As a world traveler there are skills you will learn and master by necessity and practicality.
Skills that are not only valuable while traveling around the world, but also in everyday life back at home.
Haggling is one of those skills.
Street markets, night markets, food markets, any market… Small shops, taxis, hawkers, hotels, anywhere that doesn’t have a fixed price…
Haggling or bargaining effectively in these places and situations will give you a fairer and often the best deal – and just as important, a great personal satisfaction of being bad ass and not being ripped off.
As a vagabond, I’ve had the pleasure and education of haggling in 20 countries and I can say that is has become an art for me.
The varied experience world travelers like myself of had gives us a unique perspective on haggling and I have noticed that the method that you need works the same way regardless of where you are.
Its actually quite easy to learn but will take time and practice to master. Here is the basic 3 step process on how haggling should be done :
If in a shop, look around with an emotionless face. Pick up an item here and there and place them back with no sign of interest, especially once you actually find something you want to buy.
The Offer //
Its not what you say but its how you say it. Be or appear confident. Look at the target in the eyes after finding out what the price is and offer half of it (in Western countries, 2/3).
The Deal //
The target will counteroffer. Then you should offer half of that new price. In most cases, if done right, that will be the sale price. The key is to initially offer low, but not too low.
-Always get a base price from the seller, never initially offer them a price without this.
-If you can’t get the seller to go any lower on a price and you really want the item, say you will accept the price if they throw in a much cheaper item from the shop for free.
-Ask their name and give yours, this makes it more personal with instant rapport.
-If the salesperson won’t stop haggling after your final price is rejected or they’re becoming bothersome, literally walk away. Don’t feel guilty, just go.
-If they accept your offer, you are obligated to purchase – remember this when haggling.
The art of haggling goes beyond just purchasing products and services like getting out of jam with the police, flirting with women(or men), debating where to go with your travel partner or any other negotiative situation. So practice the art of the haggle whenever possible and you’ll get more out of life.
[The featured photo was taken while haggling the price of a cobra snake in Siem Reap, Cambodia.]