Sorry, meant to post this in my previous one. Oops ;)
I understand that I will need to haggle prices. Can anyone advise what the general percentage of the original price I can expect to be reasonable to haggle for (30%, 50%, 75%???) plus, things that should not be haggled for? I am interested in knowing this for Laos, but I am also going to Cambodia and Vietnam.
#1 santsingh has been a member since 18/7/2006. Posts: 9
Normally I divide the asking price by 3, and start from there. And try to keep in mind what it would cost at home. Some things are really cheap (fruit is less than 1 US per kg, and often less than 0,5 US).
But there is no guarantee that you will not be ripped off. You have to determine what it's worth to you, I guess. Generally the richer you look, the more you will pay.... Keep smiling at all times, compare with different shops and have fun !
#2 ReneHanoi has been a member since 3/7/2006. Posts: 54
Don't lose sight of the real value of the money you're haggling over. Things are cheap in Laos by most peoples' standards, even if you pay the asking price. Bargain light-heaterdly by all means but don't rip the locals off - they're nice people in Laos and 2000k/20c means a lot more to them than it does to you.
#3 pauljaymes has been a member since 10/7/2006. Posts: 75
“Baw dee toe” he says slapping himself in the forehead. Santsingh I hope you are still monitoring this post.
It’s Laos! Very often you are offered the best and local price first time. Just ask someone what something costs before you buy. You’ll be amazed when that’s the price you are offered from the fruit vendor, or tradesperson. On all busses I’ve never paid a tourist surcharge even when jumping on mid route. Tuk Tuks in touristed places you would normally expect to be overly expensive, but they aren’t always, be prepared to get an honest and reasonable first offer, it happens often enough. The place where it’s traditional to bargain is buying the weavings or other handicraft items, but the negotiations are always light hearted and with a smile.
If you ever feel you are paying a surcharge because you aren’t Lao, smile and keep on walking, there are about a gazillion more people selling the same thing who would be happy to sell it to you at the going rate.