01 Jun The best bargain
A holiday abroad would obviously involve a certain amount of treasure hunting for mementoes and gifts. Air-fare and accommodation along could be rather heavy on your purse and therefore most prefer to look around for the best bargains, where ever in the world they are.
Haggling itself is an art. When and where to haggle and to what extent to haggle comes with practice. And though at times the price you pay and the item you gain is not a real bargain, just to get the price down from what is initially stated is a triumphant moment. Travellers should also keep in mind that bargaining in most destinations is not about saving money, or getting a good deal, but rather a tradition. So, here are some tips for the novice haggler.
Always maintain a friendly atmosphere. A smile will keep the transaction going and most likely that you will succeed. Use your charm to your advantage.
Have an idea of prices. It helps to know what you are buying and the actual cost. Also keep in mind that though item may be unique for you there could be many similar treasures, probably of better quality, further down the street.
Even if you know what you are looking for, always remain impassive as you browse through the shop. And always ask the price of various other items as well, without drawing attention to what you are eyeing.
If you have a particular item in mind, its best to consider before hand how much you are actually willing to pay for it, and keep the amount separately in your pocket. Once you have bargained for a while and if it doesn’t reach your limit, you can always try pulling out what you have in your pocket and pretend to offer all you have.
If you are buying multiple items most shop owners do offer a discount. But make sure to juggle things around to include the items you really need. There is really no need to buy unnecessary items just because you get a discount on what you really need. You can also point out defects to get a better bargain as long as you don’t offend the shop owner.
Buying directly from an artist of a craftsman would be a bargain in itself. But, of course, such items should be cheaper than what you get through third party shop keepers. Also, this way you will actually have an interesting story about the creator to go with the treasure.
Look out for something authentic. Traditional not-so-touristy items make great gifts and souvenirs. And as they are less famous you are assured of a bargain, due to its quality, uniqueness and price.
Lastly, know when to walk away. A tested and much practiced tactic is walking away when you feel verbal bargaining in getting you no where. This is the best way to find out what the sales person’s rock-bottom price is. Walk slowly towards the exit in a disinterested manner and if the vendor is eager to sell a price will be quoted.