We, backpackers, love stretching our money and one of the best ways to do this is by haggling.
Known as the act of bargaining persistently over the cost of something, haggling is a way of life in some of the destinations we backpackers visit. The locals do it and save tons of money and it’s only right that we do so too.
That’s why we created a comprehensive guide to haggling when abroad.
Haggling, however, is a delicate business and must be treated as such to get the best possible outcome. It is for this reason that we at Travset created this list of things not do whilst haggling.
1. Haggling everywhere
Haggling is accepted in some parts of the world while it is simply not possible in some.
A local good market is a good place for haggling. An up-market store in London, not so much.
2. Being rude
Haggling should be a pleasant affair for both parties and all pleasant encounters begin with simple curtseys such as a greeting.
3. Haggling too much
Haggling for a reasonable amount is completely acceptable.
It is however not very reasonable to haggle for 25 cents less when you can easily afford it.
4. Starting too low
As absurd as the price of the good might be, starting your haggling with a very low offer is insulting.
Be aware of the prices of what you intend to purchase and if the price is too high, refuse and move on.
We at Travset usually begin haggling by offering 40% of the initial price offered and go up to 60% before we consider the transaction a fair deal for both parties.
5. Getting aggressive and losing face
Haggling is not a confrontational affair and should not be treated as such.
Maintain an even, polite tone of voice and refrain from talking more than necessary.
Exchange of respect is paramount even if the bargaining does not proceed as you expect.
Interrupting the seller or upping the offer while he’s haggling for a good with another customer is a big no-no.
7. Insult the goods
Insulting the quality of the goods sold is akin to an insult to the seller and this will not help you in your bargaining.
8. Walking back on a deal
Going back on the price you offered is a sure way to insult the seller, earn his distrust and disrespect.
Do not offer a price you cannot honor.