- Tuesday, 05 February 2008
Generally speaking, westerners don't like to haggle. We're from the fixed price, barcoded world. Haggling seems so... distasteful. Though it takes a bit of practice, it's not as hard as it sounds, and you're expected to do it. You'll get used to it in no time, and when you go back to the west, you may have to check yourself from haggling.
Never take anything at the first price offered. If you don't know the going price at a shop, ALWAYS halve the price first and bargain from there. If they don't give in, walk away slowly and they'll eventually call you back to negotiate until you get the better deal. Always check any item you buy very carefully before you pay, because many times they will try to pass off inferior/broken merchandise on you, and the terms are always "All Sales Final. No Refunds."
When dealing with rickshaws or autorickshaws you should always try to find out the going rate, because the divide by two rule won't do much good if they quote you five times the going rate. You are in a position of strength when there are a few (or a lot) of rickshaws around. They generally give in pretty quickly when you start walking over to the next guy especially if there aren't a lot of potential customers around.