How to haggle when abroad


1st Jan 2015 Travel

How to haggle when abroad
Haggling has been used by both buyers and sellers all over the world for centuries, but those who do it well understand the etiquette of haggling. Get this right and you’ll become a haggling expert.

Here are our tips:

When to haggle

  • When it’s quiet: trying to haggle when there’s a large queue of customers at lunchtime is not advised, as both the seller and other customers will get angry.
  • In a sale: where items have already been reduced is always a good time to haggle as the seller will want to get rid of as much surplus stock as he can.
  • Towards the end of the month: this can be a good time to haggle as many salespeople have monthly targets to achieve, so can sometimes be more flexible on price.

Where to haggle

You don’t have to be in a packed tourist market in Morocco, you can haggle anywhere. Asking for a better deal is what consumers do every day, from agreeing mobile phone contracts to getting free delivery. If you don’t ask you won’t get!

Research the product

Find out what other retailers are charging for this product, including online retailers.

Set your target price

Set yourself a price that you will be willing to pay. You may aim for a price that is lower but know what you would be willing to pay.

Build a rapport with the seller

A simple ‘good morning’ or ‘hi how’s it going’ will help to open up a conversation. If possible, find out their name and tell them what you’re looking for.

Be patient, don’t haggle too soon

Try not to mention the price in the first few minutes, let the seller tell you a little about the product, even if you already know the details.

Talking price

Never ever tell them what your budget is. When you’ve been given a price, don't say - ‘any chance of a discount’, instead, go for: ‘I like the product so if we can agree a lower price I will buy it today’.
In order to get a good deal you need to find out just how low they will go, so make them an offer much lower than what you’d be prepared to pay. If the seller tells you there’s no way they could do that you can move up from there. When you've made an offer, keep quiet until the seller has responded. Silence is golden and crucial when trying to get a great deal.

Haggling do’s and don’ts

  • Don’t lose your temper. Keep your cool when haggling.
  • Do make sure you build rapport with the seller and be friendly.
  • Do be flexible: many sellers might not be able to reduce the price as much as you wanted but could be able to throw in some free extras.
  • Don’t be afraid to walk away, if the deal doesn't suit you shop around.
  • Don’t be pushy or rude.
  • Don’t argue over just a few quid.
  • Don’t demand discounts, do request a lower price.
  • Don’t say you can’t afford it, do say you are not prepared to pay the asking price.

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