how to bargain in Gambia
is a skill that is an essential way of life, and is
indispensable when buying goods from roadside or market
vendors, so be prepared to haggle hard over their asking
prices. Below are some useful bargaining tips tourists
you see something you want to buy, start by saying
"Nyatta La", which means "how
much is it" in Wolof, and if you are a
man shake hands first before bargaining can commence.
This will often please the seller and make him more
amiable towards you as well as reduce his intended
asking price, as he will feel you know a bit about
local costs already. As soon as he tells you the cost
reply "Daffa seerr" which means "it's
too expensive", and follow this with "Wanyi
Ko" which means "reduce
the price". Be good humoured and jovial
in your negotiations as this helps break the ice.
If you are pressed for time then ask him "what
is your last-price" (commonly done) and if it
is anything above 2/3 of the original cost then walk
away with a smile.
Try not to look like a tourist if you want to stand
any chance of getting a bargain, particularly in the
Kololi and Kotu
resorts. Shopkeepers can often easily spot you out
from those that live in Gambia. A few things you can
do is to hide your money or belt bag, stride confidently
but not too quickly, as this is a sure sign you are
from Europe or America.
Never pay the asking price from a street
vendor or goods shop. This is not Europe where they
tend to be fixed, and even if you feel that the item
is reasonably priced ask for it to be lowered. Never
make an offer first. You may think that it would be
a bargain when in fact you are paying over the odds.
Shop vendors and street hawkers will nearly always
ask a tourist to pay more than he or she would for
the locals, as locals are into haggling very hard
indeed, and are quite prepared to try someone else
where agreement cannot be reached.
patient when negotiating over the price of goods and
add a smile while doing so however, do not over bargain
as the vendor may get irritated and upset. When tourist
shopping expect to pay 30% to 40% lower than what he
had originally offered the item to you for.
If you can't agree then one trick is to say that you
are just taking a look at other items further down the
street and that you might come back. If the vendor doesn't
call you back immediately to re-negotiate then he had
probably made his final offer to you.
not bother haggling over prices charged in the supermarkets,
restaurants, bars, nightclubs and 'Bitiks' as they
tend to have fixed prices. Likewise don't bother with
small items purchased from the local 'Pular' corner
shop such as a packet of razors, insect spray,
fruits, peanuts, purified water bottles, bread or
coffee. However, if you are approached on the beach
by a fruit seller or other hawker then do ask for
a reduction. If you have bought a lot of items in
bulk from a supermarket then it is worthwhile asking
them to reduce their price as they are often willing
to offer a discount, particularly to valued customers.
If your hotel
room lacks any promised facility or you are intending
to stay over 2 weeks in Gambia, then it might be worthwhile
asking for a reduction of hotel room rates.
Tourist taxi fares tend
to be fixed though there is scope for negotiation
depending on the distance and time you require the
driver's services. Ask at your hotel reception desk
or your holiday rep for advice.
When it comes to hiring the services of local skilled
craftsman such as a plumber, bricklayer or construction
contractor be prepared to bargain. Tip: Get quotes
from two or three professionals, and let them know
you are getting quotes from others before making up