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How to Haggle like a Pro in Turkey

19th April 2015

Whether you’re already in Turkey or visiting for a short fun filled trip, you will certainly be looking to fill your bags as well as cases with a treasure trove of goodies. 

Haggling, known as Pazarlik is considered to be an important element in Turkish society. If it is done the right way, it can provide a real sense of satisfaction. 

Let’s delve deeper and find out what you need to equip yourself with when it comes to finding the ultimate bargain!


Understand the market
It’s essential to browse meticulously in order to gauge prices across a number of different shops. Therefore, you will have a real sense of cost before you unleash those haggling skills.

Don’t be overwhelmed
The less enthusiasm you display, the more potential bargaining power you may have. If you put on your best poker face, scan several items and look disinterested. If you find that elusive item you want to kit out your home with, then act as cool as Brad Pitt in a fridge and don’t make a big deal.

Don’t reveal your budget
Keep your cards as close to your chest as a croupier would. After all, you don’t want to give away how much you want to pay immediately. If the market seller prods you like a pin for the price, stay firm and ask how much he is selling for. 

In most cases, they will overinflate the expected item price. If you offer too low then the market holder will see right through this and your bargaining powers will start to wane.


Bulk discount
As they say, if you don’t ask you don’t get! Purchasing several items at once will stand you in good stead for a possible hefty reduction. 

Don’t barter over a few lira

If you and the seller aren’t far off in terms of price, then a couple of Turkish Lira should not stand in the way – hopefully!


Walk away
This tactic can work in some circumstances. If you cannot bring yourself to part with your hard earned cash then simply exit post haste. 


The market holder or shop owner may see potential business walking out the door. In this way, they may at the last minute agree on the price you initially agreed. 


Don’t feel obliged to purchase even if they have treated you to some Turkish hospitality such as a strong cup of local coffee or a nice bit of baklava.


Pay in cash
Be wary of any bank charges and agree on paying in the local currency. Rates could be anything from between 2% up to 5% so check rates with your bank before putting any payments on your credit card. 


Money money money
Or so Abba once proclaimed. Why not have a bit of chutzpah and take out the dosh you want to spend on the item in question. 


Take out your wallet slowly and show just how much you are willing to part with. If you begin to put it into the shop owner’s hand you could possibly do a sale on the spot.



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