Shopping abroad can be a challenging experience for a new traveler. While here in the west we are used to having price tags on everything, in the developing world it is normal to barter for your goods. It can be tiring and hard on your nerves at times, but if you keep an open mind and have some fun bantering back and forth it can be very enjoyable. You will emerge from the market surviving one of the most rewarding experiences of travel. Here are some ground rules that Dave and I always follow when bartering in markets around the world.
1. Always barter with a smile. Bartering is fun and if you can laugh back and forth until you settle on a price, you will get a great deal and have a good time in the process. You will come out of it happy and you just may make a new friend along the way. I had read that people were very aggressive in Vietnam and were miserable to Tourists. I was almost afraid to go shopping, but I ended up having some of my favorite memories of shopping at the market in Ho Chi Min. I remember trying to walk away because we just weren’t interested in what they were selling. The merchants would tug on our sleeves to come back and they would block our way as we tried to leave. They had huge smiles on their faces. They were laughing, we were laughing and we eventually gave in. Their offers were just too good to ignore.
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