When it comes to bargaining, every place has its own customs. It is a sort of an art. Nevertheless, even though places might differ in the specifics, the general rules are pretty much the same. So, no matter whether you are traveling to India, China, or Alaska, here’s how to negotiate and get the best deal on everything.
Bargaining is everything in less developed countries
In most of the well-developed countries today, we are used to the fixed rate on merchandise system and we don’t feel cheated because everyone ends up paying the same price for that product. At most other places there is still the ancient practice of haggling and bargaining; it gives us an opportunity to purchase the product at a much lesser price than the offered one—along with getting a cheap deal, it is kind of a fun process too, interacting with sellers especially in a foreign land when you are on vacations! Just remember these points to bargain successfully.
How to negotiate when you are traveling to a new place
1. Explore the options
Don’t go and make an offer on the merchandise you liked in the very first shop it is displayed—look around; it is possibly going to be there in other stores too especially if it is a market or bazaar. Casually browse through more merchandise and ask the prices of a few of them, don’t give away the feeling that you liked something in particular. Find the rate of the exact thing at various stores—and get back to the store where the price was cheapest. However, remember to inspect the product carefully. Don’t fall for something just because it is cheap. Most of the times, cheaper products are already used or are of inferior quality.
2. Compare the prices with your native place
When you are in a foreign land, dealing transactions in foreign currency, make a note of how much a can of coke or some common commodity costs you back home and keep the difference in mind along with international exchange rates of the currency. Now when you go out to the local markets looking for a good deal on something, first fix an amount you can offer for it in your mind before you ask for the price. Your calculation on the coke back home and at the foreign land comes in handy here, in fixing the mental price of the product. Of course, the price quoted by the seller is going to be way expensive than what you had in mind. Now start negotiating and try bringing the price down to the item’s true worth.
3. Be smart
Please don’t say things like—“wow, that’s so cheap!” after you have done the mental currency conversions, that is not going to help you in bargaining, and it strains the relation between your seller and yourself, as the merchandise that you find cheap could be of greater value to the seller. Keep your excitement to yourself and you can probably go and take it out in your room or brag about it to your friends back home. But don’t let the shopkeeper get even a slight clue about it.
4. Play hard-to-get
To get an upper hand in the deal, make sure you show no traits to the seller how much you like the merchandise. Be willing to let go of it and move on as if you don’t care. Walk away if you must and the chances are the seller will call you back to negotiate the offer you just made.
5. Don’t be prudish
Chat up with your seller and socialize, anyways you are on vacation to meet different people and know their experiences—not just to collect souvenirs from the places you have been to! Local shopkeepers are usually your one-stop answer to all your queries regarding the new place you are at. Chatting up and being jovial will make the seller realize you are a nice person and offer you good discounts. It can also tell you a lot about the market you are in. But beware! don’t take every word that the shopkeepers tell you as the truth! They might try to cash in on your trust.
6. Be professional
How to negotiate like a pro? Act cool and if you are in doubt about the price offered by the seller, without batting an eye-lid just make an offer that is exactly the half of it if you intend to buy it. Look for flaws and defects in the piece and use it to your advantage for further lowering the price. Have knowledge about the merchandise to have an upper hand with the seller—do your homework before setting out to buying!
7. Don’t hesitate to grab the deal
If the offers made by you and the seller are close enough, seal the deal immediately. Don’t push it further for that extra bit of discount and make the experience a tiresome one for you and the shopkeeper. Quite often at local markets, if you are upfront with cash you will get you the deal at your price—just be prepared to seal the deal the right way.