Most of the time, foreign travelers face the challenge of being ‘price trapped’ when shopping in the marketplace. You may find yourself so dumb when you realize that the goods you buy are much cheaper than what you paid. For the locals, there’s a secret weapon that’s widely used to ‘fight’ in the marketplace: Bargaining skill. Bargain for lower price, bargain for better goods, bargain to make sure that they are not cheated or price-trapped.
If you have low budget with a heart of justice, it’s time to master your bargaining skill and protect your own benefits. Get some tips, fully equipped, and enjoy the trip!
1) Rule number 1: Be ‘cool’
Photo by dulichvietnam.com
Find something awesome? Don’t shout. Don’t smile. Don’t ask too much. Keep your poker face like you don’t care.
Reason: Once the shop owners notice that you are so interested in their product, they will raise the price to the sky!
2) Rule number 2: Be inconsistent
Photo by phunuonline.com
You want to buy it? Fine, offer the owner a much lower price. If not, go somewhere else and ask another shop. Don’t stick to one place. You will realize that the shop owner will immediately call you back and give you a new lower price. You can turn back, but the suggestion here is asking more shops for reference. Collect several prices and choose the best one. No need to be afraid to put down the product and go. It’s your right to consider before paying.
Reason: Most of the time, shop owners will offer a very much higher price for the product at first. They want to earn more profit if their customer is so naive, and also to cover if they unfortunately face a so-good-local bargainer.
3) Rule number 3: Be in a team
Have a local friend? Ask him (or her) to go with you. Ask many of your friends and hang out together. A team will make you stronger when bargaining.
Reason: The shop owners usually see a loner as a good target for price-trapped. They will look seriously annoyed if you bargain, but it’s because you know their tricks. Having a friend who said “Go buy somewhere else” when facing a difficult situation will make you deal with it smoothly.
Bargaining is part of the shopping culture in Vietnamese culture, especially in marketplace where there’s no fixed price for the products. Therefore, master your bargaining skill if you plan to stay in Vietnam for a while. It seems to be difficult at the beginning, then later on, it will surely be an interesting experience. You will find yourself adapting to the local lifestyle, see through the eyes of the locals and it will change your view about shopping experience. Totally!