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  • Your Bargaining Guide to Shanghai

    Post by : expatree

Nervous about bargaining in Shanghai? Worried your lack of mandarin proficiency will leave you stranded? Do not threat. This guide will ease you into the little tricks and strategies so that you are comfortable and having fun while bargaining.

Learn Chinese Phrases
The first tip, which we suggest also to be the first step you should take, is to learn a few Chinese catch phrases. Daily and introduction phrases are always useful. Nothing starts off the bargaining process as well as ni hao ma? Another very important phrase to keep in mind is Duo shao qian (how much). Numbers and the rest of the bargaining process will most probably be conducted in English or the through the calculator that they so handily have laying around. Sometimes, the whole process can be silent with the exception of the calculator clicking away. Nonetheless, beginning the bargaining process with a Chinese phrase lightens relaxes both parties.

Do Not Rush
The second tip is to take your time while bargaining. Often times, last minute shopping hinders some expats from lowering the price further. These vendors have all the time in the world. Whether they sell the item today or tomorrow does not matter. On the other hand, the expat might have to leave or have limited time. These vendors rely on that information to force the expat to accept their price. If you have time, persist on your price and perhaps even walk away. Often enough, the vendor calls you back and lowers her bid towards your proposed value. Another strategy is to use another nearby vendor’s price against another. Nothing like some competitive pressure to help lower the price in your favor.

Practice First
If you have limited experience in bargaining, make sure to practice your skills on smaller, less important items. These items should be easy for you to walk away from if the vendor refused to drop the price. Practice makes perfect and once you feel more comfortable, then approach a vendor that sells the item you really intended to buy but were scared of being ‘ripped off.’

What Are You Willing To Pay
Before asking for the price of an item you are interested in, decide what you are willing to pay for said item. Sometimes it is helpful to ask around what others have managed to bargain for the item. Another method is to determine whether the item in your hand has the quality and weight to be valued at the price given by the vendor. This helps you to not get caught up in the bargaining. When vendors significantly drop their price, some people feel pressured or obligated to pay this new price, however still higher than what they initially were willing to spend.

Do Not Be Afraid To Walk Away
The best strategy I use to get my ‘non-negotiable offer’ is to walk away. This is very effective especially in the fake, technology and traditional markets. Usually, there comes a point in the bargaining process that neither side budges. This is the moment where you walk away disappointed and look at other items in other stalls. Most of the time, they call you back and try to start the bargaining again. If not, it is because they have reached their minimum price before they make no commission from the item. At this point, you have to lay your pride down and accept the higher price.

Beware Of The Guilt Trap
The ultimate trap for expats when bargaining is when vendors pretend that they have suffered by dropping their price to please you. They even sometimes begin talking about their families and draw you into feeling guilty. They go as far as to say they will not have dinner for that week. Never believe their acts. Never. The vendor will only accept to sell the item if they are making a profit. You know you have reached the minimum price when they refuse to lower their offer and do not call you back to negotiate.

Now that you have read these tips, get out there and practice them! Be careful in these markets as they are havens for pickpockets. But most importantly, have fun!
Date:2013-10-18 01:31:13
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