Travel Tips > Top Tips > How to haggle and walk away with cheap souvenirs

Top tips on how to haggle and walk away with cheap souvenirs

When you travel abroad, it's a great idea to return home with trinkets to remind you of your holiday. But how do you come away with the best deal? Knowing how to haggle is the key to buying cheap souvenirs.

In some countries, souvenirs have fixed prices in shops. But in places where market stalls are bursting with goodies, haggling is essential to snaring those cheap souvenirs.

Markets in foreign countries can be exciting and sometimes frightening places. Don't let pushy stallholders spoil your fun! Just bear in mind cultural differences and go with the flow. Haggling will come naturally the more you practice.

How to haggle

  • Try to avoid picking up the product unless you intend to buy it. As soon as you touch an item, the seller might become more forceful with the sale
  • Consider how much you are willing to buy the item for and don't go over that amount. It's good to have something to aim for otherwise you might end up paying too much
  • Offer a starting price that is lower than you intend to pay so that you can work your way up to your maximum price
  • Don't be discouraged if the seller scowls at your offer. More often than not it's just a front. After all, they are playing the same game that you are!
  • Don't flash your cash around. If the seller sees that you have loads of money, you are less likely to get a good price
  • Take the amount you want to buy the product for out of your wallet and pretend it's all you have left - if the seller can see the cash, they are more likely to take it
  • Be casual about the item you want to buy. If you act too keen, they might think you'll pay anything for it
  • Long silences can make the seller get itchy feet, causing them to lower their price
  • Check the item you are buying for flaws and ask for money off, no matter how small the chip or scratch
  • If the seller won't go any lower with the price and it's still too much, ask if they can throw a few freebies in
  • Walk away if you are not happy with the price. This might encourage them to call you back and offer you an even lower price
  • Try trading your clothes, shoes or pens that you don't want anymore. An old piece of junk might be treasure to someone else, particularly in developing countries
  • Shop around. Many markets are full of stalls selling the same wares so you might be able to find the same item for a cheaper price elsewhere
  • Visit stallholders that are furthest away from the entrance of the market. They are likely to have lower prices because they get less custom

Haggling can take a bit of getting used to, but with a bit of practice, you can walk away with some fantastic, cheap souvenirs, and an unforgettable, cultural experience to boot!

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