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    Former MSE Lawrence
    Haggling: how low do you go? Blog & Poll discussion
    • #1
    • 1st Oct 07, 12:46 PM
    Haggling: how low do you go? Blog & Poll discussion 1st Oct 07 at 12:46 PM

    Poll ran between 01-08 October 2007. How low do you go? Results

    Imagine you're on holiday in foreign lands known for haggling. You see the most perfect, hand-crafted shawl/chess set/doo-dah. The seller asks for the equivalent of £120; what would your opening haggle be (which should be only a little less than you're willing to pay)?

    This vote has now ended but you can still click reply to discuss below.

    A. £1 -2% (162 votes)
    B. £5 - 2% (180 votes)
    C. £10 - 5% (444 votes)
    D. £15 - 3% (305 votes)
    E. £20 - 9% (811 votes)
    G. £30 - 11% (1010 votes)
    I. £40 - 14% (1247 votes)
    K. £50 - 15% (1377 votes)
    M. £60 - 15% (1297 votes)
    O. £70 - 6% (555 votes)
    Q. £80 - 9% (756 votes)
    R. £85 - 2% (167 votes)
    S. £90 - 4% (337 votes)
    U. £100 - 3% (252 votes)
    W. £110 - 0% (30 votes)
    Y. £120 - 0% (27 votes)

    Thanks to everybody that voted

    Last edited by MSE Martin; 09-10-2007 at 11:53 AM.
Page 1
  • teddyco
    • #2
    • 2nd Oct 07, 9:53 AM
    • #2
    • 2nd Oct 07, 9:53 AM
    Suggestion for a poll: Considering the recent ballyhoo over a possible early election, I am interested how Money Saving members would vote? Brown or Cameron?
  • johnduffell
    • #3
    • 2nd Oct 07, 9:24 PM
    • #3
    • 2nd Oct 07, 9:24 PM
    I would go for 100, don't want to be rude!
  • SimplyAUser
    • #4
    • 2nd Oct 07, 10:02 PM
    • #4
    • 2nd Oct 07, 10:02 PM

    Bargaining, A simple rule
    While selling
    - exaggerate, overstate, overdo, make it look significant/enormous/massive value for the customer
    While buying - Say that it is the most trivial/insignificant/minor for you and make it easy for you to walk away.

    Businesses do bargaining everyday and they are expert at it, you will loose anyway. Why not try really hard.
  • Abida
    • #5
    • 3rd Oct 07, 5:07 AM
    • #5
    • 3rd Oct 07, 5:07 AM
    ok - streets in China are full of bartering sellers. A Chinese guide suggested the price is way way over the odds. The opening bid for a jacket you can get in this country for £150 was £250. It finally came down to £50. (the guide thought this was fair and the seller muttered he was only expecting to get £20) - but they do this for fun - the locals don't haggle much, the Chinese love 'playing' with foreigners as they do in India . It's exactly the same as in the Arab states. however, in India, I tend to pay more than I would (to the kids) because I know often they are orphans.
  • darkly
    • #6
    • 3rd Oct 07, 6:17 AM
    • #6
    • 3rd Oct 07, 6:17 AM
    Same here in Egypt. Typically the opening price (in a tourist area) will be about 4 times the value. This is mainly because some people don't haggle and think they are buying something really expensive / or good quality. Fair play the the seller I say, if they are going to be that naive.

    In non-tourist areas I'm usually quoted 2 times an acceptable price (because I am foreign) and end up paying just under half. It will still be more than a local but, hey, I can afford it and am contributing to my community.

    The only time a really barter hard is for things where I know there is a "fixed" price: Cans of coke, bread and taxi fares. I'll quibble over 2.5p just out of principle. (Considering a bottle of Pepsi is only 10p it makes a bit more sense.)
    • tenuissent
    • By tenuissent 3rd Oct 07, 10:25 AM
    • 336 Posts
    • 570 Thanks
    • #7
    • 3rd Oct 07, 10:25 AM
    • #7
    • 3rd Oct 07, 10:25 AM
    I would start at 60.

    I have just spent a few days in Bangkok with two Thai friends, and the way they haggle or bargain is fascinating. They are totally goodnatured about it, both sides perceive it as a game, they rattle on at top speed, laughing and gesticulating - no-one is offended and they all seem to enjoy it. No first price, whether for tuk-tuk, a tailor, a watch, a handbag is ever really serious. It is clear that the seller has a rockbottom price below which he will not go, and when my friends bargained for me at a night market for the watch and handbag, I had previously been clear about my top price.

    I was a little sorry they bargained so hard with the tuk-tuk drivers, as 30 baht is nothing, and 20 is even less, for such a service, but it is such a way of life for them that they can't resist it, and cheerfully admitted it.

    In Uganda once, I paid the asked price for something and the lady selling it was actually disappointed: "Bargain! Why don't you bargain!" I think the clash of wits and the hilarity of it all helps them to get through tedious days.
  • Kernow Kid
    • #8
    • 3rd Oct 07, 11:05 AM
    • #8
    • 3rd Oct 07, 11:05 AM
    Start at 10%, settle for 25%.
    10 to 15 start, settle for 30.
    Be Pure, Be Vigilant, Behave!
  • harryhound
    • #9
    • 3rd Oct 07, 11:35 AM
    You MUST haggle.
    • #9
    • 3rd Oct 07, 11:35 AM
    The techniques for haggling depend to an extent on the local market, there is nothing wrong with haggling in the UK.

