I Think I Have Lice

For those of you who may one day travel to a foreign country, print this blog out and memorize these steps which will grant you great success in your future bartering moments.

Number 1: Scope out the area. Browse among the shops and trinkets, keeping in mind who sells what and where. In this time, AVOID ALL EYE CONTACT!! Absolutely no pointing and touching…

Number 2: Slowly graze among the area and find something you would like to purchase. Let them approach you.

Number 3: Inquire about the price, but don’t let the words, “We have discount special for you” pull you in. (Don’t show too much interest in the item, for this shall surely drive up the price.)

Number 4: Counter offer their “discounted” price. This offer should often be 45-55% of the vendor’s first attempt to rip you off.

Number 5: The vendor will then proceed to say, “Oh lady, lady (or sir, sir), I lose money for that price (tisk, tisk, tisk, tisk noise)” Then proceed to drop eye contact with you. WARNING: hold your ground, maintain your ground and eye contact! Price will be lowered only a little, but don’t fear. There is more to come.

Number 6: Assess the situation and choose one of the following options:
Situation A: If vendor does not budge on price, say Ï will go to the lady over there where my friend went and get a better price.”
Situation B: Vendor dropped price, but it is still not as low as you would like. Repeat your initial price and say it is as high as you will go. Only in extreme situations, do you raise your maximum price by 5% more.
Situation C: If the vendor is insulted by your price, they will laugh, or yell at you for being crazy. In this rare situation, back up with your hands up, turn, and run.

Number 7: If the item was obtained at step 6, get out the agreed amount. Do not take out your wad of American dollars, but do this in secret. Pay the vendor, grab your item, and kindly thank your competitor. Walk away.

Number 8:If the vendor did no agree with your price, set item down and state that their price is too high and slowly walk away, keeping an open ear. The vendor usually gives in, and calls you back to the stand, saying ”ók, ok lady, I give to you.” Don’t be discouraged by her upset facial expression. If vendor does not call you back, do not worry, you can get the exact same item at the next stall. Repeat steps three through 8.

Congratulations! You have completed a successful bartering experience.

Some extra helpful tips and warnings:
1. Stay strong, dont give in, and don’t feel bad.
2. Buying in bulk can give you a bigger discount (Sam’s Club, Cambodian style)
3. Talk amongst your group before your adventure begins to get a relative price range.
4. Bartering is very exhausting. If you begin to feel fatigue, go back to your hotel and rest up. Begin in the early evening tomorrow.
5. Warning: these tips do not apply in the United States. Do not attempt any of these steps on a shopping spree at your local mall.

Blessings,
Alex and Paige

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1 comment so far

  1. Ann DeRooy on

    I don’t think I could do this! My goal would be to pay a fair market price rather than to pay as little as possible. If we continue to seek out a price which is as low as the vendor can possibly go, they must make their profit in other ways. I would much rather bless them with a higher price and wish their business well!
    I’m not sure I understood the title of this post. If I do, it seems derogatory to me. I wish it had been explained more fully so I could understand.


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