When I was a kid, I wasn’t the biggest fan of accompanying my mom on shopping trips. The main reason behind this was the fact that she would try to bargain anywhere and everywhere. I remember several instances where she even tried to bargain at a department store.
Over the years, I have bargained a bit (only on my trips aboard as you can’t really haggle in the States). Last week I had a one chance to brush up my bargaining or haggling. Bandra Linking Road, is one of the premier shopping areas in
Mumbai. It is also a bargaining heaven. Linking Road is comprised of narrows alleys that are crowded with vendors selling “designers” jeans to jewelry. You can probably find your everyday outfits and accessories for half the price of a department store.
For most people this cut in price would suffice and they would not bargain further. This rule doesn’t apply to Bandra Linking Road. I went in the mindset that the vendors can still go much below the price they would initially quote.
I noticed some interesting things from a sales standpoint also. Most of the sellers wouldn’t tell me the price immediately, they would say “pick out everything you like and we can talk about price later.” Once you had picked out items you liked, they would mention the price and automatically say they are willing to down to a lower price for you (reason behind this could be anything: they like you, they want to be fair, etc.). This is where the actual negotiations start! I typically would try to go down by another 50 to 100 rupees of the quoted price and see if I could get the product at that price. I once tried to reduce the discounted quoted price by another 50% and was blatantly told to go to another shop. Even the walk away tactic didn’t work for that vendor.
Another interesting observation: the sellers would jump from shop to shop to assist with sales. When I asked one how
come he was initially at another stall that I was browsing, he replied by saying they are all brothers and help each others’ shop out.
Apart from the great prices Bandra Linking Road offered, one of the key selling points for me was that in those tiny alleys there was a tailor who would alter your shirts and kurtis immediately!! Now, tell me where you can find that?
An hour at the linking road and I had picked out 2 necklaces, 2 shirts, 2 kurtis, and 3 pants for a grand total of 3000 rupees or approximately $60. I was one happy shopper that day and can’t wait for another visit to this place. I guess now I slightly understand why my mom bargained anywhere and everywhere, it’s part the entire shopping experience.