Apart from most shopping malls and foreign brands in Bangkok, bargaining is allowed and even expected by many proprietors. While there is no hard and fast rule to bargaining, here are some tips we can offer to secure you a better price when shopping Bangkok:
1. Ask for much lower than you’re
willing to pay – In this game of back and forth, offering a much lower price will prompt the seller to offer a slightly higher one till an agreement can be reached. It is very unlikely that a seller will accept the first price you list.
2. Do not show interest – Flit from shop to shop to show sellers that you’re here purely for window-shopping rather than for a specific purpose. If interested in an item, offer your price but if the seller isn’t offering anything close to how much you’re willing to pay, back away and move on. Chances are, sellers are more interested in the sale and will offer back a much lower price.
3. Do not back out of a bargain – More often than not, sellers might ask for you to name a price before you can ask ‘how much?’ If not interested in whatever they’re selling, it’s best to keep your mouth shut instead of saying anything (even if offering a ridiculously low price to get rid of touts) as once the seller agrees to it, it is considered incredibly rude and it will be hard to leave without being cursed at.
4. Speak local – It always helps to speak Thai to proprietors as they could be offering two prices – one for locals and one for tourists. Learn key phrases or shop with a local friend!
5. Do not be stingy – Do not be stubborn about getting a certain price if what they’re offering is close to what you’re willing to pay. Remember that 10 Baht is only worth a couple of cents to you but is enough to pay for a whole meal for them.