Tip for Bartering Cultures

11 Mar

Random tip for people traveling to bartering cultures:

Ask the locals, people you know, or the assistants in your travel program what the local standard is for Bartering. Having visited several different bartering nations, I’ve learned that they are dramatically unconsistent with their beginning prices.  Some culture start about 80% higher than expected, some 20%, some 50% (China). It really depends on where you are. However, a lot of times, if you know the standard, you can figure out about how much they want. 

For example, here in Xinzheng, I find a dress I want. I ask the price and get 50RMB.  Wow, that seems really high, but I know that the custom is to throw back a 50% offer. So I tell her 25RMB. Odds are we’re going to end up somewhere around 30RMB at the end. A little more than my lowest offer, but way lower than their introduction. And the system is pretty much the same no matter what area you visit in town.  

So talk to people in your city; where is the introductory price going to lie. Then you know how much to make in your counter-offer.

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