You’re in Thailand, you’re at the markets and you really want that special item that you’re going to take away and treasure forever. But you’re also on a budget and want to save yourself a bit of cash. There’s no way around it, you’re going to have to haggle and bargain for the best price! We have some haggling tips for you to make sure that you feel confident when it comes to asking for the best prices!
The key to haggling in Thailand is to negotiate on price in a way that doesn’t offend or cause the seller to lose face in any way.
If you start by asking the seller of the item how much it is and then tell them that the price they have offered you is too much, they will then come back with a second offer. Reply with a price that is 50% lower than the second offer they gave you. At this point, they are probably going to realise that you know what you’re doing.
Now you’re going to have to play a bit of Thai Baht Tennis … they’ll come back with a price that is 20% lower than their second price, you suggest a price that is 40% lower, they’ll come back at 25% lower, you’ll suggest 30% lower and they’ll probably give it to you at the price. Ultimately, you’ve got yourself the 50% discount you were aiming for but the seller has retained their dignity.
If you make all your purchases at the same stall, you can probably haggle the price even lower. Don’t pay for your items until you have finished looking. Bargain for your items and then ask how much it will cost for all of them together. Go in at 10% lower than the price they offer you and more often than not, they will agree. If they don’t, begin removing things from your pile of items and they may change their mind.
Here’s a few handy phrases to help you out…
Nee Tao Rai? How much?
Pang Mak Very expensive
Lot Noi Dai Mai? Can you give a little discount
And that is how to successfully haggle your way to a great bargain! Good luck!