How to Haggle 101 – Art of Haggling

I’m locked out of my guest house, as I was leaving, the door knob came with me.  Great way to start the day.

As a result, I will share with you the art of haggling, effectively “How to Haggle 101”.

The secret to haggling is “collaboration”. Typically the opening price is a “rake you over the coals” price and can be lowered. 25-40%+ is usually the target. Here is a 10 step guide on how to haggle.

  1. Look over the items, let them start the conversation, this shows you are just “browsing” and not a ready “buyer”
  2. Pick something you like, ask them how much.
  3. When they tell you, make the “wow, that’s pricey facial expression”.
  4. In a playful yet firm tone, make a low ball offer with a smile. This is a collaboration ok, not a cut throat business deal.
  5. When they shake head saying no, no, with a smile, smile back and bump your price slightly.
  6. When they say, no, no quipp back “Okay, how is X, that is what it’s worth here and I can pay cash now.”
  7. If they don’t take it, they usually give you a counter, if no counter, ask them what is best price they can give.
  8. If it’s good, take it.
  9. If not good, try and meet near the middle of your last offer and theirs, it’s a win win.
  10. If they are not picking up what you’re putting down, walk away. They will chase you if they want the deal and it gives you power. If they don’t, just keep walking, there  is plenty of competition. If you can’t find what you want come back later and go back to step 1.

This is just a rough guide on how to haggle like a distinguished hustler who refuses to be hustled, you can’t hustle a hustler style.  In my last post I told you I bought some glasses for 100 baht, I lost them. Today I went to another vendor near where I lost them, I swear they had my shades, kinda dirty from a night of debauchery.

The guy wanted 275 baht, I told him 100 baht, he said 220 baht, I said 150 baht, he said no. I said, “hey man, this is your first deal of the day, make some coin and get the momentum rolling”. He accepted.

I’m writing this from an Israeli group travel tour internet cafe, it’s free and I’m locked out of my room. The door knob fell off on my 500 baht a night double bed with A/C, Hot shower and private bathroom at a guest house.  Being the Haggler that  I am, I told the lady I had plans on leaving to another place, cheaper as I only need a single bed and they have none. She smiled, I smiled back. I then stated that I should get the room for 350 baht as it’s not my fault your place is falling apart and that is the deal I was planning on going to get elsewhere. I’m staying for 350 baht.

Good day and remember, do this in a kind “let’s make a deal type way”, aggression will get you no where, ever. Also remember, they are people too and they need to make a living, it’s not about raking them over the coals but finding a “fair price”. They expect you to haggle and their opening price reflects that.

Good day to you,

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