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What's the deal with bargaining in shops?

Melbourne, Australia
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What's the deal with bargaining in shops?

I was in one of the small shops on the side street near Louvre and saw a leather handbag that I liked. There was no price ticket on it and the shopkeeper told me it was 500euros which I thought was a bit expensive. So I asked if he could reduce the price? He then started raising his voice and shouting away in French which I couldn't pick up, his hand gestures basically told me to get out of his shop! It left me feeling annoyed, he could have just refused and told me there's no bargaining. All the shouting was completely unnecessary. So what's the deal with bargaining in Paris?

Paris, France
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1. Re: What's the deal with bargaining in shops?

You don't bargain in France. The price on the price tag is the price you pay.

Nashville, TN
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2. Re: What's the deal with bargaining in shops?

If there are no price tags, head for a different store.

3. Re: What's the deal with bargaining in shops?

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Palmetto, Florida
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4. Re: What's the deal with bargaining in shops?

You can bargain at markets but not in shops. Now I can't remember where it is in Europe but sometimes store offers you a discount for paying by cash instead of CC.

I would be annoyed too in your situation. No need for shouting, no need to shout in French when he obviously can speak English. The question may be inappropriate for his shop but I would think he could be more gracious than that. Sorry.

Sunnyvale,California...
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5. Re: What's the deal with bargaining in shops?

Some of the French people just get annoyed at non French speakers. I was screamed at in French by a Post Office clerk and he basically was trying to tell me that he would not serve me unless I spoke to him in French. Luckily, behind me in line was an American living in France and he told the clerk in French to give me the damn commemorative stamp that I had requested. Haha.

Chicago, Illinois
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6. Re: What's the deal with bargaining in shops?

I must travel around France in some sort of bubble -- although my French has ranged from non-existent to now a well developed earnest and 'pathetic' I have never had a shopkeeper or clerk yell at me or be particularly ugly to me and many have gone out of their way to be helpful

the only rude French people I have met in literally months of travel in France were at CDG and in particular the CDG Hilton

Paris, France
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7. Re: What's the deal with bargaining in shops?

I think the shopkeeper may have been insulted that you weren't willing to pay the price he gave, which does imply that you don't consider the merchandise to be very valuable.

If you are in France, you must speak to people in French. That's standard procedure and standard courtesy around the world. If you cannot speak the local language, that's your problem, not the problem of those who live there. Anyone who speaks to you in a foreign language, instead of the local language, is doing you a favor.

As it is, I've never seen anyone in France yell at someone for speaking English. And it hasn't happened to me because I speak to people in French, the national language, as courtesy and custom dictate.

Porto, Portugal
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8. Re: What's the deal with bargaining in shops?

I live in Europe and it is worth bargaining in some small shops, not that much years ago, but nowadays yes, it happens again with some urge to sell with the crisis in economy. Of course there is no point in bargaining in shop malls or multinational shops...

That rude attitude is unacceptable, no one can be able to speak all the languages of the countries one visits, but it is indeed even part of the trip for me to try to speak in the national language. It is awesome for me in England, France and Italy but while in Germany I found it so difficult I could just leran few words...

Victoria, Canada
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9. Re: What's the deal with bargaining in shops?

I believe bargaining is generally not the custom, BUT ,, I have seen my friend do it successfully once. We were in a small boutique in St Germain that sold leather goods, she wanted to purchase a leather satchel ( otherwise know as a "murse" here ( man purse lol ) for her son) The sales lady was helping her, and they found one she liked, but it was 300 euros and my friend regretted she just could not afford it,, it was lovely,, but after all you know how kids are,,, and she went on and on,, all very sweetly, and never directly asking for a deal,, and lo and behold,, she got it for 225 euros. It may have only been worth 100 euros,, but point was, she got 75 euros off,, without coming across as grasping. She is an artist. lol

Tampa, Florida
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10. Re: What's the deal with bargaining in shops?

If it's offered, fine, but you don't ask unless it's a store you've been shopping in for a long, long time.

The shouting was a bit over the top, but I'm certain that every shopkeeper in Melbourne would have been miffed at the assumption that they were nothing more than some quaint little stall in the souk with all prices negotiable.

Even at the markets, the price is generally the price.