A Hagglers Guide to Shopping: Traveling to Istanbul
When people say that Istanbul is the “world’s hottest city” they’re not talking about the weather. Nowhere else on earth will you find such an exciting and diverse combination of history, culture, art, amazing architecture, dining, and nightlife. And, with TravelGuard flight insurance, you can enjoy its delights worry-free.
But, if there is a single “must see” attraction in this ancient city, it’s the Grand Bazaar. In operation since the 16th century, it features over 4,000 merchants, restaurants, and other businesses. There you’ll find exquisite rugs, crafts, artwork, clothing, antiques, and thousands of other items.
Of course, any time you visit a foreign country if only makes sense to prepare yourself by learning about the local customs and practices. So here are five tips for making the most of your trip to Istanbul:
1. Be ready to haggle
Bargaining for the best price is an integral part of Turkish culture.. Turks debate prices for everything they buy, so don’t feel bad about doing so during your visit. You won’t be viewed as anything other than a savvy customer trying to get the best possible deal, a trait that is highly respected in Turkey.
2. Don’t let your enthusiasm for an item show on your face or in your voice
In fact, make a point of not dwelling on any item too long. Survey all of the shopkeeper’s wares first, and only then return to the one that caught your eye.
3. Decide how much an item is worth to you before you begin to haggle
Having a price range in mind before the negotiations begin will give you an edge when the back-and-forth starts. It’s especially important to know what your absolute limit is, so you don’t get carried away with buying fever.
4. Get the merchant to quote a firm price
If he or she asks “why will you give for it,” them politely but firmly ask for a price once more. There’s an old saying in negotiations: the one who quotes a price first is the one who loses. When the shopkeeper does tell you the cost, then it’s your turn to make a counter-offer. A good ballpark is to aim for a price that’s between in fourth and one half of the one that was quoted. Going too low can actually work against you, as it gives the impression that you’re a novice who can be taken advantage of.
5. Make it look as if the merchant has gotten the better of you, even if you get a great deal
A good way to do this is to give in when their offer comes close to the one you’re settled on. This allows them to save face, and they may reward you by offering you a discount on multiple purchases or showing you other pieces you might not have seen.
By keeping these tips in mind, your visit to Istanbul will not only be enjoyable, you’re likely to return from it will objects you’ll treasure the rest of your life. Enjoy your trip!