Bargaining is essential for everyone who loves to travel, but the always concerning questions is how to bargain and for how much this is even possible. In this post, I will be finally resolving the big mystery on how to bargain and how low we can go with the price.
No matter if we are traveling around Asia, Africa, America or Europe, the art of bargaining always comes in handy. Even we often see the sign “fixed price”, we can still ask for a discount if we buy a larger quantity – after all, asking does not hurt anyone!
I believe there’s not a single traveler out there, who could say, he/she was never faced with bargaining, as price haggling is unavoidable – especially when traveling in the “Third World Countries”. Even you tried your best at haggling, at the end you probably were asking yourself, if you have been successful at bargaining.
No matter if you bargain for a price on the local market, accommodation, transportation or food, I will now reveal you all the secrets when it comes to the art of bargaining.
How to bargain while traveling?
I had often asked myself this annoying question and honestly told, I was never really sure, if I could go even lower with my end price.
People normally explained to me that if I could lower the price for about 35-40%, I am already a good haggler. The bargaining price depends also on the day and hour of the purchase. A “special price” waits for you, if you were the first buyer, as the superstition is, that the first buyer brings the seller good luck for the rest of the day. The price depends also from the fact, how much merchandise your seller already sold.
Everything written above is of course true, but let not come to conclusions too fast. When I was learning Arabic, my Arab teacher explained the art of bargaining very clearly to me. He told me, I can lower the price for as much I want, but I will need lots of time to do this.
He told me a true story from visiting his homeland Iraq. He felt in love with a water pipe (sheesha / nargile / argilah / hookah / hubbly bubbly) for tobacco smoke on the local market. When he asked a seller about the price, he was shocked – 300 EUR. That was of course too much for his budget, but he did not give up. He was coming to this seller every day for more than a week and he never asked for the price again. He was coming there only to talk with the seller and drink tea with him. The last day, he bought the water pipe for little as 30 EUR!
We can come across bargaining everywhere around the world, but it is more widely represented in Arab countries. Bargaining is their culture and their way of life. When bargaining begins, you, as a costumer, are entertaining the seller. He enjoys your company and the art of your bargaining skills. The more time you are willing to take for the seller, better price you get at the end. So I guess the answer to the question “How to bargain” actually depends on how much time will you take for your seller!
But please, do not forget on your kindness and smile, as with them, you can achieve much more you have ever imagined – you might even get yourself a new good friend!