Prices in Thailand are rarely fixed (with the exception of food menus). When shopping as a rookie Canadian traveller you’ll already be at a distinct disadvantage – vendors can smell your novice negotiating skills from a mile away. (They do this every day!) Here are some tips:
The less emotional you are, the more you will enjoy bartering.
Determine in advance how much you are actually willing to pay for an item. If you’re quoted $4 for a t-shirt but want to pay $2, your first offer shouldn’t be $2.
Always negotiate bus fares, excursions and hotel accommodation.
Traveling with a group? Let the seller know! There always seems to be price discounts for groups of two or more, and the more nights you stay, the greater your discount should be.
Etiquette says you should barter in good faith. Don’t haggle if you don’t intend to purchase the item. However, it is perfectly fine to enquire after a price to gauge affordability. Asking the price does not enter you into a transaction.
Don’t haggle aggressively over what amounts to less than a dollar. The average wage in Thailand is $150-$300/month.