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How to Navigate the Market

How to Navigate the Market

By Nicole M., Loyola Marymount University, TBC Summer 2019 Intern Abroad Student

1) Make a list of items you want to purchase beforehand

Don’t make the mistake of leaving with items you don’t need. The salesmen are excellent at enticing you to buy their products if not for you, as gifts.

2) Decide on a budget for each item and don’t let it change

Set a price range of what you’re willing to spend on each item. Don’t exceed your budget, it’s likely that a vendor in the market is willing to give you your price just to make a sale.

3) Low ball the vendor below your budgeted price, about 20% of the original price offered

Ask how much a product is before purchasing it and counter it with a price that’s less than 20% of their original price. Continue to bargain, staying below your maximum budget, until a price is agreed upon.

4) Act disinterested

Pretend that you are only browsing and don’t need or want an item. If you act interested, the vendor will assume you’re willing to pay more because you can’t leave without it.

5) Go during the week

Believe it or not, bargaining markets have become a popular tourist stop. Tour buses roll up on the weekends with foreigners willing to pay higher prices, therefore demand is high. However, if you go during the week vendors are looking to make any sale at all and offer lower prices.

6) Walk away from the store if they don’t agree to your price

If a vendor won’t sell you a product within your budget, walk away. They’ll often run after you and agree to your price, so not to lose a sale.

7) Don’t comment on the quality

Vendors take pride in the quality of their counterfeit goods, don’t negatively comment on the quality or they’ll become angry.

8) Go local

If you’re of Chinese decent and am able to speak Chinese with some fluency, tell vendors you’re local to the area and they’ll sell you products for a lower price. Otherwise, bring a local along with you to assist with the bargaining process.