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    (Original post by white_haired_wizard)
    is this culture of haggling, evidently embraced and often a process enjoyed, by tourists, amoral?
    I'm not sure whether you meant to say amoral or immoral. I think it is amoral, ie neither good nor bad. You are between a rock and a hard place really. If tourists don't haggle they risk sending inflation high, if they do, they naturally reduce vendors incomes, as has been said. In general I think you should haggle, but end up paying more than locals do, compromise a bit.
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    (Original post by LeeC)
    The rich peple are usually the tightest IMO, thats how they get their money :P No seriously rich people are usually tight!

    Off topic: Referring to your sig City bound, (and perhaps wrongfully assuming you are an upper/middle class lad), do you not think you might feel differently about 'inequality is the way it should be, the way it's meant to be.' if you were born within the other 90% or so of the population that lives on pence every day?
    Yes, you are right that you are wrong. Well, kind of. My family is pretty "old money" historically, plenty of my relatives have done well for themselves but my immediate family have had to watch the pennies as much as anyone else. Don't think that I've had my life handed to me on a plate, I've worked for basically everything. It's an odd situation, I've met plenty of people from both ends of the spectrum and feel I'm pretty comprehensively qualified to make the judgment I have.

    Also, I don't know what pool of people you are referring to but it would have to be a pretty diabolical Banana republic (or imaginary) to get 90% living on pence a day.
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    (Original post by LeeC)
    On topic: But who really haggles in order to keep prices low for the locals?!?! Its a bit disgusting really, in your own country perhaps or to immerse yourself into the culture of haggling countries (Morroco or wherever), but in the example given, the very poor areas of south america, I think haggling down from 6 to 4 dollars for something you would pay probably $40 plus for in a shop is a bit unreasonable. It not the haggling that matters but WHY you haggle, if you haggle because you would rather save 2 dollars than give it to a poor south american guy then you're a bit of a wa**er really.
    That's your decision. Perhaps the person did value having the $2 more than the utility of giving $2 in charity. Frankly your value judgment only matters in your own transactions. Like someone said previously, haggling is a pretty universal phenomenon, especially in markets. It's expected, there's nothing special about this in it's application to South America.
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    (Original post by white_haired_wizard)
    I travelled across various regions of India this time last year, currently i am in the middle of my travels in South America. Still, i find it uncomfortable haggling (if that's the right word) with local producers, i.e. getting prices lower...particularly given their quality of life.

    I'll provide a scenario (Bolivia :cool: )....

    market seller asks 48 bolivianos (approx 6 US dollars) for a woolly hat...

    my travelling companion asks to buy it for 32 bolivianos (4 dollars)...

    he gets the hat for the 4 dollars equivalent.

    now, these are poor regions we are going to, various parts of ecuador, peru and bolivia, many of these regions literally in no-mans-land, extremely isolated, alienated livlihoods. The physical labour put into making such knitware, beggars belief. It takes them many an hour to even make a wrist adornment, never mind a wooly hat. Then you have locally made scarves, products made by poor indigenous populations struggling to get by....

    is this culture of haggling, evidently embraced and often a process enjoyed, by tourists, amoral?

    should the wealthier tourists be taking part in such a process? thus depriving poor producers of much needed money to sustain a living, helping to finance progress, build school buildings, a local social centre, etc...arguably our haggling is hindering their progression as a culture. Or maybe they don't want to progress to such heavy extents in fear of losing sense of identity, what makes who they are etc....

    i do appreciate that capitalism/tourism to poorer parts of the world is often a good thing, i.e. such local sellers have foreign travellers to sell their products too etc....BUT NEVERTHELESS, is this haggling process fair?

    any opinions, experiences appreciated

    WHW.
    its not amoral, and heres why.

    1) the quality of the goods you are purchasing is average at best. You cannot assume the same quality as a store bought product. Yoou cannot return it. thus the pruchase is a 'risk'
    2) the vendor will NEVER sell at a loss. Infact they will never sell at anything other than a decent profit. look in the uk. Do you honestly think that whena store like burtons does a 75% off sale they are making a loss? hell no. it means their profits are umpty percent lower on each item. But they still make so much profit overall that christmas sales are a big boost for their figures.
    3) IF you've done battering in proper 'ip off the tourist countries like thailand' you'll see it first hand.
    You go to buy a belt in bangkok for instance.
    800 baht.
    o i thinks thats a bit pricey
    for you then 600 baht.
    hmm, i can do 300 baht
    300! i can't do 300 baht. 450 baht?
    i'll give you 400 baht.
    ok, 400 baht. you want 2 belt? 800 baht?

    anywhere with battering means that they will put a higher price on then they would sell to locals, just because they know you'll feel so smug/good at 'battering the price down' that you'll buy more.
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    (Original post by LeeC)
    The rich peple are usually the tightest IMO, thats how they get their money :P No seriously rich people are usually tight!

    Off topic: Referring to your sig City bound, (and perhaps wrongfully assuming you are an upper/middle class lad), do you not think you might feel differently about 'inequality is the way it should be, the way it's meant to be.' if you were born within the other 90% or so of the population that lives on pence every day?

    On topic: But who really haggles in order to keep prices low for the locals?!?! Its a bit disgusting really, in your own country perhaps or to immerse yourself into the culture of haggling countries (Morroco or wherever), but in the example given, the very poor areas of south america, I think haggling down from 6 to 4 dollars for something you would pay probably $40 plus for in a shop is a bit unreasonable. It not the haggling that matters but WHY you haggle, if you haggle because you would rather save 2 dollars than give it to a poor south american guy then you're a bit of a wa**er really.
    but when you pay $40 in that shop you $40 dollars pays for the person behind the till, the support networks of the shop - the electricians who maintain it, the store cleaners who clean it. the van drivers who deliver the goods to the store, the depot workers who sort the goods and send them to the right store, the shipyard workers who unload the goods off the ship containers, the tug boat pilots who steer the freight ships in, the freight ship captains, the shipyard workers in x country, the clothing shop workers in x country, the cotton farmers.

    need i go on?
 
 
 
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