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Getting a good bargain at markets and souks is always an exciting part of travel. Each new marketplace is like a hidden gem, waiting to be unearthed by an eager traveler who is keen to find treasures of her own.

Before you venture purchasing an item in your destination’s marketplace, there’s one skill you have to learn: haggling. This is a wisdom you only learn through experience.

In many countries, bargaining is an innate part of their culture and can be expected. Of course, it helps to know a bit of haggling etiquette so you can get it right even on your first try.

At first, you may feel overwhelmed; but if you find that must-have item, follow these tips to bargain for a rock-bottom price tag.

 


10 Tips for Bargain Shopping Around the World


 

Do not ever bargain for something you’re not ready to buy.

 

You may have spotted that magnificent rug, but if you’re not truly planning to take it home don’t even ask for a price. You’ll only be wasting time; yours, and the merchant’s as well.

 

Scan through the marketplace first.

 

Make sure you had the glimpse of every potential item you want. Look for similar items with lower prices. Do this subtly and don’t let the vendor know you’re interested. Prices may shoot up if they had the feeling you like their products!

 

If you’ve decided that that one is the item you’ve been looking for, make sure you’ve got a price in mind before stepping into the store.

 

Prepare for the bidding battle in a quiet way. Know what you’re willing to pay and be confident when you say it. You want the seller to know you’re an experienced bargain hunter, and you’ve done this successfully for a long time (even if you haven’t). Confidence is the key.

 

Research big ticket items if possible.

 

What you’re going to buy in your destination may be less than the price in your own country but know before you go – or check online while you’re there.

 

Plan to meet halfway.

 

Offer half of what you actually want to pay. It is logical that the vendor would ask for an additional half for the item, giving you a 1/4 discount with your original bid.

For example, this is the standard bargaining formula: if an item is $10, offer $5. Plan on paying $7.50.

If you feel the starting offer is way over-priced offer $3 and hope to end at $5.

 

Stick to the guidelines so you can negotiate  with a price that works the best for the both of you.

 

There’s always a reaction. Always. The vendor might over-exaggerate as if you’ve offered a completely unfair price in order to make you feel a bit embarrassed. But don’t be taken aback, that’s part of the trade.

 

Stand your ground.

 

You have given an offer and stick with it. If the seller gives you a price you don’t want, walk away. But if you felt your offer was too unfair, then maybe you can reconsider. Some vendors may offer you a lower price when you start taking those steps farther from the store. Their idea is, “some income is better than no income at all.”

 

Make a good decision and stand by it.

 

If you really like an item and there wouldn’t be any other opportunity to obtain it, then go for it. Don’t walk away longing for an item just because it was a few dollars more than you wanted to pay. Just make sure you’re not going to end up with buyer’s remorse afterwards.

 

Do not compare the cost of what others may have paid. 

 

Even if someone else paid a bit less, if it offers significant value

Even if someone else paid a bit less, if it offers significant value for you, then you should be satisfied with your purchase. Ultimately, you should pay it’s perceived value, and that’s just fine.

 

Be considerate of vendor.

 

You’re a tourist with an amazing opportunity to explore their country. They on the other hand, might be struggling to make ends meet. Offer a fair pricing and don’t get caught up over a few cents.

You’re a tourist with an amazing opportunity to explore their country. They on the other hand, might be struggling to make ends meet. Offer a fair pricing and don’t get caught up over a few cents.

 


 

Final note: If you overpaid at the end, take heart. There’s no need to go through the remorse of paying a bit more. You’ve got in your hands a remarkable item, plus the memory of a trip which you enjoyed in many ways.

 


 

More ideas on Around The World Travel to read:

 


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