Shopping Vocabulary: Phrases and Words You’ll Hear in Russian Stores

With its vast size and diverse retail landscape, Russia offers a plethora of shopping opportunities for both locals and tourists. By learning key phrases in Russian, you can effectively communicate with shopkeepers, inquire about products, and navigate through different types of shops. This linguistic ability not only makes your shopping experience more convenient but also allows you to engage with the local culture and establish meaningful connections.

In this post, I will teach you some useful shopping vocabulary. It includes phrases you might hear as a customer from a shop assistant, questions you can ask, and sentences you can form. Additionally, I will cover basic words such as verbs and nouns that are essential for shopping.

Types of Shopping Locations

In Russia, there are various places where you can buy different items, catering to different preferences and needs. Here are some common types of shopping locations in the country.

Торговый центр (shopping mall)

Major cities in Russia are home to expansive shopping malls that offer a wide range of products. These malls feature numerous stores, including fashion retailers, electronics outlets, grocery chains, beauty salons, entertainment zones, and food courts. Examples include Aviapark in Moscow and Galeria in St. Petersburg.

Рынок (market)

Street markets are vibrant hubs of commerce in Russia. Here, you can find a diverse array of goods, such as fresh produce, local crafts, clothing, accessories, souvenirs, and antiques. Examples include Izmailovo Market in Moscow and Usachevsky Market in St. Petersburg. But these are large markets with unique products. Ordinary markets selling everyday goods can be found in every neighborhood of Russian cities.

A simple market in Vladivostok

Indoor markets are also prevalent in Russia. These markets are typically housed in large buildings or shopping centers, offering a more organized and controlled shopping environment. Closed markets provide a variety of goods, ranging from fresh food and groceries to clothing, electronics, and household goods. They often feature a mix of independent vendors and established retailers, creating a diverse shopping experience under one roof.

Универмаг (department store)

Department stores in Russia are known for their wide selection of goods across different categories. They offer convenience and variety, often housing multiple departments ranging from clothing and cosmetics to household items and electronics. Popular department stores include GUM and TSUM in Moscow.

Супермаркет (supermarket) / гипермаркет (hypermarket)

Supermarkets and hypermarkets are prevalent throughout Russia, providing a convenient one-stop shopping experience. These large-scale retail stores offer a vast selection of groceries, household items, fresh produce, and general merchandise. Popular chains include “Пятерочка”, “Магнит”, “Ашан”, “О’Кей”, “Лента”, “М-Видео” etc.

Бутик (boutique)

For a more specialized and unique shopping experience, boutique stores are the go-to destinations. Boutiques tend to offer high-end and exclusive products, including designer clothing, luxury accessories, and curated collections. They are often found in upscale shopping districts of major cities.

Киоск (kiosk)

It represents a small, freestanding structure or booth typically located in public areas such as streets, squares, or shopping centers. Kiosks often sell a variety of goods or services, ranging from newspapers, snacks, and beverages to tickets, phone recharge cards, or even fast food. In Russian cities, you can commonly find kiosks offering convenience items, hot drinks, and newspapers.

Интернет-магазин (online store)

E-commerce has gained significant popularity in Russia, offering convenience and accessibility for purchasing various products. Online shopping platforms like Ozon, Wildberries, and AliExpress provide a wide range of goods, including clothing, electronics, home appliances, and more.

Stores are also categorized by the types of goods they sell:

Продуктовый магазин – grocery store

Мясная лавка – butcher shop

Булочная – bakery

Кондитерская – confectionery shop

Хозяйственный магазин – household goods store

Цветочный магазин – flower shop

Книжный магазин – bookstore

Ювелирный магазин – jewelry store

Магазин одежды – clothing store

Магазин мужской/женской одежды – men’s/women’s clothing store

Магазин обуви / обувной магазин – footwear store

Магазин электроники – electronics store

Магазин спортивных товаров – sports goods store

Мебельный магазин – furniture store

Магазин игрушек – toy store

Магазин детских товаров – children’s goods store

Парфюмерный магазин – perfume shop

Антикварный магазин – antique shop

Магазин автозапчастей – auto parts store

Строительный магазин – building materials store

Магазин подарков – gift shop

Аптека – pharmacy

Оптика – optician

See Also: Russian Vocabulary for City Objects and Places

Basic Shopping-Related Terms

Let’s start with basic words related to shopping in Russian.

