Those who make their money from tourists traveling in Eastern Europe can spot a Westerner right away. These haggling tips will help get you better prices for such items as souvenirs and such services as transportation. Haggling in Eastern Europe can't be done everywhere, but you should certainly be aware that exorbitant prices for tourists can be knocked down to more reasonable rates if you know how to haggle.
1. Know the General Prices for What you Want to Buy Before Haggling in East EuropeResearch before hand or shop around before purchasing something in Eastern Europe. Prices will be less favorable in touristy areas, and you may be able to find the same souvenir or other item for less off the beaten path. If you have friends in Eastern Europe, definitely ask them what are good prices and what are bad prices.
2. Only Haggle in Touristy Areas in Eastern EuropeHaggling for souvenirs is more acceptable in touristy areas of Eastern Europe anyway, but elsewhere you may be able to get a very good price for the same item - in which case, you definitely shouldn't haggle! If the location you are in sees Western tourists rarely, you may be offered a lower price to tempt you into purchase or as a sort of "honor." If you get a price lower than what even the locals pay, it is a very good price indeed.
3. Always Be Polite If You Haggle in Eastern Europe
If you find yourself shopping at a souvenir market like Izmaylovo
, and you think the price is too high (it probably will be), saying something like, "This is beautiful, I wonder if you wouldn't take slightly less for it?" will get you farther than rudeness. Most vendors who sell to tourists will speak English well enough to understand that you want to buy, but not at the marked price.
4. Haggle for a Better Price if You Buy in Bulk in Eastern EuropeVendors might be inclined to give you a discount if you purchase items in bulk in Eastern Europe. For example, small handmade wooden boxes can be gotten for a couple of dollars each - buy 10 and you might be able to haggle for 10% off.
5. If a Vendor Hawks Their Wares, Look Doubtful and HesitateSometimes the vendor will haggle with you. They will quote you a price that is laughable. At first, you may pretend to seem uninterested. The price will go lower - hesitate, look doubtful. The price can go lower, but you have to wait for it. You probably can't get the best prices this way, but you may be able to get a better price than from vendors who refuse to alter prices.
6. Haggle with Taxi Drivers in Eastern Europe - You'll Be Glad You DidWhile governments may have tried to crack down on taxi drivers who take advantage of unsaavy tourists, if it is obvious you are a Westerner you will no doubt be offered prices for taxi rides that are just plain unfair. If not using a regulated service, always get a price quote before getting into the cab. If the driver refuses to reduce his price, you can always find someone else who will take you to the same place for a good price - or, you can take public transportation instead.