If you want to get the best out of your purchase, bargaining with merchants is the best way to go. Whenever you travel, fighting for prices at flea markets, souvenir shops, and street vendors is an easy task to do. Unless you’re haggling inside a shopping mall or modern stores, which is not acceptable. Keep in mind that bargaining/haggling is only applicable to goods, not on food sold at stands or other outdoor markets. With that being said, here are a few tips to help you how to be an effective haggler.
Trigger the Merchant to Make the First Move
- If you found an item that you want to take home with you, try saying “It’s a bit too pricey”. When you do, the merchant will make the first move to bargain the price. This is the perfect opportunity to haggle to make the price even lower.
Find Out How Much the Locals Pay
- Merchants tend to overprice their items when tourist approaches their stores. This is because they think that outsiders are wealthier compared to the locals. If you stumble upon a store and see if the prices aren’t marked, assume that there is a double price standard: An expensive one for you and a cheaper one for the locals. If you have a friend that lives on the destination you’re traveling on, let him/her help you to get the best bargain as possible.
Check if The Item is Worth Your Money
- Fixed prices are like an illusion that can distort the item’s true worth. Merchants are smart and you should be smarter. For example, if you think that you’re doing great by cutting down the price for about 50%, the merchant doubles the price and you happily paid for it without thinking about it. Before finding out the price, determine if the item is worth for you so nothing will be wasted on every single cash you paid.
Determine the Lowest Price as Possible
- Merchants don’t want to lose their sale. If you saw an item but it didn’t match with the price you had in mind, then walk away. However, if the merchant offers you the lowest last-minute price as soon as you turn your head to another store, then go for it. Important tip: Huge price drops occurs at the end of the day where the merchants are about to pack up.
Practice Your Emotions
- Don’t give a happy face whenever you haggle. Merchants will think that you’re too obsessed with the item and you’re willing to pay how much money you had in there. Keep a straight face while dealing with the price to convince them that you want something lower than what they have offered.
- Merchants like to listen, and if you trick them by using your knowledge about an item. They’re likely to lower the price since you know “about” everything of that particular item. Of course, you have to show “real” knowledge instead of just faking it.
- Bulk Dealing
- Check if the merchant will give a better price if you buy items in bulk. The more they think they can sell, the more flexible they become.
Pay Cash Instead of Credit Cards
- There are stalls that accept credit cards as a method of payment especially those merchants that sells pricier and more valuable goods. But if you pay by cash, these merchants will be happy to make a deal with you since they won’t lose any profit being taken by the bank from credit-card fees.
Show them the Money
- Only let out the amount of cash you’re willing to pay for. Convince them that this is “all you have” and there’s nothing more. Merchants will be tempted to just make a deal with the amount of cash you have on hand and just say “oh well”.
- Bargaining/Haggling takes time, effort, and also respect. Make sure you are dealing with someone that is willing to lower their prices down. Don’t show too much power when haggling. Be humble and learn how to respect.
Leave If It’s Time to Leave
- If the deal doesn’t get any better, then leave. Don’t waste your time bargaining with something that the merchant won’t even accept. Remember, some of them are skilled businesspeople and they know how to close or accept every deal.