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Negotiating Prices

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58 posts
10 reviews
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Negotiating Prices

I tried to negotiate the price on a small trinket I wanted to buy at JinLi yesterday and failed. It was priced at 10rmb and I offered 5rmb. She just shook her head and I walked away...should I have made the counter-offer? Or is it rude to negotiate on small priced items?

Also- are the prices of services negotiable. The 30rmb price for ear cleaning seems very steep since it takes just a few minutes.

Help! I am only on day 2 of my trip and I would like to figure out how this price negotiation thing works! Thank you in advance.

Shanghai, China
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2,237 posts
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1. Re: Negotiating Prices

See here how proper negotiating goes, also in China: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3n3LL338aGA :-)

Beijing, China
Destination Expert
for Guilin, Xi'an, Tibet
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2. Re: Negotiating Prices

Generally, services/products are negotiable by all places other than big department stores, supermarket chains or small branded retail store chains.

Sherbrooke, Canada
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3. Re: Negotiating Prices

Everything is negotiable in China but if you are in a place where you are dealing with an employee they may not have the ability to negotiate. If a vendor just walks away, that means that the price offered is below her cost.

San Francisco
Destination Expert
for Guangzhou
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11,428 posts
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4. Re: Negotiating Prices

If it is only 10, just pay 10, not worth the time and effort. 10 yuan is considered too trivia to bargain even for locals. For larger items, local rule of thumb is 90% off. If asking 1000, counter 100, doesn't always work but it start the process at a favorable level.

australia
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800 posts
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5. Re: Negotiating Prices

When they walk away , thats it, they have other customers to pursue

It was probably worth 5 but at Jinli st. there would have been a zillion tourists after you so why would she bother.

Pay what you think it will be worth to you when you get home

I understand that sometimes you just have that need to bargain for the sake of it.

Anything under 50 y these days i dont really bother particularly if i like it and i feel its a fair price

One other thing , if you see something you like and want it , buy it , becauseyou will never see it again

Geneva, Illinois
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64 posts
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6. Re: Negotiating Prices

Just returned from China last week. In all areas (including Chengdu) we bargained with merchants and service providers except in restaurants and department stores. Occasionally we would see a sign in a shop that would indicate they did not bargain. Our guides told us the rule of thumb is to offer half of the original price and then be prepared for a counter offer. I agree that 10rmb is really not worth hassling over. in US that is only a little more then $1.50. You can't even buy a candy bar for that. We had a great trip. Enjoy!

San Francisco
Destination Expert
for Guangzhou
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11,428 posts
63 reviews
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7. Re: Negotiating Prices

They laughed at me if and when I bargained over small amount, I learned fast, bargain over 10 yuan is simply TOO CHEAP. Not to buy something over $0.75 is just silly, unless you really don't want it, not even worth the 30 seconds of bargain time by local income standard. Happened to me once, my wife bought a panda hat in Beijing, I paid 10 yuan as asked, then I said, "Oh, No, I forgot to bargain." My wife looked at me as if I am soooo stupid and so cheap, "why did I marry this man?"

Level Contributor
58 posts
10 reviews
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8. Re: Negotiating Prices

thanks everyone! I was just trying to practice on something llitle that didn't matter but then realized it was probably stupic. I will ty my hand negotiating a massage today!

Level Contributor
58 posts
10 reviews
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9. Re: Negotiating Prices

thanks everyone! I was just trying to practice on something llitle that didn't matter but then realized it was probably stupic. I will ty my hand negotiating a massage today!

Chengdu, China
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1,050 posts
2 reviews
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10. Re: Negotiating Prices

The locals never bargain in massage parlor.If you accept the service price on their menu,you do it.If not,just leave that place.Don't think that bargain will always bring you any fun.

Edited: 8:12 pm, November 12, 2013