China's younger generation losing interest in bargaining

Updated: 2015-02-02 10:41

By Cindy Chung and Ben Chow(China Daily)

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Bargaining tips

In China, tourist spots often charge too much, with vendors taking the advantage of foreign tourists' lack of knowledge to charge visitors outrageous prices.

But learning something about the Chinese way of bargaining may minimize unnecessary losses. Here are some tips.

Do some homework

It's good to do some research about the place you are going on your trip and which souvenirs and goods are its specialties. It helps to read others' tips and experiences and do price comparisons on e-commerce websites such as Taobao and Amazon by searching on those sites for the goods you want.

Take your time

Being in a rush is the bane of the bargainer's existence. Time is not on your side: The vendor has all the time in the world, and can sell that trinket tomorrow. You are on a plane tomorrow morning and you've left yourself an hour to shop.

If you can, plan ahead, take your time and don't be rushed. If the seller isn't coming down on the item you want, walk away and peruse other stalls.

Be a good actor

Upon hearing the price, act shocked and borderline offended, as if you know that it's way more than it should be, even if you have no idea. You may also put some smaller change in your wallet and tell the seller that is all the cash you have.

Floor prices

Typically, if shopping for inexpensive items, you can try to go 25 to 50 percent of the asking price. If the item is very expensive, it's better to start lower, say 10 percent of the asking price, so you have more room for maneuver.

Use the 'walk away'

Walking away works very well in big tourist places. After you reach an impasse and the price is still too high, you give your final offer and walk away slowly while looking pointedly at other items. you will usually be called back.

Don't feel sorry for the seller

Vendors love to play like you've ruined their day with your hard bargaining. You'll hear everything from "Now my child won't have any dinner", to "You are getting this for less than I paid for it!" These are all tactics. The vendor is making a profit, don't worry. They are not going to sell you anything out of the goodness of their heart. It's a game and it's fun to play. So play right back and say something like, "Yes, but now I can't afford to have any dinner, either!"


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