Bargaining in Thailand
Bought some short-sleeved shirts in the night market today. 250 baht each. Haggled for a discount for buying three.
Rot dai mai kap (Can you give a small discount?)
Bargaining is expected and part of the fun. Calculators are often passed between seller and customer, with the seller entering his price and inviting the buyer to key in his counter offer. I agreed 700 for three.
They were good quality for a market and he had a wide variety. Decided to buy three more. 700 baht was a good price. But no, the bartering started again at 250 baht! I eventually got them for 700. The stallholder was not going to give up his opportunity for a bit more haggling. It’s sanuk (fun) to a Thai.
Having sold me three shirts and knowing I wanted three more also made him realise that he might have agreed too low a price initially.
Stalls in the less busy sois (lanes) in the market offer the better bargains and are anyway less crowded. As a rule of thumb, markets such as Wararot, where there are fewer tourists than the night market, are even better value. Shop where the Thais shop; and shop the way they do.
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