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better bargainer abroad

How to be a better bargainer abroad

  • By Bob.K
  • Travel Tips

When you're going on vacation, you should be aware of all the little things that make the location special. If you want to save money when buying something, here is how to be a better bargainer abroad. Even the ones of us who are financially responsible have problems when met with a completely new culture. Read these tips in order to avoid making a hole in your budget.

Try to understand the language
Even if you do not speak the country's language, it's easy to pick up a few words here and there. Knowing a few basic words will help you communicate with the shop owner, and maybe even get a good deal. Tourists are often taken advantage of if they cannot use the local language to their advantage.

Be polite, smile and have patience
Keeping a positive attitude and a smile on your face will increase your chances of getting the item you want, for cheap. The local sellers will be more willing to chat with you and haggle once you know the social norms, as well. In addition, remember to check the city's currency and conversion. Always have local cash on you, as many exotic countries do not use US dollars.

Stick to your offer
Haggling can be fun, but be firm about the price you are willing to settle for. If you look undecided, the sellers will sense that lack of confidence and stick to their own price. If you have an idea that you may find a better price somewhere else, go browse the market. Many street sellers carry similar items, whether it may be food or souvenirs. You may even be able to get the same item for half of price across the street.

Don't reveal your interest
Even if you are dying to own that pair of boots of scarf, don't make your intentions too clear. Try acting casual and confident, as you will increase your chances of succeeding. Shop owners will read your face expression and any excitement you show will make them raise the price.

Don't be pushy
Instead of demanding a specific price, learn how to haggle and be firm. No one is forced to sell the item to you for cheap, so allow the seller to meet you halfway. You might not get the lowest price you hoped for, but the deal should still be good enough. Don't let things get too heated and be ready to walk away once you see you have no chance of winning.

Ask a local friend to help
Making a few local friends before your trip can help you bargain. A local knows the language, the best shopping places and of course, how to haggle. They will also be well aware of the rates and overall prices, so you will not be taken advantage of while shopping. If you don't know anyone in the region, hiring a guide sounds like a good idea. You might make a new friend and even learn something along the way.