Need advice on bargaining and haggling?

#1 Mar 16th, 2017, 01:54
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  • Mimimiha is offline
#1
A question:

While hiring a car with driver or booking a private few days package tour with the local travel agencies, is there any flexibility to bargain or haggle the prices?

I happened to have a first name that is also a common female name in India, so while I email and ask for a quote, local travel agencies don't know I'm a foreigner, so I guess I always get "local" prices. But in India, you haggle for everything.

Hence I would like to ask, if there is any flexibility to haggle the car hiring and private tour prices, how many percentage do you suggest to haggle for? (Ex: 10% off? 20% off ?? or....)
#2 Mar 16th, 2017, 05:14
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#2

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#3 Mar 16th, 2017, 05:26
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#3
Right.

But.... Hey, 30Rs for a tender coconut?
~
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#4 Mar 25th, 2017, 00:26
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  • a_f_d is offline
#4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post Right.

But.... Hey, 30Rs for a tender coconut?
Around here the traditional coconut sellers are complaining that tender-coconut sellers are cornering the market, they get ₹40-50 whereas plain coconuts sell for 5 - 30 depending on size - people won't pay more.

AndyD 8-)
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#5 Mar 25th, 2017, 03:27
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#5
If you think Indians who are not familiar with the normal price don't get overcharged, you're sadly mistaken.

Sellers or service providers have a very well honed sense of who they have in front of them. It's impossible to give you a percentage to aim for, it depends on where you are (at a private emporium, no matter how hard you bargain, you'll never come out on top for instance), what his appreciation is of how familiar you are with the prices, how badly he wants the deal, whether he thinks you're an ass or not and how the stars are standing. Last but not least: how bad do you want the deal to happen and how much time do you want to invest in haggling over those final rupees?

Sometimes you will also simply be quoted the correct price, starting to aggressively haggle then would be an insult.

What it all boils down to is that there are no hard and fast rules. The best is to ask advice about the normal price, observe and try to appear confident. After living there for a while, most auto and taxi drivers for instance didn't even seriously try anymore (obviously, telling them in Hindi where I wanted to go also didn't harm, I guess). I've had taxi drivers with a meter that was moving like a missile on speed quote me an outrageous price, only to deflate when I smiled at them and told them I'd pay 20% and not a paisa more. O.t.o.h. the shops and people I dealt with regularly didn't ever try to stiff me.
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#6 Mar 25th, 2017, 09:39
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#6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post Right.

But.... Hey, 30Rs for a tender coconut?
Nick, how much do they cost in your area, here the rate varies from Rs30-Rs45.
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#7 Mar 25th, 2017, 14:48
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#7
Ok, to be honest, they used to be 15Rs, but now, I think 20 to 30 is not uncommon.
Haven't bought one for ages, but some sellers display the price.
I would not haggle over a 30Rs tender coconut, especially If there was a price notice.

I don't think haggling is as much part of every purchase like it used to be. I remember Beach's story of his mother buying half a cabbage.

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