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Gregarious, bold, straightforward and does not care how people perceive. I am not a creep. Just being myself.
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Friday, November 20, 2009

Some Useful Tips of Bargaining When You're Travelling

I have been travelling to a few places around the globe and there are some bargaining skills that I have had  developed across the timeline. Here is a few guidelines that you might need when you out there mouth-battling with the seller on those bags you like.

1) When you're at the bazaar or flea market, please make sure with your tourist guides or locals if the spot allows you to negotiate about price. Not all bazaars welcome buyers to talk about price.

2) If can, please bring along a small calculator. It will come in handy when you're negotiating price because you're talking about two different currency here.

3) Beware of replica goods such as bags, clothes, shoes, etc. Certain countries have excellent craftmanship in imitating branded goods that you will not see the difference between the original and the replica ones. i.e. China. Knowing that you are a tourist, and you are interested in one of those LV bags, they tend to mark up 300-400% of the actual selling price assuming that you did not know that the bags are fakes.

4) Do not jump into conclusion purchasing your favourites without making a survey with other similar stalls. Who knows the stall next to the one you standing can actually offer you lower price for the same item.

5) Often when you interested with the particular item, the seller will ask you how much that you can pay. In this case, ask back the seller how much that he can offer. Take it from there. Negotiate the price the lowest possible that you think the item might worth.

6) If the seller insisted not to accept your suggested price (must be reasonable), walk off. He will chase/shout/call you back if he's able to lower down to your price.

7) Do not bargain or even ask for the price of the goods if you have no intention to buy. Your act will tick off most sellers and you will get yourself in trouble (if you unlucky enough).

8) Show them the money. If the goods you bargain is about 100 yuan (RM50), show them 100 yuan. This help to soften them to sell you at your price.

9) Be smart. Some cunning sellers might want you to pay using your own currency if they know you have insufficient cash in their currency. You might have to pay higher than ever using your own currency esp for travellers from Europe countries. Try computing yourself whether it is worth paying or not.

10) Sometimes it is okay to lie which I do most of the time. Go to a stall, and you offer your price. If they cannot accept the price, try talk your way out by telling small white lies. Say, the stall at the end is selling cheaper at this price (which is not true) and why can't you? For some sellers, being under pressure means they do not want to lose their business to their competitors. And might fall into your trap. LOL. But sometimes this won't work because they have reached a consensus which the lowest price you can go for the item is that price.

11) Be patient. Do not rush into buying anything unless you got the best price. If you appear like you in a hurry, you will be duped by them without you knowing it. Remember, all sellers are businessmen. They are good in dealing with money.

12) Befriend with them. You can negotiate easily when you are having a friend-to-friend conversation. Some sellers can be soften by having striking up a friendly conversation with them. I was supposed to pay 200 yuan for a handbag but I spent 30mins in her stall and it ended up good when she gave me at 100 yuan.

Here is an equation that it might work in country like China.

Your purchase price = Initial seller price / 2 / 2

Meaning to say if the initial price is 500 yuan, then divide it by 2 to 250 yuan and again divide it by 2 to 125 yuan. So your purchase price should be around 115-125 yuan.


6 comments:

Joyce C. said...

Interesting. It's kind of embarrassing but my mo really knows how to bargain. And I mean REALLY. I on the other hand am really 'blur' in that area. Very informative. I'll try some of those tips next time.

Thanks much for posting them!

Cynthia Kim said...

Joyce C. Thanks for the compliment. Hahaha. It took me at least 4 trips abroad to learn all this skills. Well u just need time and u will be good once u master it.

julian said...

For me, a key thing is to always decide on your maximum *before* you start bargaining, otherwise it's easy to get caught up in the process, and end up spending more than you wanted to.

Cynthia Kim said...

Yes, Julian. You're right. That's why you only bargain when you wanna buy, right? Hehehe. And you will always bargain for your prefered price or better yet, lower

von Yvonne said...

hah it's absolutely true! when i was in shanghai, when the lady quoted me the price, like 800 yuan for a bag, i walked off, and she ask me to offer her instead, & without thinking, i said 80 yuan, & nego until i paid around 120 yuan! sounds so unrealistic right! but it's damn true, it was like bargaining without thinking logically. lols

Cynthia Kim said...

Well...if the quality they offered is worth 120 yuan, then shouldnt be a problem. Would be fine lo. Hahah. Malaysian Ringgit is only RM60, kan? LOL

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