Brush Up on Your Bargaining Skills for all that Bali Shopping!

More than the amazing sights and rich culture, Bali is a bonafide shopping mecca! And who doesn’t love a good bargain? Bali offers a treasure trove of fabulous finds, souvenirs and delicious food. To get the most out of your spending money, you should polish up on your bargaining skills. If you can’t resist a good deal and you want to squeeze every last drop out of your dollar, then check out our bargaining tips!

The Basics of Bargaining

Knowing the basics of Bahasa Indonesia certainly helps butter up the locals into giving you a discount. To avoid offending a seller, ask for the price but do not engage in bargaining until you are certain that you really want to purchase the item. Also, try to look like you know the average price of a certain piece. If the seller is sticking to their price and it’s above your budget, just smile and say “Terima Kasi” (thank you) politely. The seller may either re-consider your price or let you go. Either way, be polite.

Supermarkets vs. Stalls

Tourist spots such as Kuta and Legian have shopping centers that offer endless items, which are more expensive when sold to foreigners. If you’re looking to save money, check out the same items at stalls outside the supermarkets. Most of these stalls carry many of the same items you see inside the shopping malls, but at much lower prices. You can also haggle to keep the price even lower. These stalls are lined up in front of places that tourists frequent.

It’s a good idea to know the average price of a certain product before you start haggling. If one seller refuses your asking price, just move on to the next stall that sells the exact same thing.

Local Markets

If you don’t mind getting your feet a little dirty, and you’d like to experience how local Balinese shop, visit the local market. Bali’s local markets are teeming with souvenirs and products, all at very low prices. The great thing about visiting the local market is that competition among sellers is stiff. They will try to lower the prices to sell more, and at local markets, customers seldom need to negotiate since the price is already low.

Some items, especially fruits and vegetables, are more expensive during particular seasons. Sellers initially offer the regular price but you can haggle your way into saving a few thousand rupiahs. Also, you will certainly get a better deal if you buy in bulk.

Final Advice

Another really important thing to remember when you’re bargaining is not to bargain too hard, just for the fun of it. Be polite and fair. An extra 5000 rupiah might not make that much of a difference to you, whereas it might for the seller.