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Haggling

Cardiff
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89 posts
8 reviews
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Haggling

I've read on here that you should haggle in some shops, does this also include street food vendors or are they pretty much set prices, thanks in advance for any help.

Brisbane, Australia
Destination Expert
for Phuket
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2,091 posts
84 reviews
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1. Re: Haggling

Hi Smico,

Bargaining or haggling is the accepted method of trading it Thailand, many stores are fixed price, 7/11 stores, pharmacies, Restaurants etc but buying clothing, shoes, sunglasses, from market style stores you bargain the best price with them. Know your prices before you travel as some shop owners could start with very high prices when they realize your new to the area.

As an example years ago i was told the sunglasses i wanted were 5000 baht as they were genuine! I purchased them for 150 Baht.

Cathy & Gary's web pages list the costs of everyday items and clothing costs, its a great way to know what you should pay.

www.cathyandgarystravelpages.com/phuket.htm

Cheers, Pete

Melbourne, Australia
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5,280 posts
210 reviews
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2. Re: Haggling

I wouldn't buy any food from a street vendor, so I wouldn't know about bargaining. I only eat at good restaurants, and I got food poisoning, which laid me up for 2 days, from one of Phuket's most recommended restaurants - and we had eaten there earlier in the same week. Definitely bargain in most shops, stalls, markets, etc. but not at the shops Peter has mentioned above. And only drink bottled water with no ice, no salads which might be washed in water, etc.

Phuket
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869 posts
13 reviews
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3. Re: Haggling

Hi smico13

In shops: if there are price labels on the items or on the shelves, no haggling. But you can still ask if they have any "sale" on.

Restaurants: no haggling

Food carts: try to only use carts and stalls where other people are buying food. There are two advantages to this - 1 you know it's going to be fresh if they have a big turnover, and 2 you get to hear how much the person in front of you paid. They will sometimes try to charge more for tourists, but generally they'll be straight with you.

Markets: bargain away and follow Petertravels' link to Cathy & Gary's pages before you leave home so you have an idea of what the prices should be.

Taxis/tuk tuks: find out how much it should be for the trip you intend to do in advance and stick to that price.

Always keep your negotiations light hearted and friendly and you'll get a better deal.

Hope this helps

Phuket, Thailand
Destination Expert
for Phuket, Kata Beach, Karon
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4. Re: Haggling

Whilst haggling always smile, smile, smile : -)

Melbourne, Australia
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5. Re: Haggling

"rachels about" has got it just about spot on, especially the last bit. Keep a good sense of humor and remember a lot of the time you end up haggling over 50p for a shirt you'd pay 20 times that for at home.

On the street vendors, I've never had a problem with the safety of the food. Usually it it is fresh and cooked while you watch. That grilled chicken on a stick is sensational. The banana pancakes are in a different catergory all together! Garunteed hangover cure, cheap, tasty and on a paper plate and sliced up with tooth picks provided for a meal on the run. The best way to end a night out.

australia
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33 reviews
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6. Re: Haggling

the street food is really that cheap we never bother to haggle price, never had a problem with street food only ever got sick eating in restaurants (touch wood coz im there next week) and agree chciken skewers & banana and nutella crepes well YUMMMMM!!!

also agree with magpie (geeez thats twice with a magpie lol Ed would be proud lol) bargaining over 50 baht here or there ive seen heated arguments at what amounts to few cents to something that's very cheap anyway, yes always smile too weve had some real fun with the vendors and have gone back time and time again and they remember us

the rule is somewhere like offer a 1/3 of what they ask and end up somewhere near half

but as for food why bother really?

Cardiff
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89 posts
8 reviews
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7. Re: Haggling

Thanks for the response guys, we are there in ten days so it's good to have a bit of advice for our first time.

8. Re: Haggling

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Removed on: 21 March 2013, 21:47
Brisbane, Australia
Destination Expert
for Phuket
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9. Re: Haggling

Hi again,

Sorry zznoname, you have given some good advise as many others have as well but i have to disagree with one point you make.

You said "Thailand is not a haggling country" and "Haggling in Markets is not Proper" My wife and i have traveled all over Thailand many times and this is the accepted method of purchasing items in markets, unless a market stall has set prices on their items. Yes you don't haggle for food or in fixed price shops but go to a local market and watch the locals buying there produce as they all Bargain for a better price. All Tuk Tuk and taxi drivers ask crazy prices so if you don't bargain with them you will be ripped off.

The OP was asking the question in the Phuket Forum and all the markets with the exception of the Phuket Town night market (as it has some fixed price stalls) you bargain prices with them.

Cheers, Pete

10. Re: Haggling

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Removed on: 21 March 2013, 21:47
Edited: 21 March 2013, 21:47