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emam

Do you Barter

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This is probably a silly question to most of you as you travel so much, but when in Europe do you barter when you buy things. If so is this just from market type stalls or from shops as well. Not being a seasoned traveller, I was quite pleased with myself, when I managed to buy three items for €12 instead of €15 while visiting Pisa. 

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It depends very much on the outlet, what I'm looking at, the likely profit margin, and various other factors.

 

So a heavily qualified yes from me. Market traders maybe at the top of the scale, and department stores at the bottom. Expensive, high margin items at the top, day to day stuff at the bottom.

 

All sorts of other factors of course, such as how late in the season, and the country itself.

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47 minutes ago, emam said:

This is probably a silly question to most of you as you travel so much, but when in Europe do you barter when you buy things. If so is this just from market type stalls or from shops as well. Not being a seasoned traveller, I was quite pleased with myself, when I managed to buy three items for €12 instead of €15 while visiting Pisa. 

In the colonies, we say bargain if we are negotiating on a price to be paid and we say barter if we are trading goods for goods.  Bartering in rural areas is more common than the urban areas.  I may trade a stack of firewood for several bushels of tomatoes to put up.

 

Is it tomato or tomatoe?

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1 hour ago, emam said:

This is probably a silly question to most of you as you travel so much, but when in Europe do you barter when you buy things. If so is this just from market type stalls or from shops as well. Not being a seasoned traveller, I was quite pleased with myself, when I managed to buy three items for €12 instead of €15 while visiting Pisa. 

 

You confused me when you said barter, I think you meant to say haggle. After all while P&O may be generous with their baggage allowance I can't see how you would be able to carry on board enough goods to exchange for anything worthwhile ashore. 

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In ST Kitts I got a T shirt priced at $49 down to $25, and another from $25 to $9. This was a clothes/souvenir shop. There were a load of Americans who were watching in disbelief. One told the shopkeeper to call the police, because she thought I was a con man. Never tried it in a shop in Europe.

 

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We will bargain if there is no prices being advertised and it is market stall /temporary type shopping. Otherwise not.

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19 hours ago, SargassoPirate said:

 

Just love the english language.

You say tomaito I say tomarto.

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2 hours ago, MicCanberra said:

I say neither and if I do it is Tomato.

OK,let's call the whole thing off.

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I think it is worth bargaining in the markets - I once bought a tapestry in florence at the market - for 60 Euro - I didnt bargain just  bought. When I went to Venice later the same week there was a tapestry shop in St Marks Square - the same piece was 25 Euro - and that was in a shop in the main tourist area !! 

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I was born in India, but raised in Canada. Therefore, I want and feel like I should bargain, but the reticent Canadian side of me prevents me from doing so 😄. So, I make my husband, who was born AND raised in India do all the bargaining for us, LOL. When it comes to street or market vendors, regardless of whether it is in the Caribbean, Asia, or Europe, I think it is just expected. There is absolutely no way I am paying full price for anything in the bazaars outside of Ephesus for example, the tables outside Pisa’s Miracoli Square, or for something laid out on sheets outside of Park Guell, given the huge markups. In these cases, we counter at 50% off the first price and then work our way slightly up from there, and are usually successful. In shops, you have to determine if bargaining would be acceptable.  I find vendors are often more willing to meet your price if it is toward the end of the day and they are getting ready to pack up. 

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I remember a British tour rep. in Egypt, who was married to a local Egyptian taxi driver, telling us that her husband would come home depressed if no tourists had haggled with him over the price- same with his shop keeper friends. It seems to be an art with some people, or an amusing game with certain rules. She did tell us about the 50% starting price... part of the game seems to be the mock tears because you're forcing their family into starvation.

I'm hopeless at it! 

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Depends on location. Have certainly haggled strongly in Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco and Jordan. Golden rule is that as long as the stallholder keeps haggling, you're still in the game. If he walks away or shuts up, you've edged below his bottom line price. They will never sell at a loss, so even if you're paying 10% of the original asking price, he's still making a profit.

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I have tried haggling once, in the UAE.  A market stall holder had loads of short black fluffy socks of exactly the sort I like but had not been able to find for ages.  I was well chuffed!  But he was asking quite a lot for them.  So I offered to buy the whole lot in my size - about 50 or so pairs - for about half what he was asking.  His response was a straight "F*** off".

 

I was nonplussed, but thought it was part of his technique, so I offered a bit more per pair.  "F*** off".

 

I said he was charging more than the shops at home in London.  His angry response: "I don't care.  That is the price.  Pay it or f*** off".  I asked if he was serious, he just said: "You are time waster.  F*** off."

 

So I f***ed off without any socks and I have never tried haggling again.

I suspect "being British" and "haggling" do not go together.

Edited by S-and-J

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8 hours ago, S-and-J said:

I have tried haggling once, in the UAE.  A market stall holder had loads of short black fluffy socks of exactly the sort I like but had not been able to find for ages.  I was well chuffed!  But he was asking quite a lot for them.  So I offered to buy the whole lot in my size - about 50 or so pairs - for about half what he was asking.  His response was a straight "F*** off".

 

I was nonplussed, but thought it was part of his technique, so I offered a bit more per pair.  "F*** off".

 

I said he was charging more than the shops at home in London.  His angry response: "I don't care.  That is the price.  Pay it or f*** off".  I asked if he was serious, he just said: "You are time waster.  F*** off."

 

So I f***ed off without any socks and I have never tried haggling again.

I suspect "being British" and "haggling" do not go together.

I'm originally a Brit and have negotiated pricing all over the world. It's all about your technique.

 

If they think you are desperate, the price doesn't reduce. Would never have asked outright for the entire batch. Would have started asking for pricing for more than one item. If I got that initial response, I turn around and leave, giving them the option of convincing me to return.

 

We have negotiated in some of the Dubai Souks

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