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Bargaining, an art and how it is done

At touristy shops, street stores, flea markets...

Posted on 15 February 2018

When that perfect souvenir catches your eye while you are walking down a bustling pavement, you continue walking so to not abruptly block the path of people behind you. But, deep down in your heart you know you can’t satisfactorily go home without having it. So what do you do? You step to the side where you allow people to pass and you go up to the storekeeper to ask: ‘How much?’.

Bargaining is an art. And while no two attempts are the same, like with any other skill in life, practice makes perfect. Generally speaking, you can fight the vendor on their prices in touristy shops, street stores and flea markets but not at food outlets or modern retail stores.

Point around

See something you like? Curb your enthusiasm. Don’t draw attention to it.

Point at another product that surrounds the one that you wish to buy. When he quotes you a price show some disappointment and tell him it is out of budget. Soon after, ask for the price of the product that you actually want. The price will be more reasonable than if you had asked right away.

Bargain with cash

If the seller quotes his price at $105 but you show him that you only have $100, he will very likely sell it to you. Bargain only with cash.

Understand the product

If you already understand the product and its value, you are in the best bargaining position. Do not be fooled by the wildly inflated, initial price tag, first identify what you are willing to pay for the product. Then determine the minimum price that the Vendor is willing to sell to you.

Obviously, negotiating as close to the minimum will be in your interest. But if the negotiated price is not to your liking, walking away usually triggers the seller to offer his final price. That blurted out price as you turn away is typically the very best price that they will be willing to sell to you. Take it or leave it.

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