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Bali's Shopping and Bargaining Tips

Bali's Shopping and Bargaining Tips

Bali's Shopping and Bargaining Tips. A shopping spree in Bali's vibrant markets can be an exhilarating experience, but it's essential to navigate the island's unique bargaining culture. Follow these practical tips to make the most of your holiday shopping adventure

Bali's Shopping and Bargaining Tips

Avoid Shopping While on A Group Tour

If you are serious about getting a great deal, it is better to go shopping on your own than with a large group of tourists.  Most tour agencies and guides get pretty hefty commissions, up to 50% or more, when they bring tourists into stores. When you shop on your own, you are more likely to score a better deal.

Bali Shopping Market

Bundle Purchases

Consider buying multiple items from the same vendor. This strategy can sometimes lead to better deals, as vendors are more likely to offer discounts for bulk purchases. In Bali, the first sale of the day is considered good luck and often inspires more incentive to reach a bargain deal.

Don't Open the First Bid

The Golden Rule of bargaining, which applies anywhere in the world, applies in Bali as well. Whoever opens with a price will be at a total disadvantage. If it’s the seller, it will mean that you won’t pay more than that opening price, and if it’s the buyer who nominates the price, the seller won’t sell the product for less than that.

Bali Souvenir
IMG Credit: Sunshine Seeker

Offer it Halfway (And Know When to Walk Away)

When the local seller gives you a price, try going straight to a 50% discount and see how they react to it. They’ll usually agree on halfway between the prices. If that did not work, walk away, and they often chase you down the street and agree with the last price given. This trick is a whole lot of fun, and its part of the Balinese way of doing business.

Practice These Tips Personally by Visiting Some Of Bali's Best Traditional Market!

Master Some Local Languages

Learning and mastering some of the local Bahasa Indonesia will go a long way in your haggling process. Phrases like 'Berapa' (How much?), 'Mahal' (Too expensive), or 'Turun sedikit?' (Lower the price) will help, as the local sellers would appreciate you trying to speak their language. The 'A' for effort would smother the transaction!

Bali Souvenir

Make it a Win-Win

Remember that the locals need your money for a living and that they highly depend on tourists visiting their shops. Tourist currencies are much stronger and have a better standard of living. A reminder to not drop too hard on a price, once you have agreed on a price, don’t go for more discounts, or you’ll end up upsetting them. Always try to make it a win-win.

Have Small Denominations

Be prepared with small bills and change. Vendors may claim they don't have change, so having the exact amount or smaller denominations can prevent any awkward situations. Most traditional stalls in rural Bali also don't have a cashless option yet, so it will be wise to bring some cash around if you want to buy some souvenirs.

Smile Bali

Start with a Smile

Balinese people appreciate friendliness, so begin your interaction with a warm smile. In Bali, the first sale of the day is considered good luck and often inspires more incentive to reach a bargain deal. Establishing a positive connection can set a friendly tone for the bargaining process.