A lot of my friends are terrified of bartering overseas. Why? We love shopping, we love a discount. I understand that it can be quite confronting, especially when you’re refused your offer.


I think the shop and market sellers can smell your fear. They see you coming a mile away with your wallet full of local currency and your inability to barter. I’m sure they secretly smile and know you’re the cash cow for the day.

You're easily spotted with a wallet full of cash

You’re easily spotted with a wallet full of cash


One of the best barterers I have seen in action is Amanda. She walks in clear in her mind what she is prepared to pay. She’s fair but confident. She would never disrespect the shop owner with a ridiculous price but she knows she can get what she wants for her price.


We often kick ourselves at the end of the day to find out we paid double for the same thing she got!


Ok I am going to share with you some bartering tips secrets I have learnt along the way. I hope they help.


Secret 1 – only have a little bit of money in your wallet. How do you expect the shop owner to negotiate when you open your wallet and its full of notes. One of my favourite tricks is to pretend that’s all the money I have left and I’m only prepared to pay less than that. Works every time.


Secret 2 – know what the competition is selling the same items for. If you can say that Mr Brown over there is selling the same bags for $30 but you’ll give him $20 each and buy two you have a better chance at winning. Do your research.

Always check out the competition

Always check out the competition


Secret 3 – how do you know what to pay? As a general rule at markets I half the asking price. If I’m buying multiple things in the same place the bigger the discount. I am prepared to walk away if they don’t meet my price. You can barter in smaller shops too if things are quiet. Why not ask for a discount? Chances are you’ll never be back there again and if you can save $$ then all better for more shopping!


Secret 4 – go later in the day. If they are not doing too well in sales that day they will be more flexible to try to make a sale.


Secret 5 – ask is that your best price in a shop? I recall doing this in Venice for a glass statue I desperately wanted. He knew I wanted it and I knew I wanted it. He just wouldn’t budge though. I was utterly disappointed. Back at the hotel that night I knew I couldn’t stop thinking about it. So on return the next day I asked again if that was his best price. He knew I was not an easy target and had already walked away once. So he offered me €15 discount!!


Don’t ever be scared to ask. The more money you save this time the more you have to spend next time! Just keep that in mind when bartering. Bartering successfully means more money for more shopping!!

It comes down to how much do you want it? Do,you really really want it? Don’t give up.



Justine Smallwood is a mum, wife, obsessed traveller, and now your own personal travel agent. About You Travel takes the stress out of your travel planning, creating a tailor made holiday that is a reflection of you. Like us on Facebook & Twitter. or visit our web site www.aboutyoutravel.com.au