How to Haggle with Tough Chinese Salespeople


Here is something about you might not want to hear if you’ve been paying full prices for things you bought in China: you’ve been ripped off!

In China, paying full price is almost unheard of. Goods that have no price tags bear an invisible invitation to haggle. And haggling is a habit, a custom, and it is certainly expected. Sellers always mark up their prices, of course, to make profits. But often this mark-up could be even five-fold or more, especially if you have a non-Chinese face. They expect you to NOT know the original cost of the goods you’re about to purchase. So this is where you need to show your bargaining skills and get yourself a good deal.


Scenario 1: You would like to ask how much is something:

How much is this white/black/red/blue/yellow/green/grey shirt?


zhè jiàn   bái sè/hēi sè/hóng sè/lán se/huáng sè/lǜ sè/huī sè  de   chèn shān   duō shǎo  qián ?


Scenario 2: You are happy with the price the shop keeper’s offered:

Alright. I’d like to take this dress. Do you have size L/size M/Size S?


hǎo de .  wǒ    yào   mǎi   zhè  tiáo   qún zi .  yǒu    dà hào / zhōng hào / xiǎo hào   ma ?

haggling in china
Scenario 3: You are not happy with the price, and you would like to bargain with the shop keeper:

500 yuan? That’s too expensive.


500 kuài ? tài   guì  le.


Can it be a bit cheaper?


kě yǐ    pián yì    yì diǎn   ma?


A: Is this pair of shoes on sale?

B: Yes, 20% off.

A: 这双鞋子打折吗?

B: 这双鞋子打8折。

A: zhè  shuāng   xié zi    dǎ zhé  ma ?

B: duì  ,  dǎ   8  zhé.

(Please be aware that “打 8 折 dǎ 8 zhé” means 20% off. Literally it means you only need to pay 80% of the original price.)


A: 700 yuan for this suit.

B: That’s a bit expensive. Can you make it 600 yuan? I’ll come back to buy more things in the future.

A: 这件西装700块。

B: 有点贵。600块可以吗?我以后还会来的。

A: zhè   jiàn   xī zhuāng   700  kuìi.

B: yǒu diǎn   guì  .  600 kuài  kě yǐ  ma ? wǒ  yǐ hòu   hái    huì   lái  de.


A: 350 yuan for this pair of pants.

B: I’m an old customer of yours, can you give me a better price?

A: 这条裤子350块。

B: 我是你的老顾客了,可以便宜一点吗?

A: zhè   tiáo   kù zi     350 kuài.

B: wǒ   shì   nǐ  de    lǎo  gù kè  le , kě yǐ   pián yì   yì diǎn  ma?
If I buy two T-shirts, can you offer me a better price?


rú guǒ    wǒ   mǎi   liǎng jiàn    T xù  ,  kě yǐ   pián yì   yì diǎn  ma?


How about 150 yuan? If not, I’m leaving.


150 kuài   xíng ma? Bù xíng   wǒ zǒu  le.

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