Linda here, giving you the layout on bargaining in China. Not far from our hotel that we are staying at here in Hong Kong, is a magical place called Mong Kok street. Here at the market there is block after endless street block of stands line up to sell off-brand designer merchandise, typical Chinese souvenirs, and everything in-between. Dr. Lair did his best to prepare us for the jungle with a few bargaining tips and tricks. Naturally there were some members of the choir that had a knack for it right off the bat. In between the very good bargain-finders, they all had their own style of bargaining that worked for them. One of the first things to becoming a good barterer yourself is to go into the market knowing what to expect, and how you will respond. There are three types of barterers.
The first type is the dramatic one. The dramatic one is not afraid of conflict at all. In fact a dramatisizer will invite conflict. They tend to make a scene. They are never afraid to yell and shout, or call some price ridiculous. Some sellers are uncomfortable with dramatisizers and will drop their price significantly, very quickly. Others have to be worn down slowly and excruciatingly over time. And some sellers will be extremely stubborn and refuse to drop their price at all. Probably the best tactic that the dramatisizer posses is the abandonment bluff. The abandonment bluff, is used when you have bargained down the price almost done to one you’ll accept to pay but they have been refusing to drop their price any of the amounts that you’ve offered. So you basically walk away and say that you will find it for a better price somewhere else, or that you have now been bargaining for so long that you have lost interest in whatever you had been bragging for. If they chase after you and then agree to your last offered price, the abandonment bluff was a success.
The next type is the grouper. The grouper will always bring other objects and sometimes people into the bargain. This person will suggest two for one deals, twenty for five deals, they will trade publicity for good deals. They will bargain a price by saying that they will tell their friends to come by from that same seller. They will shop with a friend and can grab some grate deals by being things that match. Sellers perceive two sales of the same item at the same time, a sale the is twice as profitable.
One more type is the rushed one. The rushed one is flustered for time and is the least up-front. They move on quickly. They go into every barter with a rock bottom number in their head but tell the seller strait away that they only have an amount of money that is lower than their rock-bottom price that they are willing to spend. If they have 100 that they are willing to spend, then they say that they can only do 80. If the seller agrees very quickly then great! But if the buyer becomes convinced that the seller will never go any lower then what you are prepared to spend you run off before having spent a while bartering. The rushed one doesn’t have time to wasted so they give the seller a pressured feeling of having missed a potential sale if they don’t agree to the buyer’s proposed price.
Hope you found some of these categories and tips helpful. And to all fellow travelers – Happy bartering!