Talk:How to haggle

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Revision as of 20:52, 5 April 2005 by Evan (Talk | contribs) (Is bargaining _really_ the norm? Or do we just _think_ it is?)

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I'm interested in haggling. One thing I wonder about is where it's actually a local practice, and where it's been introduced because tourists expect to bargain for everything. --Evan 07:07, 4 Apr 2005 (EDT)

Bargaining is or was the default mode everywhere -- fixed prices were regarded as a wild and dangerous innovation when first introduced. Tourists are mostly responsible for opportunistic price-gouging, like tuk-tuk drivers in Thailand asking for silly prices when they see a farang climb on board when they'd never get away with this if it was a local. Jpatokal 07:29, 4 Apr 2005 (EDT)
I find that hard to swallow; I'd be interested to see some backup documentation on that. I mean, in a world with so much sexual, linguistic, religious, cultural, and artistic variation, doesn't it seem to stretch credulity that the retail experience is identical from Timbuktu to Tibet? It seems more likely to me that Westerners have brought their expectation of haggling everywhere they visit. "We" all know that "they" haggle over prices, so we carry this model around with us everywhere we travel, and we fall into the bargaining behavior everywhere we go.
Haggling is something I see a lot more often between tourists and locals than between locals themselves. I don't think it makes a lot of sense for everyday purchases, really -- who has the time to bargain over a loaf of bread and an apple every day of the year?
I guess the main thing I want to see is that we're not making excessive assumptions in this article. The "they're not like us" mentality is really worrisome to me, and I'd like to make sure we're not perpetuating myths. --Evan 16:48, 5 Apr 2005 (EDT)
Just agreeing with Jpatokal, bargaining is the 'norm' across the world, it is only a few Western countries that have adopted fixed prices. I'd like to point out that in countries worse of than your own, you will usually end up paying slightly higher than a local, however hard you haggle. This might seem unfair, but remember that you can earn considerably more than them: In Morocco the average wage is $2/day.
Embarrasing story: On the way out of Morocco, at Tangier, we were trying to get a taxi from the train station to the town centre. None of the taxi drivers were using the meter, and they were offering way over-the-odds for the ride (I think about 30 dh = £2). We decided to walk, as it was only a couple of miles... >_< Moral: You have to know when to stop haggling and say 'ok' - especially when it's over tiny things. (To recover a bit of my dignity: In other cases saying 'no' and finding an alternative solution, even if you're just bluffing, will usually make the price drop like a stone: The hotel we stayed in in Fez ended up being considerably cheaper than our guide book said it was after a bit of bluffing). Lionfish 16:00, 5 Apr 2005 (BST)
Its more that they will bargain more and in more deals with non locals. In all countries you bargain over some things: used cars, insurance, houses, horses, stuff on ebay. Even airline tickets are not sold at a fixed price, I bought a Lufthansa ticket at an online agent for half of what Lufthansa asked on their homepage. At E.g. the Cairo bazaar most vendors expect some bargaining, but not all, a few actually have pricelist in arabic numbers and you cannot get a better deal unless you buy a lot.

Gold jewelry are sold for a fixed price per gram. You will see tourists sitting for half an hour drinking tea bargaining over a scarf. Locals do not do that (for cheap things). Its just a couple of offers each way and a deal is done in seconds. -- elgaard 15:47, 5 Apr 2005 (EDT)