The difference of culture, customs and currency exchange makes us have no any idea about the value of a sum of money. What things we can get with US $ 1, for instance, will be vary from one country to another. In a big country like Indonesia, the value of money is different from one island to another island. Even in most parts of Bali their may be difference in a distance as small as a few kilometers. For instance, the price of local food in local warungs in Ubud could be approximately as much as almost 50% more of the prices in its surrounding villages! Imagine, it’s only 5 kms (or more) but the price much more expensive even for locals.
If you are a first time visitor who comes to Bali, you will find this kind of difficulty: estimating the value of money. When you want to buy something, is it cheap or expensive? Is it worthy or not? It’s easier if the stuff is labelled with the fixed price as you may assume that it’s the price. However, in some places, there is no price label and people do bargain.
The problem is begin with your “first bargain” since you have no idea how much is the “real” cost. But here is the clue, ask them how much is the lowest price, with smile and pretending that you are not really interested to buy. Pretend that you will be interested if the price is low. For sure they will say some price. It’s just the beginning, it’s not the real cost actually. Don’t be afraid to start low since their first offer usually double, triple or even more of the real price (not all stuff, but especially for such things like sarongs, souvenir etc.). Patient is other key to succeed in the art of bargaining. If you really want to fight for the price, just walk around and ask other vendors or sellers. There are competition among them and you will get the best price if you have patient a little bit. Don’t worry about the stuff, most of the shops next door sell same items.
But if you have already bought some pieces and other seller offers you same items with the lower price, don’t be upset. Just keep in your mind that the first seller is trying to get the best profit they can. They will bring your money home for their family. This will help you have big heartfelt and not too disappoint instead. Smile, patient, and pretending not too interesting to the stuff is some of the key in bargaining. You will make it.
Have a good hunting for your favorite’s stuff and experience the best of bargaining and good luck!