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The Do's and Don'ts of How to Haggle in India.

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For the population of India haggling is a part of their everyday normal life and for visitors to that country it can seem to be a daunting process when first arriving and having to buy necessary goods such as food, transport or even a hotel room. With a l

For the population of India haggling is a part of their everyday normal life and for visitors to that country it can seem to be a daunting process when first arriving and having to buy necessary goods such as food, transport or even a hotel room. With a little common sense and good humour you can soon learn about the do’s and don’ts of how to haggle while in India.

Do your homework to find out what the going price for an item is before you begin to haggle. This simple step to being prepared can save you from spending way over the going rate for your food, taxis or similar transport to get to and from the market or even the price you pay for a hotel room through a little price negotiation.

Take your time over a sale for a more expensive item or purchase, do not allow the seller to rush you into making quick or rash purchases that you may later regret. If the seller thinks he or she has a potential sale they may present you with some tea or chai, thank them for the offering although this should not influence your buying the item.

Act as though you are not overly impressed with the item you are buying, do not show how much you wish to have the item as this will affect the price. You could state you have seen better elsewhere this may cause the seller to lower the price. It is a game of bluff played by both sides in the negotiation, remain in good humour and pleasant throughout the negotiation process.

When the seller offers a price state how much you are willing to pay, if your offer is immediately accepted then you probably offered too much. The initial offer by the seller will be much greater than the item is worth. You should return with an offer far lower than you think the seller will accept. Barter until a mutual price is accepted or if agreement cannot be reached smile and politely say no thank you and walk away. This action may get a response from the seller of a lower price than previously offered. If you accept this price you are obliged to pay that price without further negotiation. If no counter offer was given by the seller then you may have been too far below his or her bottom price.

Even if you know nothing about the item you are looking at act as if you do, never admit this to the seller and give the impression of confidence and being knowledgeable about the item you are hoping to buy, without being too enthusiastic, this may be interpreted as excitement to buy something and raise the price.

If the seller is not willing to go below a certain price for an expensive item try to get some extras added to be included in the overall price, that way you may get two or even three items for little more than you were hoping to pay for one.

When reserving a room you can haggle over the price you are willing to pay. Claim it is too expensive and you will only pay a lower amount than they are offering. Claim that another hotel is cheaper and you will take your custom there instead. If you leave it until the last minute you may get a better rate as the hotel will not want an empty room when it could be filled even at a cheaper rate.

Don’t show your enthusiasm for an item even if it is the perfect gift. Ideally pick up another item first, disregard it and ask how much your preferred item will be, almost as a second best choice and not ideal for your needs. This way you may get a lower opening offer than diving straight in for it.

Do not feel pressured into buying an item. Be prepared to walk away and come back later, you may find a similar item elsewhere and at a better price. Should you return to the original stall have a maximum price you are willing to pay and do not go over that limit.

Do not be concerned if the seller shows that they are offended by your offer, it is all an act and an attempt to make you feel guilt and offer a higher price. You may hear stories of how many children he or she has to feed and your low offer means they will not be able to eat. The seller will never sell at a loss and the bigger profit they make on each sale means their act has worked on you.

Do not make an offer unless you are planning to buy the item, as this is just a waste of the sellers time and they could lose a sale through your actions. It can take a little while to get the hang of haggling successfully and while conducting price negotiations always remain calm, laugh and show good humour. Never allow yourself to get angry and by showing how polite and good natured you are you may receive a better price through your negotiating.

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Kimberley Heit
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Posted on Mar 13, 2012
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Diane Zoller-Ciatto
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Rama lingam
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John Smither

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