as a thief, following you around the shop. I bought a pair of expensive shoes from Darkside once and even buying from them, they were just rude. Decided to never shop there again.

  2. You are quite right. I was followed around the shop like I was about to grab something and run out with it. Even trying on the dresses, the assistant stood almost next to the changing room door! Awful place.

  3. so true. Same happened to me and two friends. We were kicked out of the shop. You should write it on tripadvisor and Google. ;)

  4. I saw exactly the same thing happen two young girls one of whom wanted to try an outfit on the guy when asked replied no and when she said why he replied because you are not actually going to buy it. I was gob smacked how rude was he he even went of muttering under his breath. And yes stuff is more expensive at least by half we found that out to only because I knew hte prices roughly on the net.

    1. It's a shame they take that attitude. Who are they to judge whether someone will buy or not. I remember years ago a car dealer making a similar mistake with a friend because he turned up to buy an executive car in jeans with his young family. Like they say in Pretty Woman "you work on commission right? Mistake, huge mistake"! :)