Like all Asian countries, bargaining in Bali takes its own special touch. Following these 5 tips will help you turn into a bargaining pro before you know it!
1. Never ask “how much?”…unless you have full intentions of buying the item. As soon as you ask the price, the game is on and you’ll end up being guilted into buying something you never really wanted in the first place (such as the ever famous, penis shaped bottle opener). And, if you DO have intensions of buying an item, start by offering a price. You may get laughed at, but at least you won’t start the bargaining at some outrageously high price.
2. Walk away. It’s ok. Trust us. If the seller isn’t meeting your price, kindly reply with an, “It’s ok, thank-you!” and start down the street. No need to start looking in other shops, because if your price was reasonable, you’ll soon be chased by a grinning Balinese yelling, “ok, ok, ok!”
3. The first sale of the day is lucky. The Balinese truly believe this! If they tell you they haven’t sold anything yet, believe them and bargain the heck out of the item. They’re more likely to sell something for a price lower than usual in order to bring good luck for the rest of the day. On the same note, don’t buy into the “Afternoon Price” or “Sunset Price” tactic. Anytime is a good time to get an awesome deal in Bali!
4. Never, ever, make a promise! The Balinese have impeccable memories, and if you promise you’ll look later, or god forbid, buy later, they’ll hold you to it! Turning down countless sellers is never a problem, until you’ve made a promise. Then the guilt trip really begins.
5. Have fun. Life’s short. Don’t take it too seriously. When the game is on, the Balinese can appear to get quite serious about the whole thing. They’ll pout, they’ll whine, they’ll beg, they’ll plead. They’ll do anything to sucker you into paying more. That’s the game! No matter what price you settle on, when the deal is done, the seller will always lighten up afterwards, becoming your new best friend.