Top 10 Master Haggling Tips

13 September 2011

For travellers out there, learning how to haggle is almost a must depending on what country you're going. To help you up your odds of scoring a bargain, we sourced advice from our travel experts to bring you our top 10 master haggling tips.

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Market Place Shopping - Haggling Tips

1. When buying large items, consider how you’ll get it home. Some vendors who offer to send it home for you may not be true to their word.

2. Buy goods at the market entrance when a few stalls in is usually much cheaper.

3. Find out if bargaining is appropriate first - learn if a price is fixed, show some interest in an item, but say, “it's just too much money”. You put the merchant in a position to make the first offer and if he comes down even a fraction, haggle away.

4. Learn what locals pay - prices can vary drastically among vendors at the same market, and there is also usually a double price standard - one for locals and one for you. Ask an English-speaking local customer for the going rate to get a better indication.

5. Determine the merchant’s lowest price - many tourists think that if they can cut a price tag by 50 per cent, they are doing well. Work the cost down to rock bottom, then walk away. The last price the vendor yells out as you turn the corner is often the best price you'll get.

6. Show the merchant your money - physically hold out your money and offer him ‘all you have’ to pay for whatever you are bartering over. He'll be tempted to just to grab your money and settle the deal.

7. Look indifferent and if the price is too much, leave - never worry about having taken too much of the merchant's time. They are experts at making the tourist feel guilty for not buying. It's all part of the game.

8. Don’t get so caught up in bargaining fever that you stop having fun - some shoppers get so intent on beating the price down they fail to realise they’re arguing madly over just a few cents.

9. Obey the rules and don't hurry - bargaining is rarely rushed. Bid carefully, and finally if a merchant accepts your price (or vice versa), you must buy the item.

10. The best way to deal with price tags is to ignore them.

Do you have any Haggling tips or bargain shopping tips to share? Feel free to post your tips in the comments section below.

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