A Traveler’s Guide to Haggling in Asia Respectfully

Do Your Research

Know what you’re looking to buy and have a general idea of how much you can get for a specific item. Talk to locals and have a price in mind that you’d feel comfortable buying at. This allows you to make logical instead of emotional decisions.

Ask for their price first

Start your offer at 50% of their listing price. Vendors have compensated the prices knowing that tourists are suggested to negotiate the price, so don’t feel like you’re being offensive.

Be willing to walk away (or fake it)

This is Negotiation 101. Don’t appear too interested or excited in the product regardless if you are or aren’t. Instead, act nonchalant and calmly ask how much for this item. If you’re not satisfied with the price after a round of negotiations, be willing to walk away.

Negotiate with multiple vendors

If the item you’re looking for is common around multiple vendors, try going around and getting a quote from each. Use that as a baseline when negotiating with others.

Consider bundling another item in the offer

Buying multiple items from the same vendor will significantly increase your bargaining power. Start with negotiating on one item and then offer to buy another item for a further discount. Vendors will be more willing to negotiate to avoid losing a multi-item sale.

Be respectful

Understand when it isn’t the time or place for haggling. Don’t be rude. Vendors are there to support themselves as much as you are there to get a deal.

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