This cartoon is from Wikihow

This cartoon is from Wikihow

Women are uncomfortable paying for something that does not have set price. Tips, discretionary donations and bargaining make us squirm. Yet 48% of all Americans tried bargaining in the last 3 years according to Consumer Reports.

A few guidelines on bargaining might help you:

Do not be intimidated by a fancy store or an aggressive salesperson. Know that in some countries bargaining is part of the normal process. Everyone wants to make a sale. In cities like Paris where we go Dec 21-28 2015, ask up front for discounts for tourists and or tax rebates. Department stores will have Welcome Desks for you; use them.

For non Western Europe say Morocco or India where we go frequently, begin with 40% of the price. If you are paying cash, then start with 35%.  A low price might elicit a negative reaction: ‘You are insulting my store’. So begin with a positive: I love the carpet; however my budget is xxxxx. The vendor’s negative reaction should not turn you nasty, just smile and be pleasant. (Overseas, Americans have a reputation of getting tough and walking away from the sale as a game. You want the vendor to know you are truly interested).  Traveling solo? Ask someone in your Women’s Travel Group tour to stand with you for bulwark.

Buy 2-3 of the same object and offer a price for the group.

Use different currencies: Dollars and Euros and offer one/the other/both of them. Bring a personal check also.

At the stalemate, stay quiet and wait. If you are in a hurry, then you need to display your money, say I must join my tour and this is it. Put the cash in the vendor’s hand, and repeat this is my price. (He/she will not run away with your cash).

Get to your final price, and toss in a small item like postcards. I have seen that done effectively. Don’t be piggish.

Offer to do something for the vendor; I am going to put this necklace on Facebook and tell all my friends. I am going to wear it now and tell the rest of the tour I am with.

Do not be afraid to walk away or say you are going to look around. You can come back, even in a minute. Walk away with courtesy not anger.

And do not haggle to death someone in a very poor country, who clearly needs the income. A game to you is food to their children.

Tips from The Women’s Travel Group. Join us to Paris for the Holidays,Mexico City, Africa, and many other destinations.