Here’s How to Shop for the Best Deals While Traveling
Coming back home with souvenirs 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’ve got the scoop on the best ways to pack and tips for shopping on vacation, you might be one of the many Americans who isn’t so savvy at bargaining. Haggling is as common as a morning cup of joe all over the world, but it’s definitely not second nature to a lot of us. Here’s a guide to scoring a good deal on envy-worthy souvenirs and getting more out of the cultural exchange of bargaining during your upcoming travels.
1. Shop around closing time. 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 for a cheaper price. BUT if you have your heart set on a specific item, it’s best to go earlier, as they may sell out.
2. Take your time wandering through markets and comparing goods. Start by walking through the stalls to get an idea of the types of items on display and what you’re actually interested in. Then compare style and quality among vendors. In most markets, each shop will give you déjà vu, since many vendors sell the same mass-produced goods. You’ll 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’re going to buy. This rule goes right along with saying “please” and “thank you” in terms of manners, so don’t waste a shopkeeper’s time if you’re not ready to commit. Remember that you’re not just exchanging goods and currency; being as respectful as possible in someone else’s country shows your appreciation for their culture, even if it’s different from your own.
4. Start by offering half the asking price. Now that you’ve 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’t take their reaction personally — they may laugh at you — but it’s all just part of the game.
5. Stay cool. 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’re still mad about something he said that morning. If the seller knows you’re totally obsessed with whatever it is you’re haggling over, they’re not going to go very low. Be cool.
6. Buy in bulk. If the vendor isn’t meeting your desired price, try to buy for friends and family to see if they’ll give you a discount. This works a lot of the time, because it guarantees them a few more sales and they’re still going to get a good deal out of it.
7. Don’t worry about ripping a seller off — you’re not that good. No matter how slick of a deal you think you’ve gotten or how badly you feel about bargaining, never, ever believe you’re ripping them off. They all could win Emmy’s for their acting abilities, seriously. A seller will NEVER give you a price lower than their profit margin. Believe that.
8. Smile and walk away. If you’ve done everything you can to get a reasonable price — including comparing costs and asking locals — 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’ll beckon you back and you’ve got yourself a deal. If not, on to the next shop!
Have you had any crazy bargaining experiences? Share the deets with us @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)
Pocket doors are so delightful in and of themselves. They appear when you need them, get tucked away when you don't, and make it easy to define rooms while keeping an open floor plan. Add to the pocket door a joyful patterned wallpaper surprise, and you will be sent right into fits of visual jubilation! Or something ;) Today we're sharing two simple and impactful pocket door makeovers that zhuzh up your space in a jiffy.
Anjelika Temple here, co-founder of Brit + Co and proud owner of several pocket doors! When I moved into my first real grown-up house a couple years ago, I knew I wanted to incorporate wallpaper so reached out to our friends at Chasing Paper to see how we might collaborate. It felt like a total lightbulb moment when I realized I could create a surprise pop of pattern on a couple sets of pocket doors.
Not only is it a whimsical way to bring color into a space, but the doors double as picture-perfect backdrops for all your SFH (selfies from home, obvs).
A few pro tips about install:
- Removable wallpaper is miraculously forgiving! You can take it on and off multiple times without it losing integrity (or mucking up your surface).
- I ordered this adhesive wallpaper installation kit with a squeegee and xacto knife and it worked super well. I also recommend a sharp pair of scissors for cutting longer lines.
- This is a two-person job! Get a friend, put on a playlist, and get ready to bond.
- Wild, organic patterns like Tally are great because it's challenging to spot any imperfections in pattern alignment; keep pattern choice in mind if you've got a lot of corners to match up. More geometric patterns and larger shapes leave less room for error (but are awesome in their own right!).
BATHROOM POCKET DOORS
In our primary bathroom, we chose the wallpaper pattern Tally, designed by Kelly Ventura, in White and Navy. In our space, the navy reads as a soft black, which is perfect for the space. It's easy to combine an ever-rotating collection of linens with the Tally pattern.
I love how the white trim becomes the perfect frame around this pocket door piece of art.
My favorite moment in this space is the fact that you actually get a third pop of pattern thanks to our serendipitously placed mirror!
And yes, this one works pretty darn well as a backdrop too ;)
LIVING ROOM DOUBLE DOORS
This set of doors is definitely a focal point of our home. It separates our living room from our primary bedroom which opens onto our backyard. The doors are pretty much always open, but when they're closed we wanted to evoke a fun, nature-inspired vibe. With that in mind, we selected the Lines and Moons pattern by Thimblepress in Green and Brown.
Earth mama vibes up in here! I love how the shapes and colors echo the ferns you see through the windows and the acorn wood details throughout the house.
Love this pattern moment, and xacto-ing out the door handle is def on the oddly satisfying DIY list.
For a pattern lover like me, I love that now I have this instant photo backdrop!
Thanks to Chasing Paper for providing these rolls of pure pattern amazingness. Head to chasingpaper.com to find our own favorites and start adding patterns to your home!
(Wallpaper wingwoman: Kayla Haykin; Photography: Kurt Andre)