How To Save: Haggling

In many countries around the world, there are shopping places where you can haggle, particularly in Asia. Living in China, where practically every clothing/accessories place is a haggling market, this skill is extremely important. I’ve learned all sorts of tricks and things to say to get the prices I want.

One important thing is to make sure you don’t haggle too hard; this will piss the person off and they will refuse to sell to you. They might even grab your arm or curse at you (yes, I’ve witnessed this). If they seem kind of unhappy after the transaction, you know you got a good deal. Just don’t push them too hard.

If you look like a local (Chinese American in China, for example), try to speak Chinese. That way, they might not think you aren’t local and give you good prices. For foreigners or people who don’t speak the language, it is very easy to get ripped off. This is pretty much unavoidable, because locals expect foreigners to have a lot of money.

Don’t express too much interest in any item, otherwise they will know and try to sell it to you for ridiculous prices. Many times, they will lie obviously about items, such as “this is real leather” or “this is quality material”. Most of the time, if not always, this is false. Real leather won’t burn when a lighter is held under it, so one thing I will try in the future is to ask if I can light the “leather” products on fire.

If you are a student, you can argue that you don’t have much money, so will they please give you a lower price. If you buy a lot at once from one store, the store keeper will usually give you a discount or a free item. The best method to get them to lower the price is to walk away. They almost always call after you and lower the price. Just keep walking, until they give you the price you want. If they don’t call after you, it means that the price you have offered is too low for them to consider; this means you should reconsider your price. If they don’t chase after you, don’t despair that you’ve lost your purchase. You can always go back for the last price they offered. Watch out for bad quality items, especially bad stitchery or stains on clothing. Items at bazaars or places like these won’t be best quality, but they shouldn’t be falling apart either. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you can find a designer brand that is the actual thing. Designers always produce more clothes than they need to sell, so often times, they end up at places like these. If you spot the real thing, you can usually tell, and you can get it for many times less than the selling price.




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