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How much is it?


How much is it?

...or Thai popular fun game "Guessing the real price."
Most of the tourists coming to Thailand for the first time think that they should always bargain and split the price at least in half.
Looking at the price tags all these people make a simple calculation - divide it in half and think they know the real value for this or that item. Therefore the first impression might be: "Oh, everything is so cheap!"

However, this is not quite so.
In fact, it is appropriate to bargain in Thailand, but only in the following cases:
- In markets where there is no price tags
- On the beach (with the sellers)
- In private shops that sell souvenirs, clothes, shoes, etc., located in the tourist areas
- In the "jewelry", "leather", "latex" and other "factories", where tourists are brought on a trip.
- With taxi drivers who do not want to use a meter (in Bangkok we just ignore those and catch another taxi, on Koh Samui, on the contrary, all the taxies go without a meter)
- In massage parlors.

You can also get a discount at a hotel, guesthouse, rental office and other similar places, provided that it will be beneficial to all parties (for example, a lot of the hotel rooms are available, and they will make a discount for you so that you can stay with them, and not with their more pliant neighbors). Asking the hotel management for a discount is better with a smile, jokes and in a friendly manner, and not with hammering your fist on the table and threatening them with the police.

What you need to know before bargaining:
- The actual average price of goods. If during the bargaining process you name the price significantly lower than the real one, then there is a risk of offending the seller. And insulted, he would refuse to continue bargaining. So be careful. For those who have just arrived, it is the most difficult moment.
- Whether you are ready to buy this product if the vendor will agree to your price. It will be a huge mistake and an insult to the seller if you do not accept the size / color / style, and will refuse to buy the product. Or if you say that you will need to think again. Believe me, if you do come back, the price for you personally will be much higher, and bargaining would be pointless.
- What discount you can count on.
* If the item has a price tag, then, as a rule, the seller might be willing to give you a small discount - about 10-15 percent. Mainly due to the fact that you buy 2-3 and more items, or due to the fact that he is just having fun talking to you. In the small shops that sell some real and quality products for everyday life, do not expect them to give you a discount. Maximum - if you are a regular customer, the seller can barely round up the total price to 10-20 baht.
* On the beach, the price of fruit, ice cream and other food is fixed and bargaining here is silly. In all the other cases the price tag is overvalued by 100% and up to infinity, depending on your appearance and a specific merchant’s arrogance. Naming the price, the trader is expecting you to object and then he will give you a calculator. Picking up the price, make sure that you are willing to buy the item if the seller agrees.

An example of a "proper" purchase of some " stuff " from a beach vendor:
-- How much is this "stuff "?
- 1000 baht, madam, cheap, special price, just for you!
After having a proper look at that “stuff” we understand that this is something we cant live without, but are willing to pay for it, lets say 300 baht, and also somewhere we have seen it for 200 baht, but where was it? In general, the price of 250 baht is ideal, maximum - 300. Get ready to start bargaining.
- Good stuff, but expensive - sigh with regret and return it to the seller.
Seller smiles and pulls out a calculator:
- How much madame is willing to pay for this awesome “stuff”?
Put a price of 200 and give the calculator back. Showing that we understand that this is an extremely low price for such a "super-stuff" but, alas, we are not that rich and we are very sorry, because the trader is unlikely to agree to it, and we really want to buy it right now, and blah-blah-blah.
Then an exchange of price variations starts and in the end, the price that suits both parties should be somewhere around 250-300 baht, the purchase is done and everyone is happy.

P.S. in addition to the given example of bargaining on the beach: it is still better to go to a store with fixed prices and safely buy a similar “stuff” for the price about 150 baht. Because no matter how much you pay in a market or on the beach - you are paying for the trade show as well as for service of "delivery" just to buy it "right here and right now".

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