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Thailand - Thai Tips - The Bargain and Haggle

Thailand is a bargain seekers paradise!

Bargaining is an 'art' long practiced in many Asian countries and Thailand is no exception. If fact bargaining is more than half of the fun of shopping in Thailand and the Thais expect to haggle over everything that hasn't got a marked price: from un-metered taxi rides or fruit in the market to expensive jewellery - even cars!

Even if there is a marked price, it won't hurt to ask for a discount of say 10% - especially if paying cash.

When bargaining start at a figure that you feel you would insult your mother with - and wait for the reaction. While the vendor is laughing his socks off or ranting that you are some sort of bandit - really think though do I need this 'widget'? If you are keen to proceed with the purchase then forget what you would pay for it at home - this is Thailand.

!,000 baht is about £14 to us but in Thailand that's a weeks rent to many Thais!

I have seen British tourists paying the asking price of thousands of bhat for fake designer watches when they are exchanging hands for hundreds of bhat for the seasoned haggler!

How to bargain and haggle: When you find a figure in your mind you will be happy to pay for your 'widget' then keep well below that figure and bargain your way up to that figure.

When you reach your 'in mind price' - if the vendor still hasn't shown any interest in selling - WALK AWAY!

If you are anywhere near their selling price you won't get far before the vendor is in pursuit calling you all the bandits under the sun. Once you have struck the deal do not renege or welch on the deal - pay the agreed price!

If the vendor doesn't pursue you then you know your offer was too low by a good way - but you live to bargain and haggle another day - maybe even with the same vendor for the same widget!

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