Bargain shopping while abroad can be one of the most fun and satisfying things you do during your travels.Because even though, when you do all the monetary conversions, you’re not paying that much in dollars, you want to get a fair price for where you are.
When I speak of “bargaining” I mean “haggling”. This means that you don’t have to, nor should you, pay the price you are given. Not all areas allow for this, but for those that do, it’s important to know how to bargain with shop owners.
I’d like to share some general “rules of thumb” when you go bargain shopping in foreign countries. Of course, if you’re in love with an item and can afford it in your own currency, and are willing to pay, then go for it.
The key phrases here are, “where are the popular local markets?”, “which markets are best for souvenirs?”, and “which markets will allow me to bargain?”. You want to find anything related to markets, night markets, weekend markets, etc.
Many shop owners will be more willing to bargain if you tell them you’re buying more than one item. I like this technique when I see that they, for whatever reason, are unwilling to budge; in this case, I’ll take a look around and see what else I can get, and ask them to ADD something and then I’ll pay the price they’re asking.