I was enjoying my breakfast
in a roadside warung
when two girls approached me selling sarongs
only 14 000 rupiah
our sarongs will you buy
I shake my head slowly
your price is too high
it’s worth only 10 000
I firmly reply
she looked so dejected
her pretty face grim
confers with her sister
who accepts with a grin
harga biasa she quips
as they depart
7 000 rupiah, nyonya is the usual price
Most everyday purchases made in Bali require bargaining.
It is not difficult to do, and with a little practice you will
enjoy it, almost as much as the Balinese do. The first thing to
establish is the staring price, by asking the seller how much?
Then it’s up to you to make a counter offer. Of course,
you have the tactical advantage if the seller lowers the price
before you start to haggle. Simply ask for the best price and
start the counter offer lower than what you intend to pay.
Bargaining is fun and enjoyable, so always remember
that it helps to have a sense of humour; the Balinese love the
drama and theatre involved. When an offer is accepted, the goods
must be purchased. The ‘morning’ price is the best
price of all, for the seller thinks that the first sale of the
day will bring them good luck throughout the day.
Don’t feel embarrassed or shy because with
practice you will certainly acquire the art. Bargaining is an
intrinsic part of Balinese culture, remember to join in the fun!
The Balinese respect anyone that can obtain a fair price when
making a purchase.