An authentic shopping experience can become the highlight of your holiday; you can take a piece of your break back home and grab a bargain at the same time.
Whilst the culture of haggling is something that has been around for centuries, it’s a custom that reserved Brits are often reluctant to embrace.
Sarcasm and a stiff upper-lip won’t get you very far at the bazaar though, so learn the best negotiation techniques for your destination before you get there. To help you get a head start, we’ve selected the top 5 most popular haggle-happy holiday destinations and their most desired souvenirs.
We’ve given you a guide price for each item to make sure you’re always bagging a bargain, along with some top tips from Dr Sandi Mann, an esteemed psychologist and body-language expert - so there’s no excuse not to be a haggling pro before you go.
Whether it’s your first visit to a country or you’re practically a resident, sellers will assume the worst and quote you the highest price. Don’t be afraid to halve that straight away to start your negotiations – the worst they can say is no. . . and they probably will.
What a difference a smile makes. A smile can hide your haggling nerves and allow you to negotiate confidently. Many of the traders will welcome haggling and enjoy a little banter so make this work to your advantage.
Don’t be afraid to remind the trader that they are one of many, mention other prices you’ve seen and keep it casual. You can almost certainly get the same product somewhere else, so if price isn’t right, walk away.
On a packed street of restaurants or souvenir shops, you hold all the aces. Choose a quieter time when they are more desperate for custom, be bold and negotiate up front on what you are prepared to pay for, a meal, a round of drinks or a souvenir. You may even ask for a variation on BOGOFF by asking for something free if you buy two items.
Haggling is a way of life in the Moroccan souks, you will be expected to barter, so enjoy it!
|How Much Is This?||Beshhal had k?|
|Excuse Me||Smeh l ya|
|Thank you||Shukran bezzef|
Head to the fixed price emporiums first to find the top end prices then hit the souks to haggle.
The best deals aren’t in the main squares, so venture off the beaten track and make the most of your money.
Currency: Moroccan Dirham (DH)
Different parts of Greece and its islands vary quite drastically in price, but you can still grab yourself a bargain from Kos to Santorini!
|How Much Is This?||Pósa kostízi aftó?|
|Don’t Have Enough Money||Den écho arketá chrí mata|
|Is That Your Best Price?||Eínai óti i kalýteri timí sas?|
|It’s Too Expensive||Eínai pára polý akrivó|
Shopping around is key in Greece, don’t buy the first thing you see, get an idea of the local prices and give yourself better bargaining power
You can spot traditional crafts being made on the streets in Greece. This ensures the artisanal nature of the product. Some tradesmen will provide certificates of their craftsmanship with the products and will be just as good a price as mass produced souvenirs. It’s worth looking out for!
Currency: Euros (€)
Spain is a wonderful shopping destination and whilst there are brand name stores aplenty, there’s always a bargain to be found in the Spanish markets.
|How Much Is This?||
|I Don’t Have Enough Money||No tengo suficiente dinero|
|Is That Your Best Price?||¿Es tu mejor precio?|
|It’s Too Expensive||Es demasiado caro|
Independent stores are likely to close during the afternoon for their siesta period, so make sure you shop at the right time.
Spanish traders won’t traditionally invite you to bargain in the way they do in other countries, but don’t let that put you off, it is still custom to barter at the market stalls. A price tag is an invite to tender so think about what you would be prepared to pay at home and see if the price matches up.
Currency: Euros (€)
Egypt is a haven for hagglers, with bargains there for the taking on every corner. If you’re prepared to barter with the enthusiastic traders you can get your souvenirs at a steal!
|How Much Is This?||Bikam da?|
|Excuse Me||‘An iznak|
|Thank you||Mut shakkrān|
Traders will invite you to haggle with them, often approaching you from the street. Let them compete with one another and be prepared to walk away.
Larger bazaars are geared towards tourists, so find out where the locals shop and head there for the real bargains.
Watch the denomination... make sure you’re discussing prices in Egyptian Pounds before you agree to buy, or you may not get the bargain you were hoping for.
Currency: Livres Egyptiennes Egyptian Pound (LE)
Shopping in Turkey is a great experience, full of charm and tradition. Don’t be afraid to embrace the culture, making friends is a great way to get a good deal.
|How Much Is This?||Ne kadar?|
|I Don’t Have Enough||I yeterli papra yok|
|Is That Your Best Price?||En iyi fiyat olduğunu?|
|It’s Too Expensive||Bu çok pahalı|
|Thank you||Teşekkür ederim|
Traders will invite you in for tea to find out more and eventually secure a sale in Turkey. Don’t be afraid to say no if you are not interested in their wares.
Turkish traders will invite your questions, and asking plenty suggests you know your stuff which puts you in a stronger position to barter. Ask about the materials of everything you buy and never accept the first price they give.
Currency: Turkish Lira (TL)
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