Learning How To Barter For Souvenirs

In many cities around the world, it's commonplace to barter for goods, services, and souvenirs. If you're from the US, and unless you spend time in places like Chinatown in the New York City, you might feel a bit uncomfortable with the bartering process. Fortunately, the more you travel the more you get comfortable with it.

Not too long ago Brandon and I traveled to Tijuana and Puerto Nuevo, Mexico. While walking along the main tourist spot in the city, Avenue Revolucion, I decided I wanted to stop into one of the shops to pick up a souvenir. When I found what I wanted (a small, most-likely mass produced, hand-painted skull), I asked how much it was. One of the employees told me it was usually $9, but because I was the first customer of the day I could have it for $8. I walked around a bit more and decided in my head I would only be willing to spend $4 for it. Knowing she would come running after me, I began to walk out. On the way, she ran into Brandon and realized he spoke Spanish. Because of this she instantly dropped the price to $6. From there I kept saying $4 in Spanish and she finally dropped it to that. We both walked away happy.

Usually it's not that simple, and as you can see, different approaches can get you good deals. In the meantime, here are a few tips Brandon and I have learned in our adventures. 

1) Set a price in your head for what you feel the souvenir is worth. Keep in mind, if it's truly handmade or hand carved it could be more.

2) Don't feel bad walking away if you can't settle on a deal. In Bali, Brandon and I had ladies pretend to start crying when we said we weren't looking for souvenirs. We were the only tourists around so they began to surround us and shove items in our faces. At one point it became very overwhelming so we just turned around and walked away.

3) Shop around. Many stores have the same item. You can practice bartering with other shops to get a sense of the real price.

4) Stay firm to your max price. You can always come back to buy the item later.

5) Check grocery stores. Some have souvenirs which usually have set prices.

Do you have any tips? Feel free to share the with us below!

Learning How To Barter For Souvenirs Learning How To Barter For Souvenirs Reviewed by Tara Grimes on August 15, 2018 Rating: 5

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