In many places around the world, shoppers are expected to haggle with local merchants as it is an important part of the culture.
However, is that same tourist shopping behavior appropriate in the beach resort destination of Los Cabos?
Some say it is part of the culture of Mexico, while others will disagree, saying haggling is inappropriate.
Tour guides however offer that travelers should haggle with local vendors when purchasing souvenir items to take home with them. However, there are some limits to how far visitors should go in the popular shopping style.
Haggling For Deals
Travelers around the world are often expected to haggle with local merchants to get a good deal on their souvenir purchases.
In fact, many vendors will actually mark their items up significantly, expecting a traveler to haggle with them for better pricing.
However, there are some important considerations to remember when haggling when shopping in locations like Los Cabos.
Streets vs Shops
Generally, most haggling will happen with local street vendors, depending on the circumstances.
It is generally not acceptable for travelers to go to an established shopping center, for example, or a well-known retailer to haggle with the sales staff. Many visitors will try, but it is an easy way to be asked to leave.
It is okay to haggle with vendors in open-air stalls on the street most of the time.
Low Priced Items
Traditionally, haggling will not occur with low-priced items. As an extreme example, would it be appropriate to haggle over a small, inexpensive wooden children’s toy costing 50 pesos? Most travelers would say probably not.
Leave the haggling and price negotiations to items that are a bit more expensive in price. Haggling should not be done with every souvenir item, including luxury items.
Buying Multiple Items
It may not be appropriate to haggle when buying one item from a vendor. For example, haggling for a single t-shirt may not make much sense.
However, if a tourist is buying multiple items from the same vendor, it may make sense to haggle for a quantity discount. Buying more than one t-shirt, such as three or more, it would make sense to potentially haggle with the vendor based on quantity pricing.
Haggling For Food
Haggling for food items, such as candy or even street food from a vendor really does not make sense. However, many travelers are amazed at how many people actually follow this practice.
Generally, haggling over prices of street food, snacks, fruit or even candy really is seen as not appropriate in most places, including Los Cabos.
If a traveler does not like the price of the food item being offered, it is better to move on and choose a different street vendor instead of insulting the food preparer.
Also, haggling for meals in restaurants is also not acceptable.
Easy Way to Haggle
Sometimes, travelers are uncomfortable with the whole haggling process. Using rounding can make this a little easier for some visitors to Los Cabos.
If items being purchased come to $1325 pesos, for example. Travelers can say all they have is $1200 pesos in bills on them and offer that to the vendor in exchange for the item.
Instead of directly confronting the vendor and getting pushy about the haggling process, this may be an easier way for travelers to get some better deals for their purchases.
What Travelers Need to Know
Haggling is a popular shopping tactic that is expected in many tourist destinations around the world. However, there is a way to haggle with local vendors and still be respectful of the local culture and the need for local merchants to make a living.
Are there other guidelines you may have around the practice of haggling with vendors in Los Cabos? Be sure to share them with your fellow travelers in the comments below.
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