How To Haggle

"Getting the lowest price"

Haggling is a concept which has been going on for hundreds of years in many cultures around the world. It relies on the basis that the buyer and seller can agree on a price which suits each of them before the transaction is sealed. The contention arises as the merchant wants to sell at the highest price but the buyer wants to deal at the lowest.

Haggling is a skill which can be improved with practise; the more you do it the better deals you will get. You should try not to appear nervous when haggling as the merchant may spot this as a weakness and try to take advantage and rip you off. Show yourself as being confident and if you do not like where the sale is heading then walk away.

Before You Haggle

Know what you are buying If you know what the product is worth at home you can gauge what the price should be.

Think before you haggle Ask yourself whether the item you are buying is sensible as you will have to carry it for the remainder of your journey. If you consider shipping it home, ask yourself whether the cost of this will be too high.

Observe the location If you enter a big market that clearly is a big tourist trap then you may struggle to get a really good deal. The merchants in these areas know you are tourists, they know you are looking to spend money and know that you have a lot of it. You will therefore not get as good a deal as you would in less tourist oriented locations such as side streets or on roadsides.

If the price is too good to be true then it is probably not You can get some very good deals at markets from haggling especially if you are travelling on a strong currency. If you are questioning the quality of the goods you are buying, it is necessary to note that in many cases they are better than those at home especially for crafts which are normally hand made. For DVDs and electrical items be more cautious

Always be open to the concept of multi buys If the merchant has stuck at a price for an item and will not budge say that you will deal if you throw something else in too. Sometimes this technique works and so it is worth a shot. If they refuse turn to walk away and they may agree just to make the sale.

Keep a sense of humour about you and be prepared to banter. Nowadays, especially in tourist areas, the merchants like to have fun haggling with the tourists. If you are friendly and have a sense of humour then you are more likely to strike a low price deal.

Get a pretty girl to be with you during a haggle. Many male merchants tend to give better deals to pretty girls, I cannot understand why. Grab your mate and use her to get a bargain. It may be a cheap shot but worth a go.

Haggling In Steps

1 Never accept the first offer: The merchant will always start the haggle off with a price much higher than the product is worth hoping that you are naive and will take this as being a fixed price.

2 Half the first offer: This will inevitably cause the seller to say he cannot give the item to you at this price and normally some friendly banter follows. Perhaps after a while the seller gives in and agrees to this price. You then have an option of trying to lower the price further or sticking.

3 Ask for a multibuy: If you are settled at a price more than half the original price then ask the seller to throw in another item you like. This can be a technique to get more for your money or it can show that you are trying to push your luck.

4 Walk away and say you will buy elsewhere: If you cannot get the price down to a range that you are happy with the begin to leave. Nine times out of ten this will prompt them to agree to your price otherwise they will lose a sale.

The DO NOTS Of Haggling

Do not repeatedly say how cheap items are in front of the merchant as this can be insulting to them. It may also mean the haggle gets off on bad terms and reduce the likelihood of the merchant wanting to lower their price. If you are striking a good deal, hide your excitement and wait until the seller is out of earshot.

Do not show your money before the deal. Being a tourist you will have a lot of cash floating around your wallet. Make sure you do not count your notes or in anyway show the merchant what money you have as they will mark the item up and make a tough haggle. Only present the cash after the price has been agreed.

Do not be too pushy with the seller. Although they do like a playful haggle if you are too pushy they may not want to do business with you. Stick to your price, propose a multibuy, halve their offer, but keep playing the game.

Do not haggle for everything you see. For example it is fine to haggle for a pair of shorts or a t-shirt in a market, but you will not get anywhere haggling for a bottle of water or admission to a shrine. Use common sense and judgement.