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Unwritten tips for shopping in Vietnam to save your wallet

Posted By : Threeland Travel / Vietnam Travel Guide

Vietnam is in list of cheapest countries for travel, then you could find so many good quality things at cheap prices as shopping in Vietnam. However, YOU MUST BARGAIN. Bargain when buying something is fairly common in Vietnam, especially in Vietnamese local markets (but in some big center shopping malls, prices are fixed which bargaining is not necessary). For foreign visitors, getting to know how to bargain in Vietnam is worthwhile as it would make it possible for you to get the best price as well as communicate with the native. 

Why and Where You Should Bargain in Vietnam?

Travel-vietnam_ho-chi-minh-city_shoppingVietnam local market

Bargaining in Vietnam does not mean of disrespecting the sellers. It is simply a method for getting the best deal between you and the sellers. Besides, you should not keep the thought that bargaining might damage your reputation as almost all Vietnamese people make bargain whenever they shop at local markets.
Another reason that you should bargain when shopping for something as it would help to reduce the discriminatory attitude among sellers as many Vietnamese people consider foreigners to be wealthy and willing to pay a great amount of money.
You should bargain:
-    In some tourist attractions/sites;
-    In the local markets;
-    As grab a cyclo for sightseeing around 

Useful Tips for Bargaining in Vietnam

Use Vietnamese as much as you can 

Vietnamese people are friendly and curious. They will be glad and more generous if you can say a bit of Vietnamese, because somehow it shows your effort when traveling in the country. And do not forget to honestly compliment your sellers, especially Vietnamese ladies, there is no theory here but this way works.

The first thing in Vietnamese you should learn is how to say numbers, as it would become extremely helpful when discussing price with local people. Besides, it is advisable for you to know some simple phrases in Vietnamese including how to ask the price and express your feeling.

Some Vietnamese words for you as shopping:
•    Bao nhieu (= How many) 
•    Dong (= Vietnam currency unit)
•    Giam gia (= to discount)
•    Dat qua (=too expensive!)
•    Em rat xinh (= you’re so pretty)
•    Cam on (=thank you)

Check the Market Price by shopping around 

If having time, in order to know the market price, shopping around before deciding to buy something is highly advisable. This would not only make it possible for you to compare the differences in price among shops but also help you to get the preferable price when bargaining in Vietnamese markets.


Start the Bargaining at Half of the Initial Price

Pricing here is not that expensive if you… dare to bargain to the bottom. It is advisable for you to offer half of the initial price at first since many merchants tend to ask foreigners to pay much higher than they do with local people. It might sound crazy but don't worry, this is how bargaining in Vietnam begins.
Many sellers often refuse your offer at first with the reason that they are selling products with the best price and quality alike. In such cases, you should continue bargaining and gradually raise the price up until both of you reach an agreement. 

Pretend not like the items much

Before getting the deal, try to pretend that you don’t really like the item much, you should not show the seller any kind of interest in the thing you want to buy because this could make it more difficult for you to get the most reasonable price. Walking away is always an effective way to pretend. This method should be used when you are nearly getting the price you want, but the merchant does not agree with you. If you walk away, many sellers will call you back and give you the price that you want. Shopping and bargaining in Vietnam is quite fun, right?

If possible, shopping with a Vietnamese friend

The presence of him/her somehow can reduce the first price the sellers say to you, because they are all Vietnamese, they know what the good is. 

Maintain a Good Attitude 

Just take it easy as bargaining because Vietnamese are actually very friendly and generous to foreigners, then you should avoid negative attitude towards sellers. You could also consider bargaining a chance to practice your Vietnamese and persuading skills so that you can enjoy it. Always remember to be friendly and patient as many local sellers find it challenging to communicate with foreigners. Try to show a little sense of humor; it will break the ice between you and the sellers.

Shopping in local markets could become easier and more interesting once you know how to bargain in Vietnam. Don’t feel so pressured on bargaining, just consider it as a chance to practice your Vietnamese, persuading skills and exploring Vietnamese culture so that you can enjoy it. Just do it and having fun ;)