Asia, where else can you find a shopping experience more exhilarating? The mix of noise, different odours and variety of vibrant colours leave you feeling as if you have stepped into a world which is alien to you.
Although this is a great way to experience local customs and culture, it can at the end of the day, make you feel as if you have been robbed of your money and a positive experience. Hopefully this read will give you a few tips on how to get the best for your buck out of your trip to an Asian market.
Asian markets can be overwhelming for non-locals and is sometimes hard to keep a level head when making a purchase. Just remember that it is all part of the experience. Relax, take it all in slowly and have fun. Try shop in markets that are not really for tourists. These markets are used by locals themselves and are often cheaper than the ones hoarded with foreigners. It is good to have a tourist experience though, if you haven’t before, because these markets have a wider variety of products and the atmosphere provides a raw experience.
Haggling is commonly accepted throughout Asia, so give it a go and fight for a price that you want to pay. If you have never done this before it may be a bit daunting but once you pick up these few tricks and learn a bit of the local lingo, you will seem to control every situation involving your money even if It results in nothing being bought.
Don’t take the bait! If there is nothing that catches your eye in a store as you pass by, don’t let yourself be lured in by the calls of the shop keeper. Their years of experience of making a living through sales has helped them master the art of roping you in for the kill. They are ridiculously good at convincing you that you are in dire need of what they are selling. If you feel that you are strong enough, engage with some shop keepers before you are looking to buy anything and test out the waters. Haggling is a healthy battle of wits which can be quite enjoyable no matter which way the deal swings.
Never take the first price offered to you! This is definitely a tourist price so proposing half of that price is a good place to start off from. Usually half is a fair price for both parties but if every shop keeper blatantly turns down your offer in disgust, don’t hesitate to change your bargaining strategies to land some deals, but this is hardly ever the case.
Don’t be afraid to walk away! You’re technically doing business but you’re in no way obliged to make a purchase. In most cases around Asia you can find the very same thing you were just haggling over a few shops back. You will find that some shop keepers will even call you back as you walk away, offering your proposed price if it bears some profit for them.
As important as it is to remember these tips. It is recommended to keep an open-mind when you go to these markets and enjoy the unique experience it has to offer.
It is truly like none other.