How to Haggle Like A Pro When You Go Travelling

Because shopping always feels EXTRA amazing when you manage to score an awesome deal!

How proud do you feel when you shop a ton (and at least half of them are clothes or items you won’t be able to find back in KL) and they are (almost) dirt cheap? While places like Bangkok or Indonesia could already have lower price tags, the truth is, the price can be even lower if you haggle. If you’re new to the bargaining game, here are some of the female team’s easiest foolproof tips and tricks based on different shopping cities!

bargaining tips


1. Bargaining in Bangkok by Editor Terry


a. Day/night markets are safe to bargain at

Set a benchmark in your mind/or a price you’re definitely willing to pay, then make a lower bid. If you get turned down at first, just walk away; they’ll counter offer with a price, which will still be negotiable. I’ve managed to bag good bargains for bags and shoes with discounts up to RM50 off displayed prices. Local independent designers also have stores at the markets but these are usually not so open to bargaining, because you do get decent quality and designs from them.

b. Platinum mall/MBK or any other wholesale malls already have pretty good deals going

Try to pick two to three pieces from the same store; anything above this number usually gets a better price anyway. If you’re buying above five pieces or so, check with them for the best price IF you were to pay cash in stores where credit cards are accepted as well – they generally prefer cash. But don’t expect them to counter offer like they would at the markets if you get turned down though. So walk away only if you’re really ready to say goodbye to the items!

c. Normal shopping centres – do not bargain! 

BONUS: “If you want to get the best price while shopping, head to the shops bright and early. Most Thai people have a tradition where they cannot decline the first customer of the day, as they believe they’re throwing away potential business opportunities for the rest of the day if they don’t sell to the first person who comes to their shop. This means you won’t have to haggle; instead they’ll sell whatever it is you’re after for the price you want!  But be fair and don’t ask for a ridiculously low price.” — Editorial Assistant Fara


2. Bargaining in Beijing by Editorial Assistant Fara


a. Make sure you bargain and ask for at least half of the price as most shops really mark up their items.

b. If they don’t want to sell it for the price you want, just casually walk off. There’s a high chance of them instantly agreeing to sell it to your price; it’s a little sneaky but it’s a tried and tested method!


3. Bargaining in Taiwan by Beauty Writer Samantha


a. It would be great if you know the language/dialect spoken to have an extra advantage in the bargaining process. In this case, Mandarin!

b. If not, sign language, a calculator and positive facial expressions will do. The Taiwanese are pretty nice people, so there’s no need to shout, sulk or frown to get the price you want.

c. A general tip: before bargaining, make sure that you are genuinely interested in case you manage to get the price you want. It’s not good ethics to get the seller to agree to the price you want, then later change your mind about buying it.


4. Bargaining in Bandung by Senior Special Projects Writer Sarah


a. Start haggling at a really low price; the best is at half the price of the amount it is originally sold for.

b. After making conversation, tell the seller that you like their approach and say that you’d come back the next day and will recommend it to others if you get a great deal.

c. Smile and be friendly, yet persistent. They’ll usually give in after a while.

5. Bargaining in Cambodia by Senior Graphic Designer Mei Mun

a. If shopping at the markets, browse through several shops and ask around for the prices to have a rough estimate of the standard prices in the area.

b. Normally, the stores near the exit of a tourist spot are the cheaper ones as they probably already know that you saw the prices of the same item in the previous shops before theirs. They’ll tend to sell it cheaper as they would rather you buy the items from them.

c.If they didn’t put a price tag on the item, always ask for half the price from what they’re offering.

d. Ultimately, I would try not to show much interest in buying the item (although I REALLY do want it). That way, when I try to walk away, the sellers would usually try to pull me back and desperately offer me the price that I wanted with extra two bucks — which I think is still alright.


Photos: ingimage

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