Sunday, March 7, 2010

Bartering experience

Shopping is VERY different in China than the States. When we go to a Chinese market, we do this thing called bartering, where we negotiate with the vendor on the price of items. I usually get an idea of a price in my head and then start lower than what I want to spend (and the ventor will start ridiculously high) and then we'll get down to hopefully somewhere around the price I want. When I bartered for the first time back in January when I first arrived in China, I wasn't so sure how I felt about it. I had done it before 9 years ago in Mexico, but I was a little out of practice and it's very intimidating when you walk in and you all of a sudden hear "pretty lady, come look at our bags!" Then ALL of the vendors will step out and follow you sometimes trying to sell you things. One of my favorite lines which I have heard several times is "buy this tie for your boyfriend." I do actually have a boyfriend (although he's not really the tie wearing type). However, one of my single friends told them that she doesn't have a boyfriend to give a tie too. So the vendor went on to say "buy the tie and then you will find a boyfriend!" Too funny and interesting way of thinking... apparently if you buy this beautiful tie, you will find a boyfriend, lol.
As time has gone on, I must say I have gotten very good at bartering. As many of you know I'm very stubborn and so I get an idea of what I want to spend and I don't wander too far from my original price. My friends here think it's funny because I smile the entire time (are you surprised?) but am very firm on the price I want. Only one other time did I get very frustrated with the man who was being very rude from me and walked away.
Today we went to another chinese market. I wanted to buy some more souvineers for people (I'm almost done!) and so spend a long time picking things out. When it finally came time to negotiate the price, she started WAY higher and a ridiculous price even for the states. So slowly I got her down farther but not quite to what I wanted to pay (did I mention I'm stubborn?). It finally got to the point where I told her I was not leaving until she gave me the price I wanted. She proceeded to tell me that she was getting a headache (which I was as well) after about half hour of her and I going back and forth. I would normally have just gone to another vendor but after spending about half hour picking out the items I wanted and getting the right sizes, I did NOT want to do that all over again so I stuck with it. Finally, I spent a little more than I think they were really worth but we had to leave and I wanted them so I went up a little but finally got the items. I was tired but very satisfied with my purchases.
I think it would be fun if we bartered in the states but then again it is tiring so maybe I'm glad we have set prices. It was quite an experience. Anyways, for those of you who receive gifts from me, realize that I put lots of hard work, time and stubborness to get you these wonderful presents!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...