Many countries around the world take part in haggling when it comes to shopping- a tradition of back and forth bartering between a seller and purchaser. The style and etiquette of haggling may slightly vary depending on the country you will be visiting or relocating to- so you will want to also check tips specific to the host country you will be in. However, to get started here are few of the basic tips for haggling that you must know!
Know what it’s worth
Before you go shopping in your host country make sure you know the benchmark prices of items you want to buy. You’re not going to be able to haggle if you’re not really sure how much things cost. Research and find the typical cost of items inside your host country before your first shopping trip. Don’t be afraid to write these prices down and bring along a “cheat sheet.”
If you are shopping for items that have designer labels make sure you double check the quality. It’s important to know how to spot a fake label item. Along with checking the stitching and durability of the material- also do research on the differences when it comes to the real item and an imposture item. For example- many designer bags will have a serial number inside. Check that the bag you are thinking of buying has that number, that it’s not a standard fake number (some fakes are better than others) and that it’s located where it should be.
If at first you don’t succeed…
If you’re not able to get the price down as low as you would like, try another vendor. This is especially important if you know that they are trying to overcharge you. Sometimes just pretending to walk away will make them lower their price.
Be kind, but stand your ground
Although you’re haggling it’s important not to lose your cool or to be rude to the vendor you’re trying to haggle with. The only reason you should ever do either one of these is if it’s a standard haggling practice in your host country. In some countries yelling is a good thing, while in others you should only get as excited as the other participant in the haggle. Unless your research specifically reflects that you should be anything but polite- be polite but firm. Know what you’re after, know what it’s worth and be nice in the haggling process to get the item that you’re after.
Haggling is not fun for everyone- especially if you’re not accustom to haggling. However, for many of the individuals where haggling is commonplace- they enjoy it. Don’t feel guilty trying to haggle for a lower price.
Grab a trusted friend
If you’re new to haggling it might be helpful to find a friend who is great at it and have them help you the first few times. Make sure you observe and take mental notes of the process so you can soon go haggling on your own!
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