Are you an ice-cold negotiator with a world champion poker face? Then you probably feel right at home on the street markets of Mumbai. But if you more like me and have never really bargained with a very persistent street vendor in melting temperatures of around 40 degrees than this easy beginners guide might help you become more comfortable with the idea of bargaining and what to expect from it:
- The vendors will offer you the item for a ridiculously overpriced amount. Count on it. They know you are a foreigner and hope you will fall for it.
- Under no circumstances, show weakness. The bargaining stage is a test of your strength, persistence and believe it or not, your intelligence. By bargaining you show that you understand the process and know what you want.
- Go into bargaining with a fixed amount of how much you would want to pay for the item.
- The process of bargaining can take quite a long time. This is where your persistence hopefully kicks in.
- Once you asked for the price, counter the offer immediately by firmly responding with a very low price. One of the local girls I asked, Aashima, told me to cut it down by at least half. This would typically be below the amount you set yourself before bargaining.
- Some of the vend0rs might seem like they are offended by the low amount you just said but you should maintain eye contact and remain calm.
- Then offer to pay slightly more than what you offered at the beginning (around 20 rupees more).
- Usually the vendors will then lower their price by a bit and say that this is a very good offer.
- Now the heated bargaining stage begins, in which both of you negotiate the price until the last rupee. You can increase your amount step by step until you have reached your set price.
- When you have come to an agreement make sure that you stick to your negotiated amount, as some vendors will want to trick into paying just a few rupees more.
- If you don’t come to an agreement, it sometimes works wonders to just walk away. Some vendors will stop you and offer you a better price.
My final tip for all you novice bargainers out there: If you can, have a local with you. They know exactly how much you should be paying for the pair of trousers you are eyeing at and will help you unleash your bargaining potential.