I've read a lot of reports about hawkers selling souvenirs around Victoria Falls, and, not being terribly comfortable with the concept of bartering, I am looking for some guidance as to how low one should go with one's counter offers. I don't want to insult anyone or rip anyone off, but I also don't want to pay $20 for a bead necklace only to see the same item for $5 in the airport gift shop.
I was in Beijing last year, and in the Pearl Market where you can buy all the various designer knock-offs I was shocked by the huge difference between the first price that the seller would quote and what a friend who was experienced in shopping there ultimately paid. They might say they wanted $150 for a fake Coach bag and he'd end up paying $20. Or they'd ask $40 for a "Mont Blanc" pen and he'd end up paying $5. Is the range that extreme when bartering in Zimbabwe?
Victoria Falls is at the end of my trip (I'm doing Wilderness Safaris Migration Routes in Botswana first!) so by the time I get there I will likely have a feel for the value of the local crafts, but it would be helpful to know if it is typical to barter down something like 10%-20% from the original price or, as in China, more typical to barter down 75% or more.
Your experiences and opinions would be most welcome!