How to Barter on Vacation
A lot of people when on vacation, see something they like, and don’t think twice about the cost. Once you factor in the exchange rates in some countries, what you thought was a good deal, really isn’t. Make sure to carry smaller bills, so you’re not waving around larger ones, to make haggling over a price smoother. Here are 3 ways to make bartering and saving some money, a little easier.
1. Don’t gush over an item. The best thing to do when you see something you really love at one of these markets down south, over in Asia or Europe, or wherever you happen to be visiting; is to squeal excitedly on the inside. Don’t let the person working the stall or counter know just how much you want something. They see this all the time, and they see you coming. That excited tourist that just has to have that pretty, sparkly necklace. Instead, look at that thing you just must have, pick it up, put it down, and move onto something else.
2. Don’t take the first price. After you’ve wandered around for a bit, and have your eye on one or two things, now is the time to approach the person working. They will most likely have a calculator in their hand, waiting to convert the price from their currency into yours. They will show you the price, then say “For you, I will give it to you for..…” and this is when they offer you the big discount. Nod casually, and say, “Would you take, (insert the amount that you are willing to and realistically should pay for said item).” There will be some hesitation on their part, and that’s ok. It’s all part of the game. If they come back with a price you are still not comfortable with or can’t realistically afford to pay, nod, say Thank You, and walk away. One thing to remember, is that every item you see, has a large mark up. The locals are hoping you will pay these inflated prices. If this is ok for you, or you feel like you are helping them out by paying more for an item, then feel free to pay the original or slightly lowered price.
3. Be willing to walk away. For those of you on a hunt for a bargain, read on. Chances are, at this point, the person working the stall, will now start walking behind you or shouting at you to come back, saying how much of a better deal he can give you. Turn around and listen to what they have to say. They may only go down slightly, and that’s ok too. If you have the courage to counter offer, do so. A thing to remember, is that they will only come down in price as far as they are comfortable. If you still don’t feel like you are getting a good deal, then walk away for good. You may lose that item you had your eye on, but there will probably be one just like it, a few stalls down.