Shopping in India, in the typical crowded markets, where bargaining skills are considered essential, can be very difficult for first time travelers. You cannot imagine how easy it is to huckster for a few extra cents. However bargaining can be very exhausting and awkward for people who have never tried it before. Bear in mind that when negotiating in Indian markets you bring together two very different cultures, so you have to do it with respect for the person you are trying to persuade. Here are some golden rules to make bargaining easier.
Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained:
It is amazing what one can obtain with a little small talk, especially during nonpeak hours when the shopkeepers are more relaxed! Try asking them questions about their personal life, where they come from and how their business is going. This will help you because everyone loves to talk. Don’t forget to compliment their wares and how much you love their shop and you are on your way to getting a good deal.
Determine the merchant’s lowest price
Most salespeople would rather settle for a smaller profit, than to sale nothing at all. If you see that the merchant has accepted to bargain with you, don’t stop negotiations until you’ve hit rock bottom, and then walk away. The price you will hear when you turn your back, is probably the best price you’ll ever get. Don’t forget that prices also drop when merchants are preparing to wrap up the day.
Show your money
There’s no better language, than the language of cold, hard cash. If you see that the seller won’t drop the price more just show him your money (‘not all of it’) and tell him it’s all you have. Merchants will be tempted to grab the money and say, “Oh, Okay, if that’s all you have.. “
Search for Defects
A great tip for bargaining is to thoroughly search for something wrong on the product. This can be taken to the point of dishonesty, and it is a proven fact that most shop will lower their price for a faulty item. However do not take things too far.
Keep a cool head
Shopkeepers can smell a potential shopper’s excitement. Do not let the adrenaline get the better of you. If you see something you like try to stay calm and fight the overwhelming urge to grab it. Before bargaining for the thing you like, ask about the prices on other stuff, and slip your favorite among them. Look around, try to seem detached, this will surely confuse the merchant.
Bargaining can become the highlight of your trip if you learn how to do it right. Bear in mind, however, that you cannot bargain in restaurants, trains or for entrance fees to tourist attractions. Sometimes shopkeepers can be very stubborn, and if this is the case you have to know when to stop. Now that you know some shopping tips, you are ready to leave a happy costumer.