Excited to the hilt and with a long shopping list in her mind, my friend Julia set out on a shopping spree in the local markets of Turkey. All she wished for was to take back home the true local gems (souvenirs) of the place without burning a hole in her pocket. She had bought some amazing handicrafts from a particular market and later the next day when she was roaming around in another market, she found out that she had paid 3 times more than the price that was offered to her for the same handicraft the next day. It was no less than a nightmare for her. Has something of this sort ever happened to you too?
Well of course haggling to get the best price possible in a foreign country is no easy task. But it’s not that difficult too! Haggling is neither a battle nor an art form; it just takes some knowledge, fineness, and a few manners. You can hone your haggling skills with some important tips. The following tips will help you to get the best possible price for the things you buy abroad.
Acquaint yourself with the market
Don’t be in a hurry to shop. Wander around to explore the market, and ask about the price of the same thing from different shops. And not only compare the price but the quality too.
Learn some important words
A warm smile and a greeting in the native language of the shopkeeper go a long way in helping you get a good bargain or at least you will have a light transaction. Try to build a good rapport with the shopkeeper before you even start bargaining. Make sure you don’t look too demanding and never speak in a harsh tone.
Don’t look too interested
Never show the shopkeeper that you are highly interested in buying a particular item from his shop. Look around; ask the price of a few items irrespective of your interest in them, without letting him know your special interest in a particular item. If the shopkeeper gets to know you are keen to buy the item, he won’t offer you any discount.
Always let the shopkeeper be the first one to quote the price
There are times we enter a shop and like something and the shopkeeper asks “what will you pay” for that particular item seeing your interest. Always ask the shopkeeper again “how much money would you take for this?” And when you make that counter-offer then quote less than what you are willing to pay but it shouldn’t be too low else the shopkeeper would know that you have no idea about the market.
Be good with the maths
Generally what you should do while bargaining is to quote half the price of the amount quoted to you by the shopkeeper. Then from there work out the price. Even if you get 20-30 percent less than the actual price quoted, it’s a good deal.
Don’t shy away from asking for a discount
If you are buying a few items from the same shop, you should ask for a discount. Your chances of bagging a good bargain are pretty high in such cases. And at the same time know the maximum price you are willing to pay if you like some item very much.
Don’t be hell-bent
If you are very close to the price you have quoted for a particular item, avoid nagging like a mother-in-law for a few pennies. Don’t let a few pennies come in the way of your happiness.
Don’t hesitate to walk away
If you really don’t agree to pay the price for a particular item quoted by the shopkeeper, thank the shopkeeper and don’t hesitate in walking out of the shop. This trick works many times. Seeing a potential customer walking away the shopkeeper might give you a better discount. And if not then at least you would know that the price is fixed and if you still want it then you can always come back after an hour or the next day after exploring other shops too and buy it.
And not to forget while haggling one should always try to incorporate a positive attitude else it’s no fun. Haggling should not be a stress; rather it should be like an exciting game.