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Some Easy Tips You Can Learn to Haggle Better

Are you tired of having to deal with fixed high prices as an expat or a tourist? Then why not haggle instead?
It’s an open secret that most people don’t really pay the price on the label, but negotiate for a better deal. In many parts of the world, haggling isn’t just a skill, but a way of life.

Haggling politely is also a good way to practice your interpersonal skills when it comes to things that can be agreed on by everyone. Here are some tips you can learn to help you get started:

1. Learn the culture
For an outsider, whether just visiting as a tourist or getting used to the new culture as an expat, nothing beats firsthand experience. Spending time with the locals can not only immerse you better in the culture, but vendors will remember you and may give you better deals in the future.

If it helps you learn faster, try to speak the language – this allows you to interact much better, and maybe even gain better insight than if you didn’t speak the language.

2. Don’t rush—enjoy the process
Haggling isn’t a competition or an argument – it’s a way for both parties to get the best deal on a particular transaction. No one likes to deal with a person with a bad attitude, so be sure to smile and be friendly. That way, even if it turns out that you can’t get the deal you’re looking for with that vendor, at least you get to enjoy the process.

3. Know what’s appropriate to haggle on (and when)
Everyone knows that not everything can be haggled, and these things can be different from place to place. Spending time to know the people can be a great way for you to know which things can be haggled, and which things can’t. Most of the time, these things are usually universal, such as food prices.

4. Don’t drive too hard a bargain—but don’t be too soft, either
Vendors are more likely to refuse to sell you their products if you set an amount that’s lower than half their asking price. However, they’re also likely to charge you a higher price if you’re uncertain.

When haggling for a lower price, it’s important to be assertive and yet flexible at the same time. This is what makes it mentally taxing. To get a better feel for this, practice first on low-priced items that you don’t really need, and then you’ll be able to work your way up to higher-priced items with confidence.

5. Always carry some cash
This tip could not be stressed enough, unless you really want to have a bad time. Carry local currency as much as possible (not all vendors would accept foreign currency), and remember where the ATM machines are.

Do not flash your money or show it before you have landed a final price – the vendor might just end up charging you a little higher.

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