Nouns

These vocabulary words will help you navigate through different shopping situations and conversations while in Russia. Remember to practice using them so that you can confidently communicate with shopkeepers and fellow shoppers during your shopping experiences.

магазин – shop/store

супермаркет – supermarket

торговый центр – shopping centre, mall

продуктовый магазин – grocery store

универсальный магазин (abr. универмаг) – department store

рынок – market

покупатель / клиент – buyer, customer / client

продавец – shop assistant, shopkeeper, seller (female version – продавщица)

касса – cash register/checkout

деньги – money

наличные (деньги) – cash

карта – card

покупка – purchase

скидка – discount

цена – price

скидка – discount

распродажа – sale

ассортимент – range

заказ – order

доставка – delivery

гарантия – warranty

примерочная – fitting room

покупка – purchase

возврат – return

чек – receipt

отдел – department

продукты – groceries

электроника – electronics

бытовая химия – household cleaning products

бытовая техника – household appliances

сувениры – souvenirs

одежда – clothing

обувь – footwear

аксессуары – accessories

косметика – cosmetics

выбор – choice/selection

размер – size

цвет – color

Shopping vocabulary in Russian: useful nouns

The difference between покупатель and клиент is that покупатель is someone who literally buys goods. Клиент (client) can also buy services.

The word магазин sounds and looks like the English “magazine”. But the meaning is completely different. A magazine in Russian is журнал, which is similar to journal. Very confusing, lol.

Verbs

Knowing Russian verbs for shopping is incredibly important and can greatly enhance your shopping experience. These verbs are like magical words that allow you to express your desires, communicate with shopkeepers, and navigate through the process of buying things in Russia.

Imagine you want to buy a particular item or ask a shop assistant for help. By knowing the right verbs, you can easily communicate your needs and make yourself understood. Being able to say “купить” (to buy) or “заказать” (to order) helps you express your intention clearly and receive the assistance you need.

Here is a list of Russian verbs related to making purchases, along with explanations of their usage:

покупать/купить – to buy, to purchase

This is a general verb for buying something. You can use it in various situations when describing the act of purchasing a product or item. For example: “Я купил новую книгу” (I bought a new book). Покупать, as an imperfective verb, is often used in habitual or repeated actions of purchasing. It suggests regular or frequent purchases. For example: “Я покупаю эту газету каждый месяц” (I buy this newspaper every month).

приобретать/приобрести – to acquire, to obtain

This verb emphasizes the act of acquiring or obtaining something. It can be used in both formal and informal contexts. For example: “Он решил приобрести новую мебель” (He decided to acquire new furniture). It’s basically a synonym for the verb “покупать” but with a more formal tone.

заказывать/заказать – to order

This verb is used specifically when placing an order for a product or service. It is commonly used in online shopping contexts. For example: “Я заказала платье в интернет-магазине” (I ordered a dress on the online store) or “Я часто заказываю на Озоне” (I often order/buy on Ozon [popular Russian online store]).

оплачивать/оплатить – to pay for

This verb is used when specifically referring to the action of paying for goods or services. It emphasizes the act of fulfilling a payment obligation. For example: “Он оплатил покупки на кассе” (He paid for the purchases at the checkout).

переплачивать/переплатить – to overpay

This verb refers to the act of paying more than the required or reasonable price for a product or service. It implies paying an excess amount.

расплачиваться/расплатиться – to pay/settle the bill

This verb is used specifically when settling a payment or paying the bill for products or services received. It highlights the action of completing the payment process. For example: “Мы расплатились и покинули ресторан” (We paid and left the restaurant).

ходить/ездить за покупками – to go shopping

This phrase indicates the act of going out specifically for the purpose of shopping. “Ходить” is used when talking about going on foot, while “ездить” is used when referring to going by any form of transportation. For example: “Я часто хожу/езжу за покупками в ближайший супермаркет” (I often go shopping to the nearest supermarket).

