Bargain tips
Travel, Travel tips

Bargain tips for travelers

Start bargain: Keep this in mind: It is all about the confidence.
After bargain: Every time when you make a good deal you feel like a king!

Where can you bargain?

Almost everywhere! Tour agents, Normal shops, Hostels and hostels, Markets, Bazaars, Tuk Tuk, Taxi’s and a lot more. So you can save a shitload of money. When you go there think of this bargain tips every time!

Note: Maybe you’ll read this and think, that will costs heeps of time. Yes sometimes, but in the most cases it takes 30 seconds to know if you can bargain to the good price or not.

Important when you are going to bargain

For example there is a market and you go there. Don’t look like the other (two week) tourists. The salesman know that they have a bigger budget than the backpackers. Some of just buy without bargaining so they raise the price.

What do I want? And what is the price I want to pay.

When you go on the market it is good to know what you want. Otherwise you’ll buy stuff what you don’t need. We all know that 😉 I agree sometimes you see something you’ve never seen before. But always set your maximum price in your mind and see the whole market first. Don’t buy it directly.

Bargain tips

Start bargaining: Know the price

It is good to know the price. Never believe the first price they say. The sellers just want to set an “anchor”. A hight price so you think you get always a better price. Find out the price. In the most cases the market has more shops with the same products. Or city’s with the same products. Or tour agents with the same tours. So many places to practice and to ask the price. Or just stand behind people who buying a product you want or ask people what they have paid.

Bargain tip: Don’t take it personal!

A lot of sellers use mental tricks and try to make you fill guilty. I need the money for my family. (me too) I didn’t sell that much tonight. (So what you can sell now.) It is all part of the game.

Bargain tips: when you buy more.

Always ask for the price a product. When they offer a good price a product you ask. What is I buy 3. Probably the price drops a little. And when I buy 5? etc. Always go higher with steps. So they have to make better offers every step. When you go straight to 10 they only have to think and set a new price once.

You don’t really need to buy, they have to sell

Keep in mind, in most of the cases they have to sell, you don’t have to buy. There are a lot of other places where you can buy the same stuff or service. Act like it. You like the product you want the product, just for a good price.

My strategy to bargain

For example. After four months I need some new underwear. So I went to the Night Bazaar market in Chiang Mai. They have maybe 10 to 15 shops who sell underwear so that is good. And they all offer the same underwear. First start asking how much they are. 180 bath. I start little laughing and smiling and ask: But whats your real price? They offer one for 120. Ok thats way better. But what when I buy three? His answer: 350 bath.

Than I’ll go to the next one. Same strategy. But price is better. 300 baht for 3 undies.

So I know I can get 3 for 300 baht (like $11) That is not bad but it can be cheaper.

Next shop I challenge the salesman; I will say, “I want 3 undies, I know the price 150 is a good deal for both”. Its really cheap but just try and watch his reaction. When they have to think you’re close. When they just say NO go to another shop and try the same price again. When it is NO again. The price is to low raise it a little bit.

In this case they had to think about the offer so I know I was close. I kept that in mind and walked to the next one. He said NO! It was the beginning of the evening and I think he wanted to sell all his stuff for better prices.

Next guy starts to think a little and said that he could not do it. Only for 200 bath. Wow 100 bath off the last price here we go! Try to keep my pokerface and said that I’m a student (yes can still use that one) 190 was his last offer he said. And than you know you’ve to do something. Ok I’ve got 160 right in my pocket for 3 undies we can make the deal, you’re happy I’m happy! (and smile) wait for his offer. 180 was the next offer. Ok we make the deal for 170 just in the middle and try to shake his hand.

Yes he shaked my hand and I felt like a king!

Starts offer one for 180 baht
After bargain 3 for 180 baht

More simple bargain tips

What I often to is say that I live here now for couple of months and that I know the price I bought it before for price X. Of course create a good offer for both so they serious think you life in the place.


Say you are a student and don’t have that much money. Can you make a special student price? Use you puppy eyes 😉

Bargain with a group

One is bargaining the rest is little but uninterested. When you come to the final make a signal to the group: one in the group can say we can get it cheaper at the other place let’s go. The sales man feels the pressure.

Set up your own bargain strategy

When you do this often you’ll create your own tactic what you like. But always bargain. It will save you a lot of money.

Bargain tips game

When you’re with a group of people, you can do the bargain tips game! Just split up. Who can make the best deal wins and get a beer or whatever.

More bargain tips?

Do you have more tips? Don’t be shy and put them in the comments below!

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