Shopping is usually a big part of any trip abroad. Some people may shop for souvenirs while others are on the lookout for something they can’t find anywhere else. No matter what you’re looking for, you can find it in Bangkok. It isn’t uncommon to hear some tourists complain about getting ripped off at the many markets throughout Thailand.
The problem is that these people are used to the western method of shopping and don’t know how to haggle. Haggling is a common skill that is almost a requirement in certain parts of the world. Most westerners are used to going into a store and paying the asking price but many shop owners in other parts of the world will expect you to haggle with them. It may seem a little tricky at first but there are a few simple steps you can follow.
The first step is to establish an asking price. Many people find it helpful to shop around a bit before deciding on a person to haggle with. Once you have established a general idea of how much something should be worth you can ask them for their price. It isn’t rare to find that the asking price is almost double what the item is worth.
After you have discovered the asking price you should make a counter offer. When making a counter offer you should keep in mind that you should offer a price lower than what you’re willing to pay. This price can often be very low but it gives you some room to bargain.
The person you’re dealing with may pretend to be insulted by your low price but if they’re open to haggling then they will make you another offer. This price should be lower than what they previously offered. You should then make another offer which is slightly higher than your last offer. This will continue until you have both agreed on a price.
Many westerners have a negative outlook on haggling because it isn’t very common in a modern western society. Other areas of the world, however, view haggling as an everyday occurrence and many shop owners at the local markets will expect you to haggle with them a bit. It’s important to remember that many people can tell you’re a westerner and will assume that you have a lot of money. If you become an effective haggler then not only will you avoid being ripped off but you will earn the shop owner’s respect and will get a better price the next time you stop by.