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Shopping - Thai Style

  • AjarnPasa

    Click here to learn more about AjarnPasa
    Joined Travelfish
    26th May, 2010
    Location Thailand
    Posts: 27
    Places visited:
    At least 92

    Whether it’s taking advantage of a good exchange rate to stock up on Fendi, Louis Vuitton and Hermès at Bangkok’s chic-er than chic, air-con palaces of consumerism, or hunting for their bargain-basement identical twins in the sweaty faker markets of Pat Pong or Khao San, shopping is an inescapable element to any trip to Thailand’s capital.
    So, if you’re going to get the best for your baht you’re going to need know what you’re talking about.
    First thing to remember is that if you’re dealing with a vendor who is open to a bit of bartering (and let’s be honest, you’ll be hard pressed to find one who isn’t) a nifty show of willing with the lingo works wonders in loosening up the price range.

    Open Negotiations
    First you want to start by asking the price. Make sure you’re ready to start the haggle.
    How much: เท่าไหร่ tâo rài
    Price: ราคา raa-kaa
    How many กี่ gèe
    This one อัน นี้ an née
    So string some of these together to enquire after the price:
    อันนี้ ราคา เท่าไหร่ an née raa-kaa tâo rài What’s the price of this one?
    Or more simply
    อันนี้ เท่าไหร่ an née tâo rài: How much is this one?
    อัน นี้ กี่ บาท an née gèe bàat: How many baht for this one?

    Getting into the haggle
    Now you need to show some mock shock at the price – even though it’s already a tenth of what you’d pay at home.
    Expensive: แพง paeng
    A little too... ...ไป หน่อย bpai nòi
    Reduce: ลด lót
    Give: ให้ hâi
    Special: พิเศษ pí-sàyt
    Can you: ได้ ไหม dâi măi
    Combine a few of these with some of the ones we already know to start the bidding war. These have all worked for me at some stage:
    แพง ไป หน่อย paeng bpai nòi: (That’s) a little too expensive
    ลด หน่อย ได้ ไหม lót nòi dâi măi: Can you reduce it a little?
    ทำไม มัน แพง จัง tam-mai man paeng jang: Why is it so expensive?
    ให้ ราคา พิเศษ ได้ ไหม hâi raa-kaa pí-sàyt dâi măi: Can you give (me) a special price?

    The come-back
    And so you can prepare for a repost. Here is what you’ll be met with.
    Cheap: ถูก took
    Cannot: ไม่ได้ mâi dâi
    Already: แล้ว láew
    Again: อีก èek
    Pay: จ่าย jàai
    Again, combining this with what we already know:
    ลด แล้ว lót láew: (It’s) already discounted
    ราคา พิเศษ แล้ว raa-kaa pí-sàyt láew: (It’s) already a special price
    ลด อีก ไม่ได้ lót èek mâi dâi: (I) can’t reduce it any further/again
    คุณ จะ จ่าย เท่าไหร่ khun jà jàai tâo rài: How much will you pay?
    And it’s when you hear this last one that you can start beating around the baht until you both reach a price you’re happy with.

    To seal the deal once a price has been reach that you’re happy with, either of you can say ตก ลง dtòk long: OK/agreed/deal, then hand over your cash.
    Keep it light, never let your smile leave your face or your twinkle leave your eye and you’ll both end up as friends having done a good bit business.
    # # # # # # # # # # # # #
    If you liked this, you'll love our blog. Check out short, timely lessons in Thai (including this one in glorious technicolour) at and follow us on Twitter @AjarnPasa

    If you have any questions or suggestions for topics for future lessons on Travelfish, feel free to leave a comment.

    See you next time


    #1 Posted: 11/6/2010 - 07:53

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