    If you pay anything like full price in a so called communist country (China, Cuba), or in a third world country; you might still think the "stuff" is a reasonable price BUT you have taught the local seller that western tourists are a rich push over. Much worse that there is no point on doing a real job, when conning tourists is an easy option.

    Check out what the "stuff" is worth here in the UK, complete with at least 17.5% tax and a number of middle men mark ups, before you go. Then if you can deal with the actual producer so much the better. At least your money does not go to corrupt politicians and help pay the foolish loans they have loaded onto their countries.

    Deal hard and earn the rest of us a little respect, don't encourage people in countries like Uganda where 40% of the budget is already foreign aid, to sit there holding out the begging bowl.


    PS The guide may well be on commission. "Which country do you come from? How many people are there in your party?" that translates into "Which guide do I give the commission to".

    Find out the wage rates in the country for people who have to do a full day's graft. Don't be surprised at figures like 0.25 GBP an hour or 50 - 100 GBP per month for a factory job.
    Last edited by harryhound; 03-10-2007 at 11:42 AM.
    • PeteW
    • By PeteW 3rd Oct 07, 5:24 PM
    • 1,176 Posts
    • 1,808 Thanks
    Depends on the culture of the couttry I'm in, and what I'm buying but I'd probably go for around £3.

    Did anyone see a recent Rick Stein program where he was buying a tagine in Morrocco?

    Went something like this:
    Rick: how much?
    Seller: 1000
    Rick: I'll give you 100
    Seller: SOLD!

    The seller snapped his hand off at 100, so I bet he could have had it for a fraction of that price.

    Incidentally, why does the question say 'which should be only a little less than you're willing to pay'? Seems a very odd tactic, you should start off WAY below your max!
    • nearlyrich
    • By nearlyrich 3rd Oct 07, 6:27 PM
    • 13,335 Posts
    • 16,542 Thanks
    I don't believe that the locals would sell way below their cost price and they are not forced to sell so I would start really low and walk away if they didn't get down to what I thought was good value.

    We have been to China and to Istanbul recently where bartering is a way of life even if you really don't want to buy anything !
    Free impartial debt advice from: National Debtline or Stepchange[/CENTER]
  • MoneySavingSapphire :D
    Although, depending on the country, if you start at too low a price they realise you have no idea what you're talking about and don't take your haggling seriously. I found this out in Istanbul a few times when I tried to demonstrate to the seller just how much I couldn't afford their item by telling them how money I had on me ("I've only got 10ytl, I really can't afford any more" type thing), by which they thought I was making an offer for that amount and I got laughed at!! :rolleyes: Oh dear...
    Returning MoneySaver, now furiously saving for a house deposit...
  • chris-richardson
    Ive just got back from Turkey where the missus saw 2 handbags that she really wanted and they were really good leather. The guy wanted 150 for each one and we ended up paying 70 for both and im still convinced we could have got them for less.

    We found the best way to haggle was to start really low so that you can edge up to the price you are actually willing to pay. If you start at what you want to pay you wont have much chance of getting the item at that price.
    • the gardener
    • By the gardener 3rd Oct 07, 10:47 PM
    • 48 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    the gardener
    reliably told in morroco offer 10 never pay more than 50
    • GileZ
    • By GileZ 4th Oct 07, 7:59 AM
    • 9 Posts
    • 7 Thanks
    I went to Dubai recently, and was told by someone living and working out there never to pay more than 60% for anything. This is because they start off high anyway, so you can quickly barter them down to about 80%, but if you tell them you're leaving and that you don't want it they will often come down to your amount.

  • Unhban
    I travel a lot through North Africa and would start at 10. Don't be frightened you're being rude, they're used to it from the locals! Even at 10 they'd be making a profit. When they see a tourist/foreign traveller they see dollar signs in your eyes, remember that, and that they will put the price automatically sky high. Also, I walk away after haggling and getting nowhere, and that always brings the price down.

    I've even done it in London in a shop run by Muslims near Leicester Square. I said I wanted the bobble hat with Manchester United on it for a friend in North Africa who'd go nuts for it. The story was true incidentally, but they let me have it for a third of the price. I left the shop almost as friends with them

    Enjoy haggling - it's a game!

    The motto is : eveyone should make a little bit of profit, but not too much!
  • alistairgreen
    I disagree with Martin that your opening bid should be a bit less than you are willing to pay. I've travelled a fair bit and you always haggle upwards never downwards. Therefore it makes sense to start as low as possible and work upward then you and the trader should meet in the middle. If you get the response "with that offer you are offending my honour" or a look of shock then you have started low enough.
    • Forgetful
    • By Forgetful 5th Oct 07, 12:24 AM
    • 1,696 Posts
    • 9,778 Thanks
    In China every time I go I like to get a few handbags.
    They always start off with a ott amount but I always cut it down by 80% and then after much haggling I usually about 25% of the opening price!!!!!!!!
  • Slapps
    I don't go aboard much these days but i still haggle. best deal far was for my 2 sofa's (BRAND NEW) that were marked up @ £600 and i got them down to £360. i feel no matter where you are it's always worth ago (don't ask, don't get) but i always set myself a limit of what i'm willing to pay and never go above it.
    1st son born 11/02/05 2nd son born 09/01/08
    thats all i'm adding to the human race so think yourselfs lucky lol
  • josephwilliam
    I spent 2 years in India and would always start between 1/5 and 1/4 of the first price. Don't worry about offending people, it's normal and just business in most countries.
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