Everything relating to money is important, especially when you are about to buy something. There is a fact that bargaining is always a nightmare for tourist and they end up being charged much higher price than the actual price. In this article, we will guide you through steps to get the best price in Laos which satisfies both you and the seller. Just one thing to remember that bargaining is an art form, the more you practices, the higher chances you will success.

#TIP1: Understand clearly about Laos’ currency and exchange rate:
During Laos’ Tour, the hardest part for you to define the value of an object is getting used with the local money. You should be familiar with all kinds of currency used in Laos: Kip, Baht, USD, etc. The exchange rate is your best friend during that time, which helps you have a better understanding about the value of that object and evaluate you willing-to-pay price. In Laos, varying from religions, Laotian use both Kip, Baht and US Dollar, therefore, make sure that you all know clearly about all exchange rate of them.

The kip is the currency of Laos since 1952

The kip is the currency of Laos since 1952

#TIP2: Know some local language for greeting and buying process:
Sometime, Laotian will be happy and pleased if you know how to speak lao language. Just a few words with a friendly smile will definitely help you gain their hospitability and give you’re a chance to get closer to the best price. There are some phrases which are useful for you to deal with shopping:
Tao Die: How Much?
Paeng lai: Too Expensive
Took: Cheap
Khop chai (lai lai): Thank you (so much)

Laotian will be happy and pleased if you know how to speak lao language

Laotian will be happy and pleased if you know how to speak lao language

#TIP3: Bargain for about half price and don’t be too greedy and tight-fisted:
One of the Laotian seller’s behaviors is that they usually double the price since they know that you lower it. The best tip is to lower the price about a half, or if you are still not satisfied, just walk away gently. You have to right to bargain but don’t be too greedy and tight-fisted. If the matter is just about 1000 Kip (about 10 cent) you can absolutely leave it there and accept the price happily.

You have to right to bargain but don’t be too greedy and tight-fisted

You have to right to bargain but don’t be too greedy and tight-fisted

#TIP4: Using gesture and body language:
When travelling in Laos, you might encounter many sellers with different characteristic: a tough one who insisting on their price, an easy-going person who is willing to lower the price as you wants. While the seller is hesitating to accept your price, you can pretend to walk away and refuse it, in that moment, the seller will make up their mind quickly and call you back if they accept the price. If they don’t, you can claim that it is already the best price that they can give you.

#TIP5: Choose smaller shop rather than a big one & Shopping in Convenient Store and Supermarket:
In the same street, there are often shops and with almost the same products and souvenirs. Therefore, this tip can’t be applied in case that their product is unique. Don’t be overwhelmed by fancy stores with luxurious decoration if they also have the same product and the same quality with normal vendor on the street. It is clearly that the small vendor will give you much better price than in store since the big store’s owner have to pay for the location, decoration and other expenses.

Convenient store and supermarket are good choices

Convenience store and supermarket are good choices

For local product such as food and beverage, if you want to make sure that you are not being deceived; convenient store and supermarket are good choices. In these kinds of store, all price are fixed and also applied for all local buyer and visitor, there is no way you are paying a bigger amount of money for the same product.

#TIP6: Asking your Guide for assistance:
If you have decided to go on a Laos’ Tour, there will be a guide assisting you in checking-in hotel and show you around the city. A local guide will be the most knowledgeable person about the city and then also can help you in bargaining process. You can do it yourself or just leave the job for your tour guide. Pricing is just one side of the story; they can take you to shop which suits your interests.