закупаться – to stock up/to shop for supplies

This verb emphasizes the act of purchasing goods or supplies in a more general sense. It implies buying items or provisions for a particular purpose or to replenish supplies. For example: “Мы закупаемся продуктами на неделю вперёд” (We stock up on groceries for a week in advance).

The verb “торговаться” (torgovat’sya) is commonly used in the context of bargaining or negotiating prices during a shopping transaction. It refers to the act of haggling or bargaining with a seller in order to obtain a better deal or a lower price for a product or service.

торговаться – to engage in price negotiations

This can be particularly useful in markets, bazaars, or certain small retail establishments where bargaining is common and expected. For example, you might say: “Я попытался торговаться, чтобы сбить цену на эту сумку” (I tried to bargain to get a better price for this bag).

These verbs cover a range of situations related to making purchases, from general buying to placing orders, settling payments, and more. It is advisable to use these verbs in context to accurately convey your actions and intentions when making purchases in Russian.

See Also: Money Vocabulary in Russian

Phrases Used At The Store

When venturing into the vibrant shopping scenes of Russia, having a command of basic shopping phrases in Russian is incredibly useful. Not only will this linguistic knowledge facilitate your interactions with shopkeepers and fellow shoppers, but it can also help you navigate through stores, inquire about products, and complete your purchases smoothly.

In any shopping situation, greeting the shopkeeper or staff with a friendly hello is always a good start. You can simply say “Здравствуйте“, which means hello. Politeness goes a long way, so remember to use expressions such as “Пожалуйста” for please and “Спасибо” for thank you. If you need to get someone’s attention or apologize for any inconvenience, use “Извините“, which means excuse me.

Assistant’s Questions

It’s common for salespeople to offer help and ask questions. Here are some of the phrases you may hear:

Могу ли я вам помочь? / Я могу вам помочь? / Подсказать что-то? – Can I help you? (подсказать – to suggest)

Какой цвет (вам) нужен? – What colour would you like?

Какой размер (вам) нужен? – What size would you like?

Что-то еще? – Anything else?

(У вас) есть наша карта? / Есть карта нашего магазина? – Do you have our loyalty card?

Это всё? – Will that be all?

Оплата/будете оплачивать наличными или картой? – (Will that be) cash or credit?

Пакет (нужен)? – (Would you like) a bag?

Customer’s Questions

If you need help finding a specific item or have a question, don’t hesitate to ask for assistance. A useful phrase to use is “Вы можете мне помочь?“, meaning “Can you help me?” For locating a particular product, you can ask “Где я могу найти…?“, which translates to “Where can I find…?”

When browsing for items, you may want to inquire about their availability and prices. To ask if the store carries a specific item, you can use “У вас есть…?“, meaning “Do you have…?” If you’re curious about the price, ask “Сколько это стоит?“, which means “How much does it cost?” And if you’d like to have a closer look at an item, simply say “Можно посмотреть?“, which translates to “Can I have a look?”

If you’re shopping for clothing or other items available in specific sizes or colors, it’s helpful to know how to ask about them. To inquire about a particular size, you can ask “У вас есть такой размер?“, meaning “Do you have this size?” If you’re interested in the available colors of a product, use “Какие у вас есть цвета?“, which translates to “What colors do you have?”

Here’s a full list of sample questions:

Извините, вы тут работаете? – Excuse me, do you work here?

Не могли бы вы мне помочь? / Можете мне помочь? – Could you help me?

У вас есть…? – Do you have any…?

Сколько стоит? – How much? (Сколько стоит это платье? – How much is this dress?)

Можно это посмотреть/попробовать? – Can I see/try this?

Есть что-то подешевле? – Do you have something less expensive?

У вас есть скидки на этот товар? – Do you have any discounts on this item?

У меня есть купон на скидку. – I have a coupon for a discount.

В течение какого срока я могу вернуть товар? – What is your return policy?

(Вы) принимаете карты? / Карты принимаете? – Do you take (credit/debit) cards?

