What could be more evocative, exotic and downright entrancing than a market in a distant land? And what interaction is more treasured by the traveler than a bit of back-and-forth with a foreign merchant? There’s nothing quite as satisfying as bagging a bargain, particularly if you’ve had to fight damn hard for it. In fact, saving yourself a few pennies while depriving an artisan of a square meal may be the quintessential travel experience.
You bring home souvenirs from far-off lands; you bring home recipes, phrases and diseases. Why not bring home the art of haggling? Just imagine the excitement and variety you’ll bring into the life of your Safeway customer service attendant when you introduce this concept to your everyday shopping.
Of course, there are rules for haggling. Next time you see a fetching little sweater, an in-home theatre system or a McDonald's Happy Meal you just have to have, ask yourself, ‘what is this really worth to me?’, then take the item to the checkout and suggest something about 50% lower than that. Smile, keep your tone light-hearted, and never get angry or offended. If the checkout attendant offers you a cup of tea, take it! Sometimes it’s worth pretending you don’t really want the thing: turning around and walking away can bring an instant drop in price. And always remember, it’s as much about the interaction as it is about the final price.