Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Street Markets: Bargaining with Shop Owners

This past Christmas vacation, my family and I went to a border city in Mexico for the day and had a fun time shopping for a few small gifts for family. I told my children that they could try bargaining with the shop owners since that is the custom there, particularly with tourists. When we went into some of the shops, the owner would give us a very high price for an item and then immediately drop the price at least half. Then, if we were interested, we could negotiate a better price. In some cases, we would walk away if the price was still too expensive, and then some shop owners would drop the price even lower to get us to return.

So, what about in your areas or countries? Is bargaining consider appropriate when shopping? In what cases and in what situations can you do this? Share your experiences either in your countries or where you have traveled.

Best,

Randall

4 comments:

  1. Frankly, I am not the person who is good on bargain when I buy something. Well, if just for fun or just buy some souvenir, that’s OK. If I really concern the quality of the stuff which I want to buy, I wouldn’t like to go to the place to bargain. Before I lived in China, when I went to buy food (usually daily vegetable and meat ) in the free market or buy clothes in free market or even in the big department stores, I had to bargain. However, after I had bought the stuff I bargained for, my felling were always bad. I would doubt the quality or if I had get a fake stuff, because too many people were cheated every day. After I moved to Canada, I felt a little easier when I buy something. First of all, I can buy every thing from big supermarkets there nobody bargain and the quality of the goods are trustable. Secondly, most places refund me if I decide to send the stuff back with any reason. Thirdly, there is not too many places for bargaining in Canada, I can shake off the bargaining burden and keep a free mind when I go anywhere in Canada.
    Jimmy Sun
    Canada

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  2. Personally I don't think bargaining is a bad thing.In my home country China bargaining is kind of traditional thing when people go to buy something even daily vegetables and fruits, although these days we usually don't bargain in supermarket and malls. In most situations, people do not bargain when they buy big or expensive things like TV or Jewelry, because decreasing price after bargaining make people feel cheated like Jimmy said.

    Bargaining can be fun and is more than cutting price but a negotiation art. When I lived in Shanghai, I found many things like clothes or bags are very expensive in malls. But I went to shop in some special street shops and had a lot of fun,even make friends with some owners. I got nice shoes, clothes and bags at reasonable prices through successful negotiating. So bargaining is more than cutting price but a negociating art.

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  3. That is an interesting topic to me. I am not good at bargaining but at least I would like to do if there seems any chance. Well, it depends on owners and places. For instance, in South Korea where I am from, you'd better bargain to get good deal especially if you go to a public market so-called Korean traditional market. Of course, it is not working at any other department stores.
    I have been living in USA for the past seven months. I have never experienced it so far. :-)

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  4. I think barganing is more than a custom here in Brazil. It's become so intrinsic to our culture that it's done naturally whenever and wherever we're shopping. However, since I've never traveled abroad, I don't know how people from other cultures would react to this sort of behavior.

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Thanks for posting a comment. I appreciate your interesting in sharing your ideas.

Best,

Randall