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Ten tips for bargaining in Egypt

As you may know, in Egypt you will have to bring out your best negotiating skills, since bargaining is a widespread custom in the country. In our tours and excursions we always leave time for shopping, in some cases in places of real charm, such as the Jan El Jalili bazaar in Cairo. So we’ve put together a small catalog of tips for bargaining in Egyptwhich will come in very handy in these cases.

Charming store in Khan al-Khalili
Charming store in Khan al-Khalili

#1. Haggling in Egypt is a cultural custom

Bargaining is more than just an attempt to get a better price. It can be considered a social act in itself, since it represents a good opportunity to engage in a small conversation with another person.

#2. Bargain only if you are really interested in buying.

Negotiating just for the fun of it is considered very offensive, so you should totally discard this idea.

#3. Always dribble

If you are really interested in the item, don’t forget to haggle. First, for your sake, otherwise you will end up paying a much higher price for the item. And second, because this is what the seller expects: he will not be offended if you initiate the negotiation, on the contrary, he will be flattered by your interest.

#4. The local currency dominates: the Egyptian pound.

It’s a basic question, but in order to be able to haggle in bargaining in EgyptIn order to get a good understanding of the value of the local currency and the average price of a similar product, it is necessary to know the value of the local currency as well as the average price of a similar product. Therefore, find out the exchange rate of the Egyptian pound against your currency at that time.

#5. Arm yourself with patience

Egyptian sellers can be very insistent, so you must remain calm and patient if you are not interested in buying. And you should always indicate it with kindness.

#6. Start by offering a very low price…

… since the winner is going to do it for a very high one. Don’t be shy about offering a quarter of what you would be willing to pay. The goal is to reach a middle ground that, if it is closer to your exit amount, you can consider a success.

#7. Haggling does not mean being stingy

When it comes to bargaining in EgyptTry not to be stingy or overly picky. That is to say, do not haggle until the last cent: if you have reached a figure that was in your plans, close the deal and do not end the seller’s patience by prolonging the negotiation more than necessary.

#8. Don’t flaunt it

On the one hand, it is in bad taste. On the other hand, it will penalize you, as it will cause the seller to over-inflate prices. Humility is always a good advice when it comes to bargaining in Egypt and elsewhere.

#9. Friendliness and smile, at all times

You must find the perfect balance between maintaining a pleasant attitude and, at the same time, a firm posture. To do this, do not forget to draw a smile on your face, but do not show nervousness, but self-confidence.

#10. Tips are not negotiable

As you may also know, tipping is also very institutionalized in the country. But in this case you should not give rise to any kind of negotiation about it, as tipping is considered a gesture of gratitude and recognition for services.

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