Haggling overseas can seem like an intimidating practice to those who aren’t used to it. But in many countries, haggling is the norm, and the only way to get out of paying heavily inflated tourist prices. In the right place, knowing how to haggle properly can save you a lot of money!
There are a few unwritten rules that you should always follow when haggling on vacation. Ultimately, your goal should be to get the best price you can while also making sure that the vendor is still making a profit. Check out these 10 unwritten rules for haggling on vacation.
10 Make Sure That It’s Acceptable To Haggle
Before you even begin haggling, it’s very important to make sure that it’s acceptable to haggle. This will vary from destination to destination, but it’s super important to determine how appropriate haggling is.
In some places, particularly in Asia, haggling is encouraged and even seen as a bit of fun. In places like these, the price is automatically raised for tourists, so haggling down doesn’t mean the vendor will experience a loss. But in other places, the prices set are fair and haggling is just disrespectful. Do your research beforehand!
9 Figure Out How Much You’re Prepared To Pay
When haggling, it’s always a good idea to work out how much you’re really prepared to pay and what you would ideally like to pay. Determine how much the item is actually worth to you. This will give you an idea of what numbers to throw around, so you’ll end up with a result that you want.
If you don’t know how much the item is worth to you, there’s no point in haggling. You might end up paying more than you need to or walking away from a deal that is actually pretty reasonable. So it’s important to know where you stand.
8 Don’t Be Too Enthusiastic
The golden rule of haggling is don’t appear too enthusiastic or interested in the product being sold. If the vendor sees that you’re super interested, they won’t drop the price as low as they could, because they’ll hope that your interest will lead you to pay more.
For the best results, you have to make it seem like you could take it or leave it. Make it seem like the only thing that’s going to provoke you to buy is a really good price. This will require a little bit of acting, but it’s easy to get the hang of.
7 Shop At The End Of The Day
If you can help it, the time of day that you shop can impact how well your haggling goes. In most cases, vendors at the end of the day will be more inclined to drop the prices than they would at the start of the day. That’s because they don’t want to give something away for too low a price when there’s the chance that they could make more money for it later in the day.
But if you’re the last customer they have, they might be more inclined to get rid of their products for whatever price they can. This is especially true if you’re buying fresh produce.
6 Tell Them Your Price Is All The Money You Have
Sometimes, it’s so difficult to haggle because the vendor assumes you’re a rich tourist who can afford anything. They won’t drop their price because they know that you have the means to pay for it as it is. To get around this, make it seem as if your final price is all the money you have on you.
Pull out your cash and show them what you’re prepared to pay. Just seeing this cash may provoke them to accept the deal. If they know that you don’t have any more money on you, they’ll be more likely to accept your price (as long as it’s still fair to them).
5 Offer To Pay Cash
In many markets overseas where haggling is acceptable, you’ll be paying with cash anyway, so this tip doesn’t really apply. But if you’re haggling over items that can be purchased with a credit card, offer to pay your price in cash. This may entice the vendor to take your offer.
For many vendors, receiving hard cash is much better than getting paid via a credit card or travel card. They may have to wait for that money to appear in their account or there may be taxes that come with using the Eftpos machine, so cash will sweeten the deal.
4 Ask For Packages, Deals, Or Upgrades Rather Than A Lower Price
When a vendor won’t budge on the price, you could always try getting a discount in some other way. They may be more inclined to upgrade your product or give you some other kind of deal or package than to just give you a lower price for a single item.
Get creative and be confident when suggesting other deals. You might ask for two for the price of one, or half off the second item, or ask them to throw in something for free if they won’t reduce the price. It never hurts to ask, and you never know what might be affordable for them.
3 Don’t Be Afraid To Walk Away
When haggling, you should always make your move from a place of confidence. Know what price you’re willing to pay and don’t feel pressured to pay anything above that. If you can’t agree on a price, the best thing to do is just walk away.
Every now and then, walking away will actually entice the vendor to lower their price because they know you won’t budge. If they can afford to lower the price rather than lose the sale, they’ll come after you.
2 Work In Pairs
If you’re a solo traveler, you may have no choice but to haggle on your own. But if you have somebody with you, it can be really effective to work in pairs at lowering the price. By telling the vendor that you need to check with your partner first, you might be putting more pressure on them to drop their price.
Needing to go and check with someone will also give you some time to reassess your options if the haggling isn’t going to plan and figure out what you want to do.
1 Always Be Respectful
The most important thing to remember when it comes to haggling is to be respectful. You’re never going to get anywhere if you’re rude or disrespectful to the vendor. In fact, you may even end up with a worse price than you began with!
Treat the vendor like what they are: a human being. Speaking a few words in the local language may win you some respect and make the vendor more inclined to lower the price. Also keep in mind that while you’re trying to get the best price for you, you’re not trying to rob the vendor of their profits. Aim for a fair price for both of you.