Is haggling on your travels actually ethical?



One Comment
  • Pamela says:

    I think it is good that you raise the issue of ethical haggling and you have made some very fair & valid points. But I also think haggling is a part of certain cultures and the dangerous precedent is that if tourists don’t bargain, it can be considered not only rude but also leaves them open to paying excessive prices, that may be still be considered cheap in our home country but are way over the ethical price of the goods in question. Because if we don’t bargain, then the traders will continue to set their base price at a higher rate than is needed.
    I also think the terms haggle & bargain need to be defined here. Bargaining is part of negotiating a price and reaching a fair price for vendor & purchaser. Haggling is when a tourist tries to negotiate and bargain a price below what is fair for the seller. I prefer to use the term bargain and to keep my negotiations to a fair price for all concerned.
    As a well travelled person from Australia, I notice unfair haggling is prevalent where there are a lot of tourists from non-bargaining cultures or wealthy countries. When these tourists pay the opening price without bargaining, it makes the price of the goods higher for everyone, whether we can afford it or not.
    I like to bargain but I hope I pay a fair price for the seller as well as for myself and I believe that I have learnt to recognise when a seller has come down to his reserve and can stop there.