Most people living in developed countries like the U.S. and Canada have little experience on how to haggle over prices. Except when we need to buy very expensive items like automobiles or a piece of property, we prefer fixed labeled prices. In fact, when you travel, you may feel that negotiating for lower prices on a $30 item is a bit unfair, considering the lower standard of living in countries in the Middle East and Asia. But learning how to haggle could save you a lot of money and enable you to get real value for your buck when you travel overseas on a limited budget. You want to always make sure that you have keep belonging secure when traveling, but also learn to deal smart. Here are some ideas that you can use to negotiate effectively on your next trip.
Survey the Market
When you are shopping in the open street markets or even in larger department stores, you should take a look around first. To negotiate effectively, you must avoid buying anything on impulse. No matter how nice the first item you find is, you may find a much better version, or discover a lower price a few shops down the line. So walk around and make up your mind first before you ask for the price of any item. It is important to remember that you do not need a big bulky bag when shopping, a small compact sized messenger bag should suffice depending on what you are looking at.
Get Information About Prices from Locals
After deciding on what you will buy, get an idea of the typical cost of the item. Ask a few locals or people who are not selling the item how much they will pay for it. You can ask the waiter where you eat, or inquire from people at the hotel. Bear in mind that if a local will get it for $10, you will probably have to pay more. But at least you should not pay $20 for it. At this point, you should also find out if there are alternatives, especially when you are planning to pay for service like an island tour package, or you want to rent equipment for recreation.
Be Ready for a Conversation
Negotiation works best when you are ready to engage the seller in a conversation. So don’t go shopping when you are in a hurry or when you are tired. Show the vendor that you have a substantial amount of knowledge about the item you are planning to buy. This will make the seller respect you and offer you a better price. Try to make each opportunity to haggle a fun-filled experience. Be as friendly and humorous as possible.
Determine Your Maximum Price
Before you start the negotiation, make sure you have a maximum price in mind. Your previous inquiry about prices should help you to fix an upper limit before you start the negotiation. With this price, you are ready to start the negotiation. Whether you allow the seller to state a price first, or you make the first bid, you should state a price that is far below your upper limit. Then you can move up gradually while the vendor reduces the asking price. For example, if your upper limit is $10, you should start negotiating from $6 or $7 while the seller could start from $20. However, you should be ready to walk away if the seller insists on a price that is far beyond the limit you set.
These simple tips should help you to get prepared to haggle for a good bargain when you have to buy items in the open market in other countries. Remember that though it takes a while to master the art of negotiation, you will get more proficient as you practice with these valuable tips.