MANILA, Philippines - Haggling is becoming a lost art for this generation.
ANC On The Money's resident financial advisor Salve Duplito said haggling is a personal finance skill every shopper should have.
She offered some tips on how to become an expert at haggling.
"How you look, how you speak, when to go bargain-hunting and where you shop matter equally in haggling. With some moxie and luck, you can knock off quite a significant amount from advertised prices. Haggling is worth the time and effort," she said.
1. Go early and try to be the "buena mano."
"The prevailing culture is that if they can't sell to their buena mano, they will have an unlucky day," Duplito said.
2. Become 'luck personified' when you engage sellers, be pleasant and chatty, but not overly nice.
"If you can't come at the beginning of the day, your next best option is at the end, when merchants are about to close and they are in a hurry to get home," she said.
3. Don't wear jewelry, expensive clothing, purse or even a belt bag.
Duplito said jewelry and handbags may indicate you have a lot of cash. "Put your money inside your pocket. Some sales ladies told me that jewelry and bags are dead giveaways," she said.
4. Speak Chinese.
When shopping at flea markets in Divisoria or Christmas bazaars, Duplito suggested speaking a few Chinese words is a big help.
"Seasoned hagglers say that even a few words of Fookien can do the trick," she said.
When shopping in a foriegn country, even with a local, getting bargain prices will be a problem if you look like a tourist.
5. Shop with a friend.
The "good cop-bad cop" routine can work if one knows how to do it well.
"When haggling, never, ever show how much you want an item. Once the sales lady suspects that you have fallen in love with their merchandise, the negotiations are off. You must show that you can walk away from it," Duplito said.
6. Know where haggling is appropriate.
Don't go to a shopping mall and expect to be able to get a lower price because of haggling.
7. Never speak with condescension and don't lose your cool.
"If there is anything sales ladies have a weakness for is the disarming girlfriend who they can share their secrets. If they like you, they will help you. So never speak with condescension and don't lose your cool, but don't be too shy to haggle, too," Duplito said.
She noted some are too timid when it comes to haggling, worried it will make them look cheap.
"Look at this as an intellectual exercise to successful negotiation," she added.
8. Think about the maximum amount you are willing to pay for an item.
However, don't start negotiating at that level.
9. Always start negotiating at a 50 percent discount.
10. Try to get a discount or freebie when you buy in bulk.
If it becomes obvious the seller has reached his own minimum price, try getting a discount for two or more, or buy more items and ask them to throw in a freebie.
11. Use the potent power of silence or the art of walking away.
Some sellers would lower the price just to make a sale.
12. Haggle with the right person.
"Sales ladies may have some leeway with prices, but if you want to get serious, ask for the manager or owner," Duplito said.
There's a hidden rule that the best price is the lowest price that sellers can give for an item.
13. Indicate that you are in a hurry and don't linger.
"If you've been negotiating for quite some time, and the seller agrees to give you the price you asked for, don't make the mistake of not buying the item. That's very poor manners," she said.