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Kasbah Tamadot

Our tips on haggling in Morocco's souks

Whether you're the sort of person who loves haggling or dreads even the thought, virtually every journey to North Africa involves a visit to a local souk where bargaining is par for the course!

Morocco is no exception of course, but fortunately one of the members of the team at Kasbah Tamadot, Abdou, has put together some helpful hints so that you don't walk away having paid too much. When you're haggling the ultimate goal is of course for both parties to feel like they've got a good deal, and if you can have a little bit of fun along the way all the better. Abdou recommends never paying more than roughly 40% of the originally quoted price, but the direct approach isn't always advisable. He suggests that when bargaining it's important to establish some basic rules before you start:

  • Firstly, if you're with a partner or friend agree who will be the haggler. If both people pitch in confusion can result and the seller will always identify the weaker negotiator!
  • Always stick to one type of currency from the beginning
  • If the item you wish to buy doesn't have a price don't ask about it first.
  • Always choose something else you don't necessarily want to establish a basic price level. If the seller senses you really want something he'll inflate his price from the beginning
  • Your first offer should be roughly 1/3 of the quoted price and initially you should hold firm to this figure. If you show too much flexibility early on the seller will have the upper hand!
  • After some discussion you can increase your offer, but not to more than 50% of the original price
  • Also, try not to get carried away in the pursuit of the ultimate bargain, as if you succeed in dropping the price too low some unscrupulous sellers have been known to substitute the item you want for one of lesser quality when you're not looking!
  • Finally, remember that it should be a fun experience, so embrace the banter! The value you attach to an item is a personal judgment, so if it's worth 200 Moroccan Dirhams to you at the time of purchase, don't get upset if you later find out someone else bought the same item for less!

The nearest market to Kasbah Tamadot is just down the road in Asni and takes place every Saturday, so next time you book a stay why not pop down and practice some of your negotiating skills using some of the tips above?

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