Haggling is expected in many cultures. In Europe, they expect you to negotiate prices at markets, shops, and street vendors. This is just common practice among the locals and visitors must do the same.
But, many tourists are unfamiliar with the art of haggling. While common to hear the friendly banter of high and low ball pricing in the streets, never use this tactic at modern stores or shopping malls. You can bargain for goods, but food and outdoor produce markets do not haggle. They offer a fixed price for their consumables.
So, how do you haggle for goods and services? Follow our tips below for a great experience and lower prices on the souvenirs you wish to take home.
1. If you are not sure haggling is allowed, chose an item you are interested in and mention the item is just too much money. If the shop keeper lower the price, you know he is open for negotiation.
2. Never show too much enthusiasm even if you find a one-of-a-kind item you have to have-now! If the vendor knows you want an item, you will never get the lowest price. Instead, look at similar items and ask for those first. Or have another person ask the price of the item you want.
3. We recommend hanging back and seeing what the locals pay for similar items. Check out several booths and never show what you’re interested in until you are ready to buy. Consider buying when vendors are ready to close. They sell for less since they want to go home for the night.
4. When you haggle for the item you want, don’t be afraid to say no. If the vendor isn’t lowering the price and you know you can get the item for less, say no and walk away. The vendor will shout out one or two lower prices. If those prices are more in your range, go back and buy.
5. Don’t be in a hurry when haggling for the best trade. Take your time and show respect to the vendor. He or she wants to make the sale to support a family. If you need to speed up the haggling, hold out the exact change you want to pay for an item and say it’s all you have. The vendor will decide if money offered is fair and close the deal.