How to Bargain the Price Down in Bali

How to Bargain the Price Down in Bali

Don’t let yourself get ripped off while shopping in Bali. Learn exactly how to bargain so you can get a good deal for your purchases.

The beautiful island of Bali is not only a surf heaven. It is also a shopping paradise – and the locals are well aware of it. That is why Balinese vendors aren’t afraid to shoot up prices in main tourist areas like Kuta and Seminyak, especially when they can tell that you’re a newbie.

Image credit: Dom Crossley

The good news is, you’re allowed to bargain!

In fact, more often than not, bargaining or haggling is THE proper way to shop in Bali. It might be strange and uncomfortable for some tourists, but bargaining is part of the shopping culture there. Now, take it from someone who has been in Bali way too many times. Here are some tips you should know:

It’s okay to be laughing and smiling.

Balinese people love having a good time. What I’ve learnt is that the friendlier you are with them, the more they see you as a friend and the more likely you’ll get a good deal. I once bought two pairs of shoes for nearly the price of one, just because I sat on the floor of the shop with the vendors and listened to music for half an hour!

Do not get aggressive.

Bargaining should be a fun experience and not a war, so there is no point in starting a fight. I’ve seen so many tourists bargaining way too hard over a dollar or two. Just remember to mentally convert the price to your local currency and determine the discount you’re asking for. Sometimes it’s just mere cents and not worth the effort.

Know your prices.

Spend some time looking around before you start shopping so you can get a feel of what the rate is. Many vendors sell the same products but priced differently, and some are easier to bargain with than the others.

Do not accept the first price.

The first price quoted is usually the “tourist price” and it is generally two or even three times more than what the vendor is actually willing to accept. What you should do is to bargain down 50% or even 70% of that price depending on where you are, and then slowly go up until both parties reach an agreement.

Use the famous “walk away” trick.

Even the locals use this trick. When you can’t seem to get the vendor to lower their price to match yours, try this. Thank them politely for their time (terima kasih!), give your last price, and start walking away. Unless it is really too low, they will usually stop you and accept your final price.

Buy multiple items in one shop.  

I always take the time to look around the shop and pick out several items I like. After all, it’s usually easier to bargain when you’re buying a handful of things. Remember this: the more items you buy, the better deal you will get!

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Now that you’re all set, happy bargain hunting in Bali!

About Author

Skye Hsiao
Skye Hsiao

From a small beautiful island called Taiwan, Skye is a 23 years old full-time travel addict and sucker for anything blue. She grew up in 4 different countries and have been to more than 30 so far, still chasing stories to tell when she’s old. Follow her steps on Instagram @ballerina12111

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