Thursday, June 10, 2010

How to Haggle

I always admire people who have the ability to get the price that they want for the products they are buying in the market. Haggling is a great skill and that is one of the talent that I wanted to have. My father is expert in haggling and many times he is able to buy fish and meat from the wet market at half the price. At People's Park, Tagaytay City, my girlfriend showed how good she is in haggling (or pagtawad in Tagalog) and that is one of the things at admire about her.

So how to haggle (paano tumawad)? Here are some tips:

1. Study the Vendors

If you go to the market regularly, then it is good that you study the traits of the vendors whom you are buying goods from. There are vendors who are very stingy and will not allow you to get discounts. There are some vendors who are generous and give their customers discounted prices. Always buy from vendors who give good discounts (as long as the quality is not sacrificed) so that you will build a good relationship with them. Buying from them regularly will make you as their friend and you will easily get discounts from them without much negotiation.

My father style is this. He has a mental list of generous vendors and he always buy from them whenever he goes to the market. He befriends them so that he could not be forgotten by the vendors. Aside from getting discounted prices, vendors also give him the best of their goods.

2. Act as if You are not Buying

When you are buying, never show to the vendor that you have decided to buy his/her products. Always make them feel that you are hesitant to buy their goods and your mind will change at any moment and you will go to other stores. By making them feel that way, the vendors will voluntarily offer you discounted prices to buy their products.

3. Buy Things in Bulk

The more items you buy, the higher the possibility that you will get a discount. This is what my friends did when we are buying souvenir shirts during the Pahiyas Festival in Lucban. We are 8 in the group and instead of one person buying on his own, we buy as group. We bought more than 20 shirts and the vendor allowed us to get a large discount.

4. Never Forget to Compute

Most of the vendors stick to the deal after you settled the discounted price. Some, however, will trick you and make you believe that you are paying in the settled discounted price, when you are actually paying for the undiscounted price. Be aware of this scheme and compute your purchases first before buying.


So that’s my tips when haggling in the local markets in the Philippines. Hope my tips helps, happy haggling!

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  1. Ok, hope I'm the first commenter : )

    Great tips on haggling! I prefer the term bargaining. Haggling sounds a bit desperate. haha!

    When I was in Thailand, I learnt this art of bargaining. When you see a product you like, ask the vendor to state the price.

    If the price is say, $20, offer to buy at half the price ie. $10.

    The vendor will usually not agree and tell you a higher price, say $16. You then offer to buy at $12 (make sure you are smiling all the time)

    The vendor will then lower the price further say $15 and probably tell you that's the lowest he can go.

    Then you say it's still too expensive and say you will buy if he can sell at $13.

    He will usually give in but if he does not, then tell him sorry - it's too expensive and you move on to another vendor. (Depending how desperate you need the product, you may want to accept his $15 price tag or offer to buy at $14)

    Using this method of bargaining, I usually end up buying stuffs at close to half of the original price : )

  2. But the above tips CANNOT be used in China cos in China, once you bargain and decide not to buy, you get scolded by the vendor. It's horrible, but that's how it is. So when you go China, either you buy or don't buy. Once you bargain, you had better buy!! Haha

  3. Very valuable tips here Foong. ^_^ that how the word haggle sounds to you. For me, it sounds like a fight between two minds over getting discounts. That is why I like this word.

    Thank you very much for you tips hear Foong. It is valuable.

    And I want to congratulate you. You are very fast commenter.

  4. Hooray!! I'm first commenter!!! : D

  5. that how it is in China. So another tip is to study the culture of the people before haggling.

    Congratulations for being the first commenter Foong.

  6. i am very good in bargaining. foongpc was right. when we were in phuket thailand many years back, when you bargain you should give the half price. sometimes it works.maybe you couldnot have the 50% discount but you should not pay the vendor's price.30% discount is also fair.
    you cannot bargain the prices in HOlland eventhough it is an open market.
    you still receive receipts.
    the dutch open market:

  7. Haha...a market that gives receipt. That is very different here in the Philippines. You can bargain as much as you want to...or as much as how low is the vendor willing to gives his/her goods.

  8. i am good in haggling! the trick is haggle at least 80% less. if they don't want your price, pretend that you're leaving and will look for another store. most of the time they will agree on your desired price :)

    thanks for always visiting my blog. will follow yours too :)

  9. by the way, do you have an ONLINE STORE? list it for FREE, site launching this september
    current raves

  10. Wow! 80%? I don't haggle as low as that.

    I had much to learn about this. ^_^

    You are welcome. I enjoy visiting your blog eh.

    Oh. I don't have an online store. But if I ever have one in the future, I will surely list it there.


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