Bargaining in India: turbans in a market

How many times have I heard that “I do not like to bargain”. I admit that it requires a certain technique, however, when you enter into the mental pattern of negotiating prices you can not stop. Bargaining in India and other rituals of commercial exchange can become a great diversion. Advice in advance: let yourself go.


Bargain in India

Leather is one of the most traded goods in India

The main characteristic of commercial transactions in India is the client’s ability to negotiate prices downwards at the time of purchase , the well-known bargaining. The price is not fixed by the seller, but seeks a balance with the desire and purchasing power of the buyer. Some people tell me that they are scamming you because they know the real cost and we do not, but do not big companies do the same when they mark their products at a certain price?

Teapot and clay cups in an Indian market

Think about it, what store in which country would allow you to lower the price of a garment just because you like it, but maybe not so much to pay what they ask for it? In India , you have the opportunity to play with the price until it adapts to what you think may be reasonable or even a bargain. If it does not go down to where you expected, you can try it in another establishment. The system of thematic bazaars is very practical in this regard. However, if you are one of those who prefer labels with prices, it is increasingly common to see shops with fixed prices, especially in textile products and quality decoration in the main cities of the country.

Other shopping rituals in India

Indian puppets are typical items in the markets.

Puppet in an Indian market.

Going shopping in India involves a series of traditional rituals that delve into the social value of the exchange. Can you imagine that when you go to buy a carpet they will bring you some tea, they will put you between pillows and throw in front of you all the collection of carpets of Kashmir ? This is still the case in many shops throughout life, where it is understood that showing the collection of products available is a way to get the customer’s taste right.

Try typical clothes at an Indian store

Man with Indian attire in a typical shop

There is no need to worry about the inconvenience, since in the Indian commercial culture it is not understood as such. Unlike other countries, in India nobody will be upset if after all the deployment you go empty-handed . Sometimes, you know what you want and they do not even know if they have it or not. Advice for the Indian reader: you have to inventory more often.

But it is not all unbridled capitalism, there is also an element of hospitality that involves inviting the visitor to a drink and making him feel comfortable in the small business, chatting with a foreigner and explaining the origins or elaborations of his products . The key is to relax! If you let yourself be carried away by this playful way of shopping, where you are the protagonist and you can get prices that fit your pocket, you will soon discover how wonderful it is to go shopping and bargain in India .

Would you like to travel to India and go shopping for its unique markets?