1/ Remember, we’re all human. The first thing to keep in mind is that we’re all in this together. No matter the language barrier or cultural differences – they want to sell and you want to buy. It’s a deal. An exchange. Nothing personal, no one is out to get you, it’s just business. While the shopkeeper is trying to make as much profit as possible, you, of course, are trying to get the lowest possible price. Don’t stress it, just take a breath and smile. You’re equal players of the same game.
But there are a few more crucial rules to this bargaining game…
2/ Play it cool. You’ve entered the shop and you spot it – Look! It’s gorgeous! The perfect thingamajig, sitting there in plain sight between the fridge magnets and the key rings; you’re thrilled! But hang on a minute, before you get too excited, remember the shopkeeper is watching you dancing around their store with your wallet out and they’re thinking, “Hey, that person really loves that thingamajig. I bet I can get double the price I was going to ask for it.” It’s a given – too much enthusiasm will up the price. Take your time and play it cool. Look it over, put it back, and take a few minutes to casually check out the rest of the store. Be friendly and polite but don’t rush it. Only then, after you’ve made the rounds, circle back to that perfect thingamajig you’ve been searching for everywhere and only then, casually ask the price – but keep your wallet in your pocket!
3/ Don’t haggle unless you mean it. They’ve told you the price but you’re having a little trouble getting your head around the exchange rate. Is that $10.00 or $10,000.00? Don’t rush in to it. Take a breath and get that calculator out. Once you’ve worked out the asking price, here’s the crucial part – decide what you’re willing to pay. It’s pretty much a guarantee they won’t sell for less than half the asking price, so if you’re not willing to even pay that much, stop now! The golden rule of haggling is that you only engage if you mean it. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to buy it if the final asking price is still too high but if you aren’t seriously interested or can’t afford it, then step away now! Attempting to bargain without really wanting to buy is considered impolite and bad business etiquette and will only get you scowled at!