I guess by now you know I am a shopping fanatic. I love shopping for unique one of a kind pieces in India and finding gifts for people back home. I like buying fabrics and making my own things, and I like buying FROM THE SOURCE, for example, I won’t buy Rajasthani stuff that is marked up in Goa. But you have to know how to negotiate in India when you shop!
How to Negotiate in India Shopping
- Read More: Shopping Guide to India by Regions
I’m sure you know that in India you have to haggle about the price. They will quote you 5x, 10x or even 30x the price of the item!
You want to be kind but also play their game, because that’s just what it is. Here are some tips for negotiating in India.
How to negotiate in India
Of course you have to ask the price. Ask like you’re not totally into it but just curious. When they tell you the price, get them the look of girl you’re crazy! and tell them it’s out of your budget and you’d never pay that much. You can even give a chuckle like good try!
If you want to start the negotiation, keep in mind usually you can get it for less than half their asking price, sometimes a quarter of it. Never start negotiating so low that you make them angry though. For something 500 Rs, I might say 200. For 1000 Rs, I might say 400. Also don’t get caught up doing it by the 100’s only. You can say 150, etc. Then you’re better off negotiating over smaller amounts as you can offer to round-up later.
Want to save a TON of money? Buy everything! The more you buy, the better price you can get. Negotiate each item individually without them realizing for sure you want all the items. Then once you have each price, add that up in your head. Say you’ll take it all for __ price, which would be a discount on the total.
When you’re at a standstill negotiating, say “tell me your best price”. It’s a nicer way of saying tell me an even lower price because I’m not paying what you’ve asked. They aren’t going to say something so low they don’t make money, but they will say something fair if they think you’re serious and going to walk away.
Do not act too excited! You could care less if you bought the piece you’re looking at. You’re just casually browsing. It’s totally “whatever” to you.
If he says a price you won’t pay just be like “ehh I didn’t want it anyways” and walk off! Often time they’ll call you back and give you the price you wanted to pay.
If they don’t call you back, and you would pay the price they said, then go back with your tail between your legs and pay it. They won’t make you feel embarrassed, it’s all part of it! You can also wait to find it somewhere else.
If you are given a price that’s clearly too high and they won’t budge, do not give them the time of day. I don’t even bother and I don’t come back after I walk away either!
Hopefully, by the end of it, you’ll get better and better. It can make you nervous at first but you don’t have to feel bad negotiating. They don’t feel bad selling it at very high prices and actually think less of people who are “dumb” enough to pay them. Sometimes if someone gives a great deal I let them keep the change so they see I appreciated it. Don’t negotiate in shops that sell food and such as those are set prices. This is just for markets! If you’re uncertain, ask if it is fixed price.
Want more tips for traveling India or better yet to have me plan your trip? Buy my India Guide ebook and even if you ONLY read that, you’ll be 1000% prepared for your trip. It’s 6 years of India travel experience all wrapped up in an organized easy to read manner.
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