Night Market Madness at Batu Ferringhi

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September 23rd 2009
Published: September 23rd 2009
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After a quick nap and a hot shower (both well deserved), we hit the town in search for some trinkets and whatsits at Batu Ferringhi’s huge night market.

What used to be a calm sidewalk by day, transforms into a frenzy of activity, full of shoppers trying to strike a deal. The bright fluorescent lights of each table and crazy neon colors of trishaws passing by reminded me of a Eastern influenced Las Vegas. It was madness!

Scoping the goods at the night market.

Shopkeepers were hawking their wares with gusto. You could buy literally anything, including:

- Sunglasses
- T-Shirts
- Toys
- Handbags
- “Real” DVD’s and CD’s
- “Real” software

Then there was one table we walked by, that had one item that caught my eye. A plain black Zippo lighter. Now, I’m by no means a smoker - or a pyromaniac either - I just like flipping Zippos open and closing, doing tricks with them, you know - anything that makes me look dangerous…

I decided to make use of the lessons Sarah taught me on our previous haggling attempt and see if I couldn’t get this puppy in my hot little hands for a fraction of the price.

Here’s my attempt.

Lo and behold - here is the patented Ian Method™ of haggling:

1. Ask how much the item is.
2. Immediately counter the offer. Say it again to ingrain it in the vendor’s head.
3. When rejected, immediately ask what other colours are available. (this is done to sidetrack the vendor’s train of thought)
4. Ask of alternative options or variants of the item that you know clearly don’t exist.
5. Slightly raise your counter offer. (to the point where it’s a neglible 5 RM away from the original price)
6. Add the words “and I’ll take it no problem” - to assure the person that their worries will be put to rest if sold at that price.
7. Question the authenticity of the item.
8. When asked whether or not you yourself can verify the authenticity - ask again.
9. Admit defeat and pay the vendor the original price.

Yes yes…I’m a pitiful excuse for a haggler…I hang my head in shame.


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