"" Writer's Wanderings: Do You Haggle When You Travel?

Friday, August 11, 2017

Do You Haggle When You Travel?

Many destinations have markets where locals display their wares especially for the tourists. Haggling over price is almost expected and often extremely enjoyed by the tourists who have a knack for it. But by doing so are you taking advantage of those who truly need to make some money for the goods that are most often made by hand? Yes and no. Sometimes what little they may charge for an item will go a lot farther in their country.

As for me, I hate the haggling. I don't really do it but since so many local merchants expect it, they actually engage in it before I even think about it. FYI, I'm also not fond of haggling with car dealers here in my own country if you must know. I have gotten some good bargains and with little haggling when we travel. A $10 leather purse (it was $15), a couple of dollars knocked off the price of a small painting, two pieces of fruit for the price of one. Here's how the scenario plays out for me:

We will approach the merchant's stand and look around. Most sellers will follow you showing you what you must buy. If they get too rambunctious, I will leave. I don't like to be hassled. Otherwise, if I pick something up to look at it I will immediately be told the price. Maybe I really don't care for it that much but you can be sure that if I put it back down, the price will go down as well. I don't usually need to haggle per se, just walk away. The price will go down again or I'll be offered a BOGO. If I'm truly interested, I will take up the offer before the price drops too much. Most of the things I look at are handmade items and I hate to not give the creator at least a fair price for his work.

The truly practiced merchants will tell you their price of an item and then follow it with, "But for you lady, it is. . ." I love the special attention but I really have to love the item before I pay even the reduced price.

Haggle away if you must and yes, I will be in awe of your bargains but I will always feel just a little sorry for the honest merchant who may not have made out quite as well.

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