Your Ultimate Guide to Bargaining!

Street-shopping is about two things-

1). Bargaining and

2). Are you deaf? Didn’t I just say BARGAINING?

Why do we street shop?
To buy that jumpsuit for some hundred bucks, is it?

Nah! It is the sheer joy of going through loads of shitty clothes to find that one piece and then fighting tooth and nail for it, defeating the vendor with your constant haggling and then walking away with your precious find like a boss.

Actually, let me break down this cheap thrill for you…

 First things first, never step down rich from your cab.

The minute you enter your shopping arena…
A girl must look broke.

You are a girl on a budget; non-spendthrift and forget acting frugal; instead, pretend that your dad is a Sindhi and your mum is a Marwari. Put on that show and walk through the market keeping that childlike excitement away from your face. Look distressed if you have to but never ecstatic.

But what-so-ever, ALWAYS look like a potential- buyer giving way for the vendor to fall in the bargaining pit.

Once he starts taking interest in his to-be-customer, the battle begins.

Spot the thing of your interest, check it thoroughly with least interest. Check the ones you don’t like with visible interest. Keep your targeted dress unattended and ask its price among the other three things that you don’t intend to buy.

ACT

Whatever his quotation is, the first one has to be laughed off. Then in that flow, let your stern voice ask him for final price. He will resist. So now kill it with these three weapons

Greed- Remind him how you’ve been buying from him ever since you’ve moved to the city.

Also once in a while genuinely persuade your friend to have something for her as well from the same vendor! More the quantity, merrier the bargain!

 Sympathy- Go P-l-e-a-sssssss-e with a grin and in tune! Doesn’t work? Try this-

Look disappointed in HIM. Make him feel guilty for a “regular customer” who has come a long way just so that his items would sell. Look on innocently while your silence screws his conscience!

Warning- This is the LAST resort.  Tell him that it is a common thing over the market and you can get it from somebody who is reasonable. No effect?

This is where you use your ultimate weapon.

Squint at the dress for the last time. Bid it goodbye.
Now turn your heels nonchalantly, and…
WALK AWAY!

Keep walking… and wait for those magical words.9 out of ten times, the vendor in neon tee will call out for you!
The one time it doesn’t work is when he anticipates your game.

Common Sense-

  • The bargain hours are crucial. They don’t want to lose a customer just after they have opened for the day; while when they are closing down they want to clear the stock! So shop in desperate hours. Also, never try to bargain when it’s crowded. They won’t keep other buyers waiting to haggle with you.
  • Befriend the shopkeeper; smile and interact- attack his morals- he can’t overcharge somebody who has been so polite and friendly to him!
  • Apart from that, you can always try finding faults with the colour, fabric, fit- anything! Make him feel responsible for your trouble! Manipulate him into selling it to you.
  • SHOW him the MONEY. Hand it over to him. The feel of the crispy notes in his hand is bait he can’t avoid!

If You are a Tourist

Now apart from proper tourists’ place where it is obvious, avoid that tag.

Act like you KNOW the market. If you can pick up the local accent and their localised Hindi- KUDOS! Although beware against blatant pretension, that can turn the tables!

Otherwise don’t act touristy.  Never “Bhaiya, hum yahin ke hai. Tourist samjha hai kya?!” That will make it obvious. Keep it natural. Don’t get easily fascinated. Act as if this is a regular thing for you.

P.S. – Bargain so that you don’t get overcharged and because it’s therapeutic (Guilty, as charged). Don’t make it your mission to screw the vendors with foul bargaining just for the heck of it.

Bombay Shop-Bay!

Whoever said shopping is therapeutic couldn’t be more correct with that thought. To me, it actually is a rejuvenating and fun exercise; especially street shopping. And when I talk shopping, I visualise Mumbai markets. Of course it is famous for branded labels and standard outfits but it is also extremely pleasant place when it comes to local street markets. There are a lot of such markets in the suburbs, near stations and posh areas too. So, if you are the one who love the idea of “shop-till-you-drop” and enjoy bargaining, here’s a list of places that should be on your Must-Visit list, next time you travel to Mumbai.

1) Colaba Causeway
Colaba represents the shopping culture of Mumbai. The look and the feel of this place, especially at evening, is suave. The yellow lighted, vivaciously sparkling place is a wonderful place to spend time at. We get a wide range of products to choose from, here in Colaba. A great deal of kolhapuris, junk jewellery, loafers, flip-flops etc can be found at a real good price. From palazzos to kurtis…u name it, u get it. And the cherry on the cake is that you get to bargain. U can bring them down half the price that they pitch in the beginning. Also, there are some sharp and curt sellers who would sell goods at a fixed but reasonable rate. (Like an up-and-down dress for 400 bucks?!)Thus, just one word- Un-missable.

2) Linking Road

It is not only popular with Mumbaikars but people all over India  know Linking Road is one great place to shop from. Be it VERO MODA or Where Oh Moda, u get all kind of brands and cheap fakes, here. Majorly, this place is famous for varieties in shoes, bags, wallets, clutches, belts, shades, stoles..yes again, almost everything! But, one notice for the bargain savvy people: They hate us. They hardly entertain any bargaining. Still most of the goods are worth the price, looking at the novelty in designs offered there.

3) Irla

If you are a shopaholic you will like this place but if you are also a book-worm tadah, you will love Irla. So, Irla has famous alfa-markets, well furnished, stores, road-side vendors, but most importantly a very amiable and well-versed book-seller. That store is not just another book store; amongst the pile of the books in that little space is a book-keeper who possesses the knowledge about almost any book you want a review of ( with correct pronunciation 😛 ) He sells and rents the books at good deals. Coming back to other goods, best buy in Irla can range among cute colourful PJs, unique wallets, clutches, glares etc. Also, at the end of the street there is Wagh Bakri Tea Lounge, just in case you need to quench your thirst after all that vain attempts at bargaining.
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4)Lokhandwala

The fun in Lokhandwala is all about the availability of the latest trends and novelty in designs. And, forget it when people claim that you can’t bargain at Lokhandwala. Start at the lowest price and the seller will bring it to the ideal price. One piece of advice: Do not judge the stalls/shops before you get into that place- go dig in the piles, roast the shopkeeper and you will definitely find your best buy there. Noon is the best time if you want to shop at your ease. Go around the street without wind or storm. Go calmado and Come back with heavy bags!

5) Fashion Street

This Street is one of the limited street-shopping places that cater to men. Export surplus clothing and fashion accessories are available for cheap prices. You can find a good range of denims, tees, baggy pants, jackets, hats, accessories, footwear and that too at a price which you would like to pay for not-so-long-lasting stuff. In fact, that is what works in their favour, as you get to change your wardrobe every few months for good rates.

Make sure you visit these places and once again, prove “Whoever said money can’t buy happiness did not know where to shop from”

Go grab that instant gratification. Happy shopping! 😉