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How to Bargain in the Philippines by Em2018年11月20日

Good day to you! Teacher Em here.

I will be sharing with you one of the most important things that you would need when you travel, study and stay in the Philippines…

We will talk about ‘bargaining’.

First, where is it possible to bargain?

Asking for a discount is a daily thing.

It is very common to strike and try to get a bargain but you need to understand where you can and where you can’t.

Photo by Artem Bali from Pexels

Here is a list of some of the places where you can try to bargain:
Flea Markets
Tiangge (shops that are temporary in a certain places or shops that are not inside a shopping mall)
City Markets
Ukay – Ukay (second hand thrift shops)
Garage Sales / Yard Sales
Small Antique Shops
Small Book Shops

Here are also some services that you can try to bargain, like:
Tricycle Fare
Taxi Fare

Before you start bargaining, try to understand first that the people you will be dealing with are people who are in business; meaning, they are there to make money and not run a charity. These people are working hard for their families and are also dealing with utilities and bills every month and other things that they need to buy and pay, so bargain with respect and be polite.

Foreigners are less likely to get discounts than Filipinos. This a fact and you need to understand this.

My opinion here is if you travel or buy something with your Filipino friends, ask them to show you how it is done and from there try to get some ideas on how to do it.

Bargaining is like a polite game where both you and the seller are interjecting offers and counter offers with small talks about anything and everything.

Make it a fun thing to do rather than stressing yourself on how people are just trying to get more money from you (Some foreigners have that mentality)

Photo by Francesco Paggiaro from Pexels

Here are some tips on how this works

1. Don’t bargain more than half the price of the item you’re trying to purchase. It may give the impression that you don’t want them to profit in any way and you’re being selfish.

2. Start bargaining at least 70% of the original price and work your way until you and the seller agrees on a certain amount for a specific item. Don’t force the discount that you’re trying to get joke around and try to persuade in a nice and polite way.

3. Try to buy in bundles or a few other items in a single purchase this has a higher chance of getting a discount.

4. If you can’t really get the seller to give you a discount, try to go to other stores and check the pricing of the item, compare and get details about why is the item more expensive in other stores than a specific store. Then go back to the store with the best deal and try your luck in bargaining.

5. When you are going to ride a taxi or a tricycle, talk to the driver first before riding, tell him where you are going and how much will it cost you. Wait for him to say the amount of the fare that you need to pay. Then you try and bargain with the driver until both of you agrees on a specific amount.

The idea of this article is purely based on my experiences when it comes to bargaining, some of the tips may work for you and some might not, I would only like to give you guys an idea of how it works… Happy Bargaining!

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