The art of bargaining


Once you master the art of bargaining, you can really pick up some great deals.

Bargaining is fun!

Besides being well known for beaches and sunshine, Bali is also a paradise of shopping centers. For those who go on vacation in Bali, it is important to spare some of the budget for shopping or to buy some souvenirs from your holiday. So don’t forget to bargain the price that fits your pocket.

It might be strange and uncomfortable for some tourists, but bargaining is part of the shopping culture in Bali.

It’s doubtful you will ever insult someone by offering a price too low. So follow these simple preparations and you’ll be haggling like a pro!


  1. You can haggle at other local shops
  2. You can’t just walk in there and go wild, you’ve got to understand, respect, practice and finesse the art of haggling.
  3. The first price quoted is usually the “tourist price” and it is generally two times more than what the vendor is actually willing to accept.
  4. Set a price in your mind before you start. But the first thing you need to do is have a benchmark market price. You do this by asking at around 3 different (not beside each other) shops, without any intention to buy. You’re just setting the usual ‘ask.’
  5. Even though negotiations can get heated at times, just remember to always keep your cool and never, ever be rude. Their hardball tactics are just how they do business, so keep that in the back of your mind.
  6. Laughing and smiling is always good. It’s not supposed to be a life and death battle but more an exchange to reach a satisfying price you are both happy with
  7. Remember this: the more items you buy, the better deal you will get!  – Just ask..If I buy 6 (for example) what is the price then?
  8. Make a small drama by saying that you just want to buy at the price you bid, if it can’t be done, you would move to the other outlet. If you are lucky, the seller will ask you to stay and give the price as you wanted.
  9. Just one other thing – if you really like it and then you find the same item later somewhere else for less, it doesn’t really matter!
  10. If you get fair prices, remember the shop and return again should you require more goods. They will be friendly when they see you back again, opening prices will generally be much lower for repeat customers.
  11. Besides coming early, you can also come in the last hours before the market closes. Usually at the last minute before closing their shop, the sellers usually would say yes to every bargainer.


If you get down to 80,000 Rupiah and you’re happy to pay it, just pay it. It’s around one dollar more than your target, so, what do you really care!? But, if it feels like you’re getting ripped off and they’re asking you for 150,000 IDR and you really don’t want to pay that much because the shoes aren’t worth it, then don’t pay it. Just say thanks!

Also, don’t forget to bring your own shopping bag to avoid using up a lot of plastic bags!

So are you ready to bargain? Happy haggling!


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