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Haggling?

Los Angeles...
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127 posts
41 reviews
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Haggling?

I know you ahve to haggle for everything at the markets/souvenir booths and I used to do it when I lived in Africa but I spoke the language then and since I don't speak the language in Egypt I was wondering if you just hold up your hand with the number you want to pay? or Just hold up the paper bill of how much you want to pay?

Thanks!

Knoxville, Tennessee
Destination Expert
for Pigeon Forge
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1. Re: Haggling?

Keep your money out of sight during the haggling process. (IMO) The merchants all understand enough english to haggle. They may also use fingers to show amounts or occassionally a calculator display. Don't worry they'll find a way to show you and understand your counter.

Los Angeles...
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127 posts
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2. Re: Haggling?

Okay, thank you!

United Kingdom
Destination Expert
for Sharm El Sheikh, Red Sea and Sinai, Side
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20,186 posts
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3. Re: Haggling?

Tristan,

Remember to walk away if you're not getting anywhere; even if you really like the object as you will no doubt see it again, just down the road. If they follow you & the price comes down then continue your haggling, if they don't then you know the correct basis at which to start negotiations next time for said object.

Try & keep a sense of fun in the conversation; Egyptians do have a good sense of humour. It always works for me & altho they are def "hard sell" I cope better with them than I do in some parts of Turkey where I couldn't "connect" thru humour.

Regards

ada
cardiff
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1,190 posts
33 reviews
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4. Re: Haggling?

they speak english, welsh, japanese, klingon and can haggle in any currency you choose - just make sure you all agree which currency it is you are paying/haggling in.Learning a few arabic mumbers (khamsa = 5, khamseen = 50) will elicit a smile and as above poster there is a GSOH involved.

Nuweiba, Egypt
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2,176 posts
5 reviews
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5. Re: Haggling?

What is GSOH... trying to work that one out ...

ada
cardiff
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1,190 posts
33 reviews
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6. Re: Haggling?

GSOH = good sense of humour , which is also what you need when trying to walk up Mt Sinai followed by a persistent camel owner - lol (laugh out loud) and hi swisssinai.

San Francisco...
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1,230 posts
8 reviews
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7. Re: Haggling?

Hi Tristan, I really enjoyed the experience of shopping during my recent trip. The one thing I brought with me that made it a pleasant experience and not a "try to figure this out in your head" or using a calculator, is a little "cheat sheet" I printed out (from the Internet)and laminated.

It has the exchange figures, such as 1 US Dollar = 5.50 Egyptian Pounds. 10 US Dollars = 55 EP etc. So if they quote you 80 EP for leather sandles for instance you can whip out your conversion sheet and see that that would be aprox. $14.50. If you feel that's worth it buy them, or if you want to go lower than bargain.

It makes you feel in control of your money and lets the locals know that you will not be taken advantage of. We had a great time in all the cities, markets and temples that we visited and came home with wonderful gifts. Yes, my husband bought 3 pair of the aforementioned leather sandles!

Happy Travels!

Happy Travels!

London, UK
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299 posts
295 reviews
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8. Re: Haggling?

I usually enjoy haggling but I hated haggling in Egypt and came away after 2 weeks with no gifts or memento's of my travels. I travelled and shopped with another female friend. The shopkeepers who were 99% men were extremely aggressive and at times intimidating and all whilst trying to look down my blouse and asking me if I was married. One man blocked his foot by the doorway of his shop so that I could not leave and this was because I refused his ridiculous offer on some book marks.

They will fleece you alive. I cringed at some of the absolute crazy prices they were quoting. One chap in Luxor refused to give me a price on a photo frame until I sat down and had a drink. When I stood my ground he finally quoted £30 Egyptian pounds for something I could easily pick up in a pound shop in London and then he had the cheek to tell me that the item in question was real brass !!!!!!!

Another man insisted on telling me that a cheap plastic purse was made of real alligator. When I laughed in his face, he laughed back and said I was a clever girl although I am 40 and was clearly older than him.

Honestly, if you want a good haggling experience then go to some place like Thailand or Hong Kong where they will not insult your intelligence in the process. If they are happy at the end of the transaction and you are then they have made a profit and you had acquired a bargain.

I loved Egypt especially Ancient Egypt and the Pyramids but nothing could ever induce me to spend my hard earned cash and visit that country again. I didn't meet one sincere Egyptian person even the travel rep's insisted on taking you to shops that you were not interested in, because in the end they all get a cut and share the profits. I've never met a more dishonest set of people in my entire life.

9. Re: Haggling?

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