Bargaining is expected by vendors in tourist areas, particularly souvenir vendors, except in a limited number of fixed-price shops. However, at markets and non-tourist venues, the price quoted to you will often be the ‘real’ price, so in these situations don’t immediately assume that the quote you’ve been given is too high.

Bargaining Guidelines

There are no set rules for bargaining, other than that negotiations should always be conducted in a friendly, spirited and respectful manner. Before starting, shop around to get a feel for the ‘value’ of the item you want. Asking others what they have paid can be helpful. Once you start negotiating, if things seem like a waste of time, politely take your leave. Sometimes sellers will call you back if they think their stubbornness has been counterproductive. Very few will pass up the chance of making a sale, however thin the profit. If the vendor won’t come down to a price you feel is fair, it means that it is not fair from their perspective, or that too many high-rolling foreigners have passed through already.