Haggling, bartering or whatever you call it is the custom of negotiating a price for goods. It is an art as old as time. Learn haggling 101 while traveling to get your favorite items at the price you find suitable should be a skill to have.
See my all my haggling secrets below.
Why Do Travelers Haggle?
While traveling, many tourists can find themselves in a shoppers paradise. Wanting to return home with items they can only find in the destination they visit or to commemorate their travel. Even for me, who travels light and tends to not check baggage, I find certain destinations being unable to resist the urge to shop.
Where In The World Can You Haggle?
Countries Haggling Is Acceptable
- Central & South America
- Latin America
- South East Asia
- Certain Asian countries
Countries Haggling Is Not A Common PRACTICE
- North America
- Nordic Countries
- New Zealand
Haggling 101 While Traveling TIPS
Follow these tips, to haggle for the best prices on goods.
If there is a price displayed on an item, haggling will not be necessary. You may have a little wiggle room to haggle should you purchase additional items.
If you know Spanish and its a language spoken in the country you are visiting, use it while haggling. The price tag changes if vendors think you have British pounds, Euros or American dollars.
Where You Are From Matters
Vendors will usually ask where you are from and if they hear you aren’t from countries with a stronger currency they will be even more considerate on the price you settle on.
Ideal goal is to drop as close to 30% – 50% of the initial price they quote you for an item.
Ask vendors from 1-3 booths on costs for an item. This will give you sense of the price range for an item. When you are ready to purchase you will have a rough idea of what you should be paying.
Don’t be afraid to walk away. With markets, for example, there will many booths selling similar items. You will easily find another booth that will accept your price.
Set A Price
Are you set on a price you will pay for something? Tell the vendor you were quoted x but the other vendor didn’t have it in the color you wanted. Add that you will only pay x price for their item. Stick to your gun and with a little back and forth, you will get it for said price. (As long as it’s a realistic price.)
GoodS Can Be Used To Haggle
Looking to purchase a higher end item, such as a rug or furniture. Consider bringing a bottle of any type of liquor as a bartering tool in Islamic countries like Egypt and Morocco. Being an Islamic country, alcohol is quite expensive. Many vendors are willing to accept a combination of cash and liquor as payment.