Should I bargain for everything?
Almost everything is negotiable in Vietnam (with the notable exception of meals), and bargaining is very much part of the Vietnamese way of life. All tourists are regarded as wealthy - which we are compared to average local - but that doesn’t mean you’ll always be quoted an outrageous price. Small shopkeepers and restaurateurs will often charge you the reasonable local rate.
When bargaining it helps if you know some Vietnamese numbers and have a general idea of the going rate for the item. Otherwise, the trick is to remain friendly, be realistic and make the process fun. If you manage to reduce the price by 40%, you’re doing very well. In most cases it’ll be more like 10 - 20%.
A common ploy is to start moving away if you’re on the verge of agreement. But don’t bargain just for the sake of it. If you agree on a price, then you are honour-bound to the purchase. And lways keep a sense of perspective: don’t waste time and energy haggling over what only amounts to a few cents.
Good luck, stay positive, and have fun!
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