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By eileeny
Joined: Oct 1, 2008
Posts: 5

Posted on: October 01, 2008 at 1:31AM

Bargaining is fun but you are at a disadvantage from the get-go if you are a tourist (read: usually white). This is because they always start off much much higher for tourists than they would for locals (or those in the know). For example, a friend bought a sarong for 12 000 rupiah after bargaining it down from 20 000, whereas my Indonesian friend was able to reduce it from 5000 rupiah to 1200. You can minimize this in a number of ways: brush up on your Indonesian--show them you know how to say more than "how much" and "that's too expensive." Make like you're an expat--basically show that you are comfortable in Indonesia like it's a second home. And third, which may be hard, is if you have an independent Indonesian tour guide, get them to bargain for you without vendors realizing that you're behind the sale. However, at the end of the day, keep in mind that you have much more money than these people, although 12 000 (e.g.) rupiah by comparison is not a 'deal' compared to what locals can get, but it's still very good for what you are getting. And keep in mind that while 12 000 is not a lot to you, it may b a lot for them. report a problem

Posted on: October 01, 2008 at 1:34AM

"And third, which may be hard, is if you have an independent Indonesian tour guide, get them to bargain for you without vendors realizing that you're behind the sale" By this I mean for bigger ticket items that you have already picked out in your mind. Otherwise it takes the fun out of browsing!

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