Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Expat Diaries: How to Haggle Without Feeling like an...*ahem*

Welcome to the first Expat Diaries! I'm so excited for this link up and the relationships with other expats and travel lovers that I know it will create. Link up below with your travel pictures, expat stories, advice or questions!

One of my favorite things to do when we're traveling abroad or even in our own country, is going to the markets and shopping...big surprise huh? I've learned that many times in these markets, in order to get what you want, and for how much you want, haggling is required. For some, haggling can be awkward and uncomfortable, for others, a challenge to be met. No matter which side you fall, there are some tricks of the trade that can help. Here are some things that I've picked up in my years of haggling in markets.
tips on haggling
.Try to go as soon as the market opens or right before it closes. Many times in the morning they are trying to make their first sale of the day. This means that they may be more likely to cut you a deal to get the ball rolling. In the evening, they are also quite generous as they are trying to sell as much as they can before they close. While we were in Thailand, I was shopping for wallets and came across one that I really liked. I asked the price early in the evening and it was 400 baht ($13.50). I went back at closing time and the starting price had dropped automatically to 300 baht ($10.00). I asked 250 baht ($8.50) and ended up saving myself $5 in the end.

.A big smile and great manners will get you everywhere. Yes, their product may be cheap and kitschy but you don't have to tell them that in order to get a lower price. Start off with a big smile and ask them how they're doing. Often times when I start off this way I can see them soften right away. It's much easier to say no to a rude person than someone being extra friendly.

.Don't feel guilty asking for a lower price! They know exactly how low they can sell the product and still make a profit. This is the reason why the price starts they can reduce it and make you feel like you're getting a great deal. Also, start lower than the price you want to pay. This will give you room to increase in price and not pay more than you want to as they try to barter with you.

.Don't get discouraged if they don't give you the price you want or refuse to barter. More times than not, you can find the same thing just a few stalls down.

.Shop around. See what others are selling the same or similar item for. This will help you gauge what you should be paying and what price you can ask for.

.This one is an oldie but a goodie. Walk away. They might be more willing to barter if they think they might lose a sale. If not, you'll most likely find the same thing elsewhere.

.Remember, they're trying to make a living just as much as you're trying to get a good deal. Offer them a fair price.

Any other suggestions on haggling that has worked for you?

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Linking up with Chelsea and Rekita