Quick Guide to Haggling: 12 Tips to help you strike the bargain of the century!

A Quick Insight into Haggling Abroad: Tips & Advice

Some people have the natural flair for haggling and bargaining. For those like us however, it takes time to know the ‘do’s and don’ts‘ of haggling. Here we have written a brief guide into some of the things you need to consider when bartering for a good rate!

Determine if bargaining is appropriate:

Test the water and find out if a price IS fixed, show some interest in an item but say, ‘It’s just too much money’. This will give the shopkeeper the opportunity to offer up a potential discount and gauge whether there is a potential for negotiation.  If they come down even by a small amount, the door is open so haggle away. 

Shop around to find out what locals pay:

Prices can vary drastically among vendors at the same market and even at the same stalls. When prices aren’t set, assume there is a negotiation to be had and KNOW that prices vary between tourist and locals. Not only does the price differ between locals and tourists, but also between different nationality tourists. Vendors often consider certain tourists to be more wealthy, often based on what they pay for items at home.

What’s the item worth to you?:

The best way to start haggling negotiations is before you even find out the price to determine the item’s value to you, considering whether you need it, have you got room to carry it and if you were buying it in your home country what would you consider paying for it. Sometimes being given a price can distort your idea of an item’s true worth. Shopkeepers can be clever and massively inflate the price of the items then cut it to allow you to think you are having a great deal. This is a brilliant psychological game!

Establish the lowest price:

Shopkeepers hate to lose a sale especially when you have showed interest.  After working the price down if it still doesn’t match with the price you have in mind, walk away. Often you will find the vendor will shout a final offer to entice you back, If THAT price is good, go back and buy. Prices can often vary at the end of the day when the stalls are packing up, consider this a good time to go and make your purchases.

Contain your enthusiasm:

Even if you have just spotted a must have at a stall don’t let on to the shopkeeper this is the case as once they know this it will be difficult to get the best price.

Consider working in a pair:

By using an ‘impatient’ or ‘budget conscious’ friend who wants to leave the situation it can put the shopkeeper under pressure to give you quicker better deal to get a sale.

Approach the shopkeeper with knowledge:

By knowing what you are talking about, the vendor will have little room to undercut you as they will know that a you know the price of the item.

Buy in quantity:

Often merchants will give you a better price if you buy in bulk, the potential for more sales the more flexible they may become.

Cash over card:

Not only is cash better for security reasons but often shopkeepers are more willing to strike a better deal if you pay cash. Most market stalls only except cash anyway but for stalls with pricier goods, some take card payment.

Show your money:

By physically holding out your money and offering them a ‘its all I have’ suggestion, vendors sometimes get so enticed by the cash that they make an off the cuff sale as they don’t want ‘lose’ the money being wafted in front of them!

Stick to the rules:

Don’t rush the process. Make sure you are dealing with someone who has the authority to negotiate. Haggle carefully and cleverly and if a merchant accepts your price or vice versa, you then have an obligation to buy the item.

Don’t be afraid to walk away:

If the price is too much don’t feel an obligation to buy the goods and never worry about having taken too much of the shopkeeper’s time, they are experienced business people who know they won’t win them all.

So remember:

  1. Research
  2. Limit
  3. Hold your own
  4. Stay Calm
  5. Be prepared to walk away
  6. What’s it worth to you?

We hope you find this brief guide useful to getting you Haggle Ready! For more information about our Travel Safety and Self Defence Company visit our website: www.staysafedefence.co.uk or for more Travel Advice, Information and Tips visit our Blog Page

We also offer a range of Downloadable E-Travel Safety Guides. These easy to read guides give you great information on a wide range of travel topics.

Scams and Cons being Used | Medical Checklists | Essential Apps to Travel With | Money and Banking Abroad | Avoiding Robbery | Hostel and Hotel Safety | Crossing Borders | Essential Travel Documents | Tipping and Haggling |

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  • Holly
    Posted at 17:44h, 20 March Reply

    Great guide to haggling! I can’t wait to use some of these tips when I head to Asia in May, Thanks!

    • StaySafe Defence Team
      Posted at 12:32h, 21 March Reply

      Thanks for the comment Holly. Hope you find it useful. Enjoy Asia when you get there 🙂

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