Let the Haggling BeginJanuary 29, 2012
Posted by Kanga.
We recently visited Global Village. We were impressed to see some new developments, namely an information booth close to the gate including maps of the village and someone to help you find what you are looking for.
In addition to that, there are paper maps you can take with you. (If you are not familiar with Global Village, it combines amusement park rides with international shopping and food booths.)
You can tell it is the midst of winter from this booth selling stocking caps, scarves, gloves and mittens. Average daily temperatures are 70-75F. It’s cold! It’s amusing for us to be walking around in our shirt sleeves enjoying the cool evening while passing people in down coats, caps and scarves.
Our favorite pavilion is Yemen. The booths are mainly spices, honey, and jewelry. They have the most beautiful jewelry. In the past two years I’ve bought pearls (white & black), garnets, turquoise, lapis lazuli, and jade. This year I just picked up a few colored stone pieces and one pearl necklace. The sellers remember us, especially because we have never been comfortable haggling and usually pay way too much. Last year, I bought nine pieces at one booth taking all my cash and putting an end to the shopping. We knew immediately that we had paid too much, because they began to add “gifts” to our purchases.
This year was different. First, we went to several booths, ending at the booth where we have dropped all our money in the past. I bought only what I really liked and haggled at least a little for everything, except the bluish tear drop shaped pearls (first price was 50 AED/$13.61 US).
I have a weak spot for rings. The first one is costume jewelry. Cost me a whopping 20 AED ($5.45 US) The black pearls are real, but the setting is cheapo. The other two are silver settings, so will last longer. The stones are onyx, emerald and ruby (according to the seller) although obviously not large or high quality stones. They cost me $49.00 and $54.00. Probably still too much, but I can live with it.
The above four pieces were bought by DaddyBird. The square piece is an incense burner. The camel is a small oil lamp. The other two pieces are candle holders (could be used for incense). They can be closed up for easy travel and opened for use. The starting price for all four was 2,200 AED and DaddyBird spent quite a bit of time and stubbornness haggling the price down to 400 AED (approximately $27.00 each). Is it a bargain? Maybe not, but pretty good for a first serious attempt in haggling.
The sellers seem to enjoy the haggling process. It seems to make them happy that we argue with them and make counter offers. We are definitely not pros at it, yet, but we’ve made a start.