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Haggling / Bargaining

Auckland Central...
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752 posts
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Haggling / Bargaining

Hi guys!

Can anyone give me some tips on how to haggle / bargain in places like MBK?

I've never done anything like that before and would love to hear some first hand tips and experiences.

From what I can gather (from reading online forums), stuff in MBK is ridiculously overpriced at first. It appears that you should never pay more than 1/2 of what they first say, starting your offer at about 1/3.

Look forward to reading what people have to say!

Ash

Dobbs Ferry New York
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1. Re: Haggling / Bargaining

Ash,

When we did all our shopping Nok haggled for us. She knew prices of everything. A polo shirt cost usually 250 Baht for one when we bought 20 they lowered it to 180 Baht for one.

As for watches they wanted like 9000Baht and we paid 1500. Just to give you examples.

Nok took us to where all the local thai people shopped and that is where we got best buys.

We even went to Patpong night market for a lot of stuff.

Bring a calculator with you.

Tracy

Brisbane, Australia
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1,176 posts
10 reviews
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2. Re: Haggling / Bargaining

A lot of stuff at MBK is fixed price, however at the market type areas you can bargain if you are buying more than one item. We have never paid more than 199 baht for polo shirts anywhere in Thailand (nike/callaway/armani etc). This is the standard marked price for most polos/teeshirts at MBK anyway. (if you want better quality for brands such as Billabong/ripcurl,ecko etc head up to the top floors they are a bit more expensive but very very good quality).

We have found DVDs we purchase at MBK to be more reliable than at Pantip Plaza etc. Always buy DVD9 and ask if it is from the master, most are fine except for very new release that are still showing at the movies. If you ask the vendor if it is a handycam copy they will usually tell you, but if you dont ask they wont.

It is Patpong that is ridiculously overpriced at first (people feel like they are getting a bargain because they get the vendor down to 1/2 price or under when infact it was so much more expensive than elsewhere anyway). The market stalls out on the Silom Road away from the main Patpong soi's are much more reasonable as are the daytime markets at Pratunam. However we generally found MBK much cheaper and more selection anyway (plus its airconditioned).

When buying watches/bags etc always ask to see the better quality ones as they generally wont be on display, but if you ask they will get them out for you.

Have fun!

Auckland Central...
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752 posts
3 reviews
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3. Re: Haggling / Bargaining

Sweet! Thanks for the info guys!

I'm litterally bouncing of the walls! This time in three weeks we will be at the airport with 1.5 hours to go until our flight takes off!

Lincs UK
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282 posts
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4. Re: Haggling / Bargaining

Hi,

We find that for clothing on Patpong or other similar markets just tell them you went to Pratunam yesterday and bought some cheaper than here, as most of the stuff on Bangkok markets originate at Pratunam where fixed prices are on show.I agree with the poster who gets Polo etc for MAX 199bht cheaper if you buy more.

As for bartering,if you know roughly what to pay if they stick above your price tell them your last price is.....and if they hesitate or try to get a higher price start walking away saying no thankyou and for sure you'll feel them tug your shirt sleeve saying OK if not you,ve gone below his bottom price so move to another stall and try again.

Pattaya, Thailand
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1,053 posts
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5. Re: Haggling / Bargaining

Pretty good advice above I'd say. Just a couple more things - walking away is good - especially if you remember what you are trying to get the item for - because if you return you can recommence attempting to get the price down - I've seen some people who had clearly walked away a few times and then come back a day or two later and the seller seemed to quite enjoy it! Remember there is one simple rule - you will never get it as cheap as a Thai will, so if accompanied by one...

Some years ago I used to be reasonably successful in haggling when accompanied by my 9 year old daughter - who I let do the haggling as she could ask for really low prices leading stallholders to plead " Please Sir make her offer more"

Bangkok
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1,599 posts
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6. Re: Haggling / Bargaining

walking away is an awesome method, or saying a friend of yours just bought it yetserday at a cheaper price would work too.

London + bangkok...
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7. Re: Haggling / Bargaining

Slightly off topic but haggling with tut tut drivers can also be a nightmare, when asking the price to your desired location the normal retort is usually twofold, firstly a wonderful beaming smile appears on the face of the soon to be rich tut tut driver this is then quickly followed by the words ''how much you pay'' which roughly translates in to about 4 times the metered fare in a cab to the same location! One incident that i witnessed a couple of years ago outside the beer garden on soi 6 was a couple of drunk tourists refusing to get in to a tut tut unless the meter was on! a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing !!!

Melbourne, Australia
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8. Re: Haggling / Bargaining

hahahaha- love the story about the drunks wanting the meter turned on in the tuk-tuk

I must say from our experience, there was not a lot of haggling in MBK - all the shops/stands seemed to have the same sort of ceiling price and didn't budge too far from that figure.

Anyway, also from my experience- haggling is fun for the first half-hour and then it just becomes tiresome, especially if you are buying heaps of different stuff and all you do is spend hours haggling

leeds
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17 posts
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9. Re: Haggling / Bargaining

hey

im in bangkok now and have been for about 3 weeks( its amazing)

right okay with regards to what you should offer them i think 1/2 is far to much in mbk and patpong and other similar places as is 1/3 .....its a joke some of the prices they give you, take this

i want a belt.

me: how much for this belt

seller: errrrrrmmm 1,200

me: what !?

seller: what can you pay you tell me!

me: not even close to that i can pay tops...i mean tops 200 no more!

seller: i loose money

me:okay thanks any way

seller: 400 bart okay

me: getting better but no thanks

seller: 350, okay last offer 300

me: 250 is too much but well thats my last offer ( start walking )

seller: okay okay

deal done! and the day after i got the same belt for 180 .....get the idea

hoped this has helped at least one of you!

hayden

Canada
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145 posts
7 reviews
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10. Re: Haggling / Bargaining

Just a word of caution that Haggling can be addictive. While not in BKK but last time my wife and I went to Hong Kong for a shopping spree my wife really really got into the haggling. We went accross the boarder to China (Schenzen SP?) and my wife and this lady at a market were hard locked into a negotiation like they were negotiating some life or death multi million dollar deal. It think it was for a rock ore sample my wife wanted to buy for our son's rock collection. 15 minutes into this and the lady is crying real (fake) tears my wife will make her go broke, my wife is pleading that I'm a strict husband and won't give her anymore money. At that point I just did a little reality check for the Mrs., and asked her to penny up cause the spread between the bid the offer was less than $2.50 CND. So a word of warning if you find yourself spending all your vacation time haggling over a price point of 100 baht, it's only $3.13 CND, factor in how much your vacation time is worth as well.