Coming back home with souvenirs聽from your travels is an absolute must for sparking daily fond memories of your trip and showing off your impeccable global-inspired taste. But even though you鈥檝e got the scoop on the best ways to pack聽and聽tips for shopping on vacation, you might be one of the many Americans who isn鈥檛 so savvy at bargaining. Haggling is聽as common as a morning cup of joe all over the world, but it鈥檚 definitely聽not second nature to a lot of us. Here鈥檚 a聽guide to scoring a good deal聽on envy-worthy souvenirs and getting more out of the聽cultural exchange of bargaining during your upcoming travels.


1. Shop around聽closing time.聽To give yourself a fighting chance at a good deal, check out the markets toward closing time. This is when the sellers want to get rid of their items for the day and are more willing to part with goods聽for a cheaper price. BUT if you have your heart set on a specific item, it鈥檚 best to go earlier, as they may sell out.

2. Take your time wandering through markets and comparing goods.聽Start by walking through the stalls to get an idea of the types of items on display聽and聽what you鈥檙e actually interested in. Then compare style and quality among vendors.聽In most markets, each shop will give you d茅j脿 vu, since many vendors sell the same mass-produced goods. You鈥檒l be able to get a better deal on something you could get from 20 different vendors than you will a special, one-of-a-kind piece.

3. Only bargain if you鈥檙e going to buy.聽This rule goes right along with saying 鈥減lease鈥 and 鈥渢hank you鈥 in terms of manners, so don鈥檛 waste a shopkeeper鈥檚 time if you鈥檙e not ready to commit. Remember that you鈥檙e not just exchanging goods and currency; being as respectful as possible in someone else鈥檚 country shows your appreciation for their culture, even if it鈥檚 different from your own.


4. Start by offering half the asking price.聽Now that you鈥檝e picked out your goodies, you get to have some fun. When you find out the price, a standard counter-offer in Asian countries is half the asking price. They drive a harder bargain in South America and Europe, but as a rule of thumb, go low. Don鈥檛 take their reaction personally 鈥 they may laugh at you 鈥 but it鈥檚 all just part of the game.

5. Stay cool.聽Call their bluff by remaining calm and waiting for their lower offer. Make sure you keep that same face you have when bae gets you something you love, but you鈥檙e still mad about something he said that morning. If the seller knows you鈥檙e totally obsessed with whatever it is you鈥檙e haggling over, they鈥檙e not going to go very low. Be cool.

6. Buy in bulk.聽If the vendor isn鈥檛聽meeting your desired price, try to buy for friends and family to see if they鈥檒l give you a discount. This works a lot of the time, because it guarantees them a few more sales and they鈥檙e still going to get a good deal out of it.


7. Don鈥檛 worry about ripping a seller聽off 鈥 you鈥檙e not that good.聽No matter how slick of a deal you think you鈥檝e gotten or how badly you feel about bargaining, never, ever believe you鈥檙e ripping them off. They all could win Emmy鈥檚 for their acting abilities, seriously. A seller will NEVER聽give you a price lower than their profit margin. Believe that.

8. Smile and walk away.聽If you鈥檝e done everything you can to get a reasonable price 鈥 including comparing costs and asking locals 鈥 your last resort is to smile, thank them and slowly walk away. Maybe linger on some other items and hope the seller acquiesces. If she does, she鈥檒l beckon you back and you鈥檝e got yourself a deal. If not, on to the next shop!

Have聽you had any crazy bargaining experiences? Share the deets with us @BritandCo!

(Photos via Getty)