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How To Bargain At Flea Markets In India?

Discussion in 'Travel advice' started by Krupa Patel, Feb 16, 2016.

  1. Krupa Patel

    Krupa Patel New Member

    From my first post, many of you may have seen that I will be in India and I would be going to flea markets in Delhi and Mumbai. When it comes to flea markets I know there is a lot of bargaining which has to be done and it is different from country to country. This being my first time in India without my parents and me being a foreigner, I would need some tips on bargaining. I also have some questions which would help me, so I would appreciate it if they would be answered along with your own tips. Thanks

    How do I know I am paying the right price?

    Is there anything special I should say to the shopkeeper to make him realize I know that I can't be ripped off?

    Would I find the same product at two different shops in the market? So that I don't miss a chance of getting the product at a better price?

    Is there anything I should check for when purchasing the products?

  2. Arianne

    Arianne Member

    I think you can base your price point on what you would pay for something similar at home. If you go in knowing the exchange rate, say 100 Indian Rupee is $1.50 US, then you will have a base to judge whether they are charging you too much.
    Deven likes this.

  3. JoJo

    JoJo New Member

    If possible I would take someone with me the first time I went to a flea market that knew how to get around these things. I'm sure the hotel could recommend someone that is trustworthy.
  4. GinaMax

    GinaMax Member

    If you are going to bargain in any currency, then you need to be able to show the vendor that you understand the currency. You need to do a lot of research before you go. First, look at the types of items you are looking to buy. Find out what they cost here and then do some conversions. Make as many comparisons as you can so you can understand the value of the item in question. If you can show you understand the currency, and the value, then it should be much easier to bargain a good price. Keep in mind though, things in the US are a lot more expensive. They know that, you know that, and that may be where they try to hang you up.
    Elizabetonth, Admin and amelia88 like this.
  5. Jiggy

    Jiggy New Member

    I make it a point to do some homework before going to foreign flea markets. When I get there, I usually do three things. First, I establish what I think is a fair price for something. Second, I confirm that it's authentic (Where was it made? Is it handcrafted? What type of materials were used to make it?). Third, when I begin haggling, I start about fifteen percent lower than my established fair price point. I'm sure I have overpaid for the odd thing here and there, but I have never paid more than I wanted to.
  6. MarilynB

    MarilynB New Member

    I agree with knowing the currency and differences between between your currency and theirs. Do some window shopping first to get an idea of the price of items and don't be afraid to bargain. I've been to flea markets where the buyer prices it way too low, which is a little insulting, and he/she bargains up from there.
  7. xTinx

    xTinx Member

    You can ask around first. The customer service staff in the hotel or hostel you're staying at will be more than willing to help. That's why I usually do before I go to flea markets. You may also research online. Travel blogs provide really great tips on bargaining. It can be a pain in the neck but you have to hold your ground.
  8. amelia88

    amelia88 Active Member

    Good advice! I've lost out at markets before simply because I didn't have a good grip on the currency at the time, and thought I was getting a good deal. Turns out I got pretty ripped off - but honestly it was a learning experience! Ever since that experience I've always made sure I understand the conversion rate from my home currency to wherever I'm traveling, and also that I have a general idea of the average price of things. All part of traveling!
    Admin likes this.
  9. GammaRay

    GammaRay Member

    Know your currency, know theirs-- the exchange rate is important. If possible have someone with you who knows the market, a guide maybe or a friend. If you're bargaining alone then always bargain lower. Check the quality of the product, go to other stalls to compare prices. It's important to compare prices and know what you want so as not to overspend.
  10. Deven

    Deven Member

    Arianne's advise is right but on top of that I would say you should go below the base price and simply go low as possible. After that the best thing to always do is walk away, then you will hear the shop keeper shouting out at you with a lower the price the further you go the lower his price gets. This always works and this way you get to know what you should pay for the product.
  11. integrity101

    integrity101 Member

    Every Indian trader is a master in the art of bargaining. It is almost a prerequisite talent you need to qualify as a savvy trader. The only way to beat them is by first asking the price then giving an offer that's way beyond half the given price. If he doesn't budge say you'll probably find a better price down the line of stalls and he'll most likely slash the price by half or come down to a reasonable quote. Just keep in mind that negotiating is a cultural activity in the flea markets of Delhi and Mumbai.
  12. jnorth88

    jnorth88 Active Member

    Honestly, the best way to bargain is to shake your head no and walk away. You can always come back, but if they want to make a sale and are willing to go lower, they will. I think a lot of the places don't do bargaining all that much, but you will find hundreds of stores which sell stuff for tourists, from rugs to statues, to furniture. Taxi drivers love to drop you at these places because they get a cut of the earnings. Here, you can bargain substantially, but only because the prices are so inflated. You can low ball.