Где у вас примерочные? – Where is the fitting rooms?

Вы осуществляете доставку? (formal) / У вас есть доставка? – Can you deliver?

У вас есть другая расцветка? – Do you have a different color/design?

Сколько времени ждать доставку? – How long will delivery take?

Я смогу это вернуть, если не подойдет? – Can I return this if it doesn’t fit?

У вас есть гарантия на этот товар? – Do you have warranty on this item?

Вы принимаете кредитные карты? – Do you accept credit cards?

Я могу оплатить наличными? – Can I pay in cash?

Этот товар можно обменять? – Can I exchange this item?

Могу ли я оплатить этот товар онлайн? – Is online payment available?

Какие у вас способы доставки? – What are your delivery options?

Можно чек, пожалуйста? – Can I have the receipt, please?

Other Phrases and Sample Sentences

Here are some essential phrases to enhance your shopping experience:

Это единственный размер / Остался один размер. – This is the only size / One size left.

У нас нет… – We don’t have any…

Он/она/оно стоит… – It (he/she/it) costs…

Они стоят… – These (they) cost…

Мы не принимаем карты. – We don’t accept (credit) cards.

(Это) слишком дорого. – It’s too expensive.

Я возьму это… / Я беру это… – I’ll take this…

So, there you have it! By mastering these phrases, you’ll be able to shop more efficiently and with greater ease. If you want more, read the store dialogues on my website. They will help you understand how the listed phrases are used in real life.

See Also: 99 Common Sentences in Russian for Everyday Use

You can also watch my video on this topic:

 

Online Shopping in Russia

Online shopping in Russia has become an integral part of people’s daily lives. More and more Russians are opting to make purchases online, enjoying the convenience and wide range of products available.

Initially, people search for desired products on various online platforms. Some of the most popular platforms in Russia include Ozon, Wildberries, Yandex Market and AliExpress. These websites offer a vast assortment of products from numerous sellers, both within Russia and from other countries. Shoppers can freely browse products, compare prices, and read reviews and ratings from other customers.

Customer's shopping cart on the Ozon website
This is what a customer’s shopping cart looks like on the Ozon website

After selecting the desired items, the buyer proceeds to checkout. This involves registering on the platform and providing necessary details, including the delivery address and payment method. Popular payment methods in Russia include cash on delivery (COD), bank transfers, e-wallets, and credit cards. Different online platforms may offer various payment options.

Once the order is placed and payment is successfully completed, the buyer awaits delivery of the goods. Delivery companies such as Boxberry, CDEK, and Russian Post ensure nationwide delivery. The delivery time may vary depending on the location and availability of the item. Many online platforms also offer shipment tracking, enabling buyers to stay updated on the whereabouts of their package.

Upon delivery, buyers inspect and verify the received items for accuracy and condition. If the product does not meet expectations, there are usually provisions for returns or exchanges. Online platforms typically provide a specific period for returns or exchanges and offer detailed instructions on the procedures.

Online shopping in Russia not only provides convenience but also offers a wide range of products, various payment methods, and the flexibility of receiving purchases at home. It is important to find reliable platforms, read customer reviews, and follow instructions when placing orders. Through online shopping, people in Russia can enjoy a vast selection of products, save time, and experience the convenience of shopping from the comfort of their homes.

I use the Ozon mobile app to make purchases online, this way I can shop anywhere and at any convenient time. This store has pickup locations at almost every turn. Two of them are right near my home.

Here’s some online shopping vocabulary for you:

аккаунт – account

войти – to enter (your account)

оформить заказ – to place an order

корзина – cart

бонусы – bonuses

избранное – favorites

удалить – to remove (from cart, favorites, etc.)

To wrap it up, exploring shopping vocabulary in Russian opens up a world of possibilities for seamless shopping experiences. With these essential words and phrases at your disposal, you can confidently navigate markets, stores, and online platforms.

So, don’t hesitate to grab your lists, learn those verbs, and dive into the wonderful world of shopping in Russia. Wishing you a delightful and successful shopping experience. Happy shopping!

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