Shopping in Turkey is different than shopping in the U.S. First of all, it helps to know that the price is negotiable more often than not, except in supermarket chains, and chain stores such as Starbucks or Pizza Hut. Second, you'll notice that lot of shops in tourist oriented places do not clearly list prices in their windows or even on the products themselves. That means, the price that the shopkeeper will tell you depends on what he/she thinks you'll pay. Do not pay any attention to the outward physical characteristics of the shopkeeper: Ignore gender, age, appearance, attitude (good or bad), warmth etc … Just know that it is unlikely for two different people arriving at different times in the same store to be quoted the same price (except for the most trivial items.) This is especially true for places trading in Turkish rugs, anything "hand-made", anything involving any kind of jewelry.
If you find this distasteful and uncomfortable, I agree. But, there is nothing you and I can really do to change it. I try to handle this by only rarely shopping at these sorts of places so as not to get aggravated. However, if and when you do want something that you see in a store, but you hate the idea that you might pay $2,000 for a rug that someone else may be able to get for about half that, here are some tips.
First, the most important thing is not to commit too quickly. Whatever the shopkeeper shows you, take a look, make non-committal comments like,
that's nice or smile (so that he/she is believes it's worth it to take the time to convince you). Don't say no to offers of tea or other drinks (unless you think the shopkeeper might drug you and rob you, in which case, what are you doing in that store?!)
If you see something you like, do point it out, but don't scream things like
I love it! or
OMG! I must have this! Those kinds of reactions will make sure that you pay the maximum possible price you can afford for whatever it is you're bargaining over.
Unless you find something that really is
one of a kind (and trust me, those kinds of things are really rare (unless you're smuggling archaeological artifacts, in which case, why would you do that?!), always say,
I like this, but I'd like to look around a little more, can you hold it for me for a little bit? Don't make even a partial payment for something like that. Just say that, smile, and leave. Then, go in to the next shop. Spend a half hour looking at nearby shops. Go back to the store that has what you want, and say
you know, I have seen other things I like which are cheaper, but I'd prefer to get this one from you. But, it's a little too much. Can you go down to …?
What should your initial offer be? That's the hard question. Say, I want a wallet, and I am at the open market in Tekirova for 15 TL. I usually ask if I can have it for 10. If the price quoted is 13 TL, I counter with 5 TL. The only reason to quote an odd number like that is for them to be able to tell you they don't have any change, and for you to say,
it's OK, keep it.
I try to avoid buying or helping friends shop for high ticket items like the plague. If I must go with them, I'll usually counter with about 2/3 of the quoted price, especially if the transaction will involve multiple pieces.
If you shop with a professional tour guide, the shopkeeper will pay him a "commission" of 10%–15%. It's just the way it is. In return, you are taken to place which the guide knows is not going to cheat you out of your money, will treat you nicely, and give you an all-round good experience. Do not try to bargain away the guide's commission or complain about this. The arrangement is to your benefit.
- alışveriş merkezi (AVM)
- store / shop
- mağaza (also dükkan in certain circumstances)
- park yeri / otopark
- marketplace, farmers' market
- supermarket, grocery store
- market, süpermarket
- green grocer's
- reasonable price
- makûl fiyat
- büyük boy/beden
- orta boy/beden
- küçük boy/beden
- credit card
- kredi kartı
- travelers check
- seyahat çeki
- hediyelik eşya
- costume jewelry / accessories
- takı / aksesuar / bijuteri
- carpet / rug
- el yapımı
- second hand
- elden düşme
- giyim / konfeksiyon