Where ever you are in the world it is important to have some basic skills to barter with sellers. You do not want to be ripped off or made a fool of. So here are some steps to get a fair price for your purchase.
1. Shop around – before settling take some time to look around and see the price of similar products. If this is a purse at a market store or a new phone contract. Check out the competition. Not only will this help you see what price you should be paying it will also help you negotiate with the seller.
2. Now you have a rough idea of how much you should be paying, go to the seller you are interested in and ask about the product. Get their name, smile and make general chit-chat. It helps to be friendly and have them on your side.
3. Say to the seller, ‘I will buy this today if we can get the price down’. Be decisive and direct but with a smile. It is no good saying, ‘Can we get the price down?’ as they can just shut you off and say ‘no, its already a low price for you.’
4. Do not say too much and always read their reaction. Be as confident as you can when you state your desired low price (this should be lower than the prices on the other stalls). Do not forget to mention your research. ‘Your competitors sell if for x, I could go else where if the price remains at x’.
5.If need be you could start to walk away, chances are they will come running after you. Just make sure not to settle for the first price they ask for.
In different countries, there are different cultures in regards to bargaining. For instance in the UK you would never bargain in supermarkets as items have set prices. Having said this, in markets in London you can barter. As a rule of thumb in most markets you can bargain.
A tip is to find a local friend to buy things for you. For example, in Mexico as soon as a stall owner saw me – a white gringo walk up, they increased the prices to a ‘tourist price.’
In some instances it is unfair to bargain. When you see someone who has made a beautiful bag and desperately needs the money – if you have money I would say just give it.