Social Question

kaywizard's avatar

Why is it important to bargain in South American markets?

Asked by kaywizard (280points) February 25th, 2013

Why is considered rude not to haggle with vendors in traditional markets and street stalls?
Is it impolite to try to get a discount on food (market produce and meat)?
What is the cultural importance of haggling?

My Spanish teacher spoke about bargaining in class the other day and I was just wondering why it mattered. Now I live in Trinidad WI and we are not too far away from Venezuela but our markets are completely different. If a vendor has an item and you don’t like the price, you best be moving on to someone who dose. Depending on the time of year market produce will cost more. Some vendors do haggle (the majority don’t) my grandma is the only one I know who gets a discount.

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5 Answers

Response moderated
Adirondackwannabe's avatar

After the time has expired you need to find a mod. Ask for Auggie or the others. Oh and they so love to haggle

wundayatta's avatar

Cultures are different everywhere. It is very common in many places from flea markets in New York CIty to the markets of Mexico, Central America and South America, for people to haggle over prices. It’s also common throughout Asia and indeed, in most parts of the world, save for places where a certain kind of capitalism reigns.

The importance of haggling is that people want to get the best price. They want to save money. So haggling is a good way to figure out if a vendor is giving you the best price they are willing to give. It makes more sense than walking because you do less walking. If you can get the vendor to meet your price, you don’t have to walk. If you have to walk to find a good price, you may have to do a lot of walking.

Of course, today we have the internet as a good way of doing price comparisons. But that doesn’t help you with fresh foods, and it really isn’t the best way to negotiate. The best way to negotiate is in person, where you can see the person you’re negotiating with.

Of course, if you don’t like to haggle, you don’t have to. You can pay the first price the vendor names. You might pay ten times as much as someone else, but hey, you didn’t have to haggle.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

There is a social component to haggling that is almost required in some cultures.

JLeslie's avatar

I hate the bargaining process. I feel it is full of ego. I wonder if it is seen more often in cultures that are labeled as macho?

In places that sell a lot to tourists haggeling means they probably can soak the tourists a little, and the locals know the real prices and get a fair deal.

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