Hidden Gems

Searching out the best bargains when you sail in Turkey

By Jenny Wilson
on  October 05, 2015

You will have the opportunity to visit some of the bustling bazaars the country is famous for when you sail in Turkey and will no doubt find many treasures that catch your eye. Turkey, like many eastern countries, has a strong tradition of pazarlik, or bargaining. How should you make sure you get a good deal?

Turkey sailing advice - how to haggle

Browse first

Many vendors will offer similar products and you don’t want to buy one item before discovering a slightly nicer version just around the corner.

Keep cool

If you show lots of enthusiasm for a piece, the vendor will know you really want it and the price will rocket. Practice a disinterested face if necessary. Decide how much you are willing to pay for the item and don’t get carried away.

Don’t be afraid

Although haggling over the price might feel awkward or uncomfortable, here it is not only expected but is also part of the social culture of shopping.

Let the shopkeeper go first

Rather than jumping in with an offer, let the shopkeeper name their opening price. It will be sky-high and far more than they will sell the item for, as they expect you to haggle. Make your counter offer, which should also be a lower amount than you intend to pay. The offers will go back and forth until you meet somewhere in the middle with a price that is agreeable to both parties.

Do not feel obligated

You are not in any way obliged to buy anything, even if you have spent some time at the stall. In Turkey it is common to be offered food or drinks, such as apple tea, whilst you browse, especially when looking at higher-value items such as carpets. This still doesn’t mean you have to buy anything.

Be clear on payment

This will usually be in cash and is due once a price is agreed. Take goods with you to avoid any possible shipping errors or your precious purchases going astray.

Don’t be afraid to walk away

If the price is not right, just leave. This may encourage the vendor to name a more reasonable offer. If not, there is probably another bargain just around the corner.

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