There are a lot of stereotypes about us Easterners, one trait that receives a lot of attention, especially from embarrassed Westerners, is our love for negotiation. It doesn’t matter if the price is printed on the goods and there is a big sign in a prominent location in the store which declares that the prices are fixed. We always ask at least if “this is the best price” or “are the prices really fixed?”.

To help our friends understand, let me bring these seven negotiation rules to your attention:

  • Rule #1 – The true price of any item is what you pay
  • Rule # 2 – Try for 70% off
  • Rule # 3 – Make them show lots of merchandise
  • Rule # 4 – Offer on one item at a time
  • Rule # 5 – Wait for the pad of paper
  • Rule # 6 – Say “TOO HIGH”, a lot
  • Rule # 7 – Imply a bundled purchase

For an excellent explanation of what these rules means, please read How to Negotiate like an Indian by Tim Ferris. I am sure you will enjoy your forthcoming souq trip a lot more if you keep these simple rules in your mind!