Haggling Tips in Indonesia – Cheaper, Please?

Submitted by mumunmumun on 24 October 2010   •  Blog

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What is the best things about shopping in a market? Haggling! Yes people, it is the joy of getting away with the economy principle of ‘maximum benefits for minimum price’. It ‘s an activity that streaches from ‘to become friends with the seller’ all the way to blackmail the seller to get the price you want muahahaha…

Haggling in Indonesia is one of the things that I love to do. Besides of getting a better price (although it is relative), you also communicate with people. You get to know from who you buy your goods and you would understand more if your goods are really good, or just another sell for the day. It also could go the wrong way, but everything is like that anyways.

Travel Indonesia: Jakart

Like many other countries, haggling in Indonesia is another ‘hello’. It’s one of the commonest thing you would have to do get your hands on something you want or need. I’ve had a friend from Cyprus that loves haggling so much, once he bought a key chain after 30 minutes trying to make a deal. He extended the haggling process just to enjoy it. He was a nice funny bloke so the seller didn’t mind because my friend was so happy to haggle and trying to learn to pronounce the prices in Indonesian langguage khihihihi…

According to Vira, I’m a better haggler than she is. I doubt it, but I sure do enjoy it. So, here are my steps and tips for a great haggling and more money for an extra bottle of beer. So what are the haggling tips in Indonesia? It start after you ask ‘how much?’.

1. If the seller asks how much you would pay for it, say ‘saya maunya gratis saja’ (translated to: I want it for free) and add a really big and silly smile. Usually the seller would have a reaction. If it’s a bad one, just say you’re joking (Ind: bechanda).

2. If they offer a price, you ask first if they can give you a discount or in indonesia you can say ‘diskon’ or ‘kasih murah’. When agreed, you start to haggle with your starting price at half of what the seller is offering. Sellers usually lower their price a bit but you should stay at half price for a while. And smile.

3. Compliment the seller, say their beautiful or handsome and stay at half price. And smile.

4. By this point, if they don’t budge you would have to increase your offer a bit.

5. You could geta lower price if you buy more than one. The more you buy, the lower the price.

6. My mom’s strategy which I choose to use also is to offer them a lifetime deal, which everybody knows anyways. If you like the seller, you would come back or recommend it to other people. But offer it. Say that you will always come back and tell people to shop there if you get a great deal. (Ind: kalo saya suka, saya beli disini lagi. Saya suruh teman beli disini) And smile.

7. Usually you reach a price of 20-40% off, but if you haggle really good, you could get more off… or you could get a bonus item with it.

8. Flirt, make jokes, be silly, be nice and smile. Use your personality as part of the activity. If you travel, you can’t be THAT boring of a person right? This usually is the X factor in any economical transaction in any market or shop that you can haggle prices.

I’m not guaranteeing all bargaining activity will meet success because there are factors that are beyond us such as the seller just happens to be born a pain. You can have fun with haggling. It’s an art of its own. So haggle and bargain away!

Travel Indonesia: Bukittinggi

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