Thursday, January 20, 2011


These pictures definitely do not capture the craziness that lies within this place.

So I'm told this is the cheapest place to buy beauty products in Santiago, and the first time I visited this place it was absolutely madness. 

There are two counters behind which are the majority of  products that are sold in the store -- or at least the small, easy to steal products. In order to get something here, you have to go to a counter, get the attention of a very busy salesperson, who then gives you a receipt. Not the receipt showing you paid for the product, but a preliminary receipt before you actually go pay. 

Then you wait in line and pay, choosing to either pay in full for your products or in cuotas, incrementally. I never understood what this meant, so when someone asked how many cuotas I wanted to pay in I was confused. This term was new. I just wanted to pay, take my things and leave. After paying you take your final receipt back to the counter where another very busy bagging person hands you your purchase. 

If you want things from both counters, sunscreen and shampoo say, you have to get two preliminary receipts, pay (thankfully at the same time) then give your receipts to two bagging people. 

This whole process can be exhausting. Forget examining or thinking about price vs. quantity vs. quality. This is not the time for such indulgences. You better know what product you have in mind before you set foot in this store.

During this process there are all kinds of people trying to grab the attention of an over worked saleswoman, and it's very noisy and over stimulating. The only thing I can liken this to is the first time I visited the stock market when I was little. The shouting and pointing for things you want to buy; it feels like you need to make a bid on something before someone else snags the product. It's actually kind of exhausting to visit this place.

Because when I first moved back to Chile I was just visiting, I only had a 10-day supply of all my beauty products. Shampoo, face wash, conditioner, soap -- all the essentials -- so I found myself in this place all.  the. time. replenishing my minimal supply of beauty products. 

Now that I'm well stocked after the holidays (with shampoos and lotions that will probably outlive me), I probably won't be visiting a Preunic anytime soon.


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