The one who came to read my point of view on bargaining will think that I am very against this practical traveler. While I detest the way in which some people want to buy a souvenir paying almost nothing or nothing, it is also true that tourists must deal with sellers often. That is why I want to give you some tips on how to haggle during a trip.
There are travelers who pay double or even triple the cost of an object that they could acquire for less money, and all for lack of knowledge of how to ask for a reduction in this scenario.
The reality is that jumping to haggle without having the slightest idea of the real price is very difficult, and more if the seller is not very honest to say. What complicates things a little more is that the rules of the game vary in each country. In Morocco and China, haggling is almost mandatory, while in Guatemala or Ecuador doing so would be an economic detriment to indigenous sellers.
In any case, and for the purposes of this article, I want to give the following ideas to those who feel that curiosity about bargaining and not knowing where to start. I do not want to consider myself an expert in this field, but I think I know what is necessary to guide who is interested in knowing, so here we go:
1- Do not buy in the first place you see
Before deciding to buy something, take your time and go from store to store. If you have had the opportunity to go to a craft market, you will have noticed how you find the same product in several stalls. After you have seen the cost of the merchandise that catches your attention, visit the other stores and find out the price so that you can get an idea of how much you can lower a price by bargaining.
2- Maintain a polite, positive and smiling attitude
They say that the smile opens doors, and is not the exception when bargaining. Instead of going shopping and thinking that those who come to serve you will only do it to get money in a dishonest way, go with a mentality that radiates joy, confidence and brings out the best in you.
3- Remember that both you and the seller must win
What do I mean by this? That you would be happy to get something without feeling that you are paying others, but it is not about the seller losing out. That’s why I believe that haggling should be done with the best of intentions, without taking advantage of the humble people who need a good sale to feel better economically at the end of the day.
4- Do not show too much interest
A rule so simple and simple that is forgotten. It happens when we see that desired object and we get so excited that happiness overflows through the pores. Act as if the merchandise you want to buy does not steal your peace in the least. Otherwise, the merchant can take advantage of your emotion and will want to charge you for others.
5- Always pay with the local currency
This advice goes more for people who come from countries with strong currencies in the market (dollar and euro). You can count on a known currency and even accepted unofficially in almost all stores, but the most sensible thing would be to pay in local currency. Otherwise, I doubt that they will charge you a fair price.
6- Use the famous tactics of withdrawal
At first, I thought that this technique was something absurd, and I still remember how some travelers talked to me about how they put it into practice during their trips while listening to them with something of disbelief. Only when I traveled to 8 things that you should know about the Dominican Republic could I realize how great it is when it is executed. Is to leave the place if you feel that you are giving a price more expensive than usual. Almost always the seller will end up going after you to offer you a lower value of the original. If you do not run around, you better look elsewhere where you can buy cheaper.
7- Avoid looking wealthy
I know that some travelers are so clueless that they forget it and it is normal, but they must be very aware that if they want to succeed in haggling, they do not show that iPhone or HD video camera in front of the seller. Do it and I promise you that you will not receive any kind of rebate.
8- Try to take small denomination bills
Unless you want to complicate when paying, nothing better than carrying loose and low denomination tickets. I recommend it, first of all, because you save time by paying once, unlike doing it with a high ticket and you wait for the return to come, whether the seller has cash or not.
The second (and this is rather a ruse) is that, by having small bills, you can afford to say ” but this is all I have with me “, which will make salespeople think you do not have much money and If they are very desperate they will prefer that you buy them with what you have.
It is worth mentioning that these tips can be put into practice not only to buy a product but also to take a taxi or search for a tour. I consider bargaining more like a healthy pastime, and seeing it in this way will help you not to get mad if things do not turn out as you expected.
Any other advice that you think is missing from the list?