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Bargaining

Tet trinkets (lunar new year trinkets). This Vietnamese street vendor in Hanoi sells small items to support herself and family. Be very kind and respectful when bargaining with people as this is her livelihood.
Tet trinkets (lunar new year trinkets). This street vendor sells small items to support herself and family. Be very kind and respectful when bargaining with people as this is her livelihood.

This is something very few people are accustomed to, outside of Asia. As a general unwritten rule tourists usually attempt to bargain 40 to 50% off the original asking price.

When you are hot and bothered it can really wear you down, so if you pay a price you are happy with, that’s good. Once you have purchased don’t check prices elsewhere as it could result in tears and bad feelings.

To know the numbers in Vietnamese languages makes bargaining more powerful, but even having the numbers punched on the calculator or scribbled on a piece of paper is also effective. If the seller still won’t budge then it could be a fair price or they’re playing the bargaining game. Say or write what you will pay, and then be prepared to walk away.

Chau Long market, Hanoi. This Vietnamese lady checks out the quality and then the price of this piece of meat.
Chau Long market, Hanoi. This Vietnamese lady checks out the quality and then the price of this piece of meat.

Bargaining Vietnamese Style

Women are almost by law needed to be good bargainers; they need to manage the money and so by being frugal make every Dong go further.

Men aren’t supposed to argue/bargain with a woman as it’s seen as just not the right thing to do.

 

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