In many countries of the world haggling is not only commonplace, but is often expected, and prices are purposely set higher in order to allow the customer to pit their bargaining wits against those of the vendor.
For many of us, our first experience of haggling will occur when we’re on holiday, and while some of us relish the prospect of interacting personally with the vendor and getting our hands on some amazing merchandise, others will break out in a cold sweat and become convinced that they’re going to end up buying something they don’t want, at a price they really can’t afford.
So what do you do when walking through a bustling, busy marketplace, you see the most beautiful handbag you’ve ever seen, dangling in all its genuine leather, handcrafted glory, from a hook on a particularly crowded stall? Do you jump up and down like a crazed tourist and declare to your travel partner that you simply must have it at all costs? Or do you feign polite interest, while all the while in your head you’re asking yourself whether the ensuing price battle will be worth it?
Browsing the stalls of a colourful market in a country you’ve never visited before, taking in the sights, sounds and aromas that envelop you, can be quite some experience and, often, one not to be missed. However, finding the energy and will to barter enthusiastically for some holiday mementos when all you want to do is find solace in your blissfully quiet hotel room is something else entirely. For some, that feeling of being back in the comfort of their hotel and unwrapping their incredible purchases, will have made their haggling efforts worthwhile, while for others, the whole experience will have been exhausting and stressful and every time they look at the little carved monkey from Africa sitting on the mantelpiece, a cold shiver will run down their spine!
So are you a supreme ‘bargain hunting’ haggler, or a super ‘stick to the price tag’ shopper?
Love it : give me a market stall and I’ll haggle my way to heaven!
Loathe it : if the price isn’t on it, I don’t want to buy it!