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Mandarin Go | 5 sentences to bargain in Chinese like a boss


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Negotiating is an art in China that not everyone is able to master, and it is even more challenging when Chinese is not your native language. Even though nowadays most Chinese people purchase online, there are still some famous places in China where the only way to purchase something at an affordable price is to haggle hard.
1- How much does this one cost ?
    Zhè ge duōshǎo qián ?
The shopkeeper probably won’t welcome you with a 你好 nǐ hǎo when you enter a store, but don’t be offended, this is part of the Chinese culture.

In China, we don’t say nǐ hǎo as often as “hello” in English. So, enter the shop, and look directly for the products you are interested in.

Once you find the one you want, don’t bother using an ice-breaker to start the conversation; ask the shopkeeper directly for the price: 
这个多少钱?(Zhè ge duōshǎo qián ?)And wait for him/her,to tell you an obviously,absolutely-too-expensive price.
2- It’s too expensive!
     Tài guì le!

There is a 99% chance that retailers will give you an exaggerated price, for example: telling you that a 10-yuan-fake Gucci watch cost 1000. Even though you were expecting him/her to give you a too-high price, pretend to be really offended and answer in a really dramatic way: 
太贵了!(Tài guì le!)
Finally,follow your acting scene by giving the price that you want. Don’t hesitate to give a really low price, because the shopkeeper will obviously want to find a happy medium between his high price and your low one. To keep our example of the 1000-yuan-fake Gucci watch, let’s pretend you ask for 50 yuan (五十元 wǔshí yuán).
3- A bit cheaper
     Piányi yìdiǎn
It is time for you now to enter a battle that can sometimes feel endless. Finding the happy medium is usually not easy since the vendor will try his best to earn a big margin. Don’t feel guilty to ask for cheaper and cheaper. Shopkeepers will never sell at a loss. So after you asked them for 50 yuan, they would probably retort “不行!Bùxíng” (No!), and change their 1000 into 700. As you can see, there is still a huge gap between 50 and 700. So in order to ask them to lower the price, use the famous sentence 便宜一点 (piányi yì diǎn.)
4- This product is cheaper in that shop over there.
   Zhè ge chǎnpǐn zài nàbiān de shāngdiàn bǐjiào piányi.
You keep haggling but the price is still too high for you? It is time for you to compare the vendor’s shop to his competitors.In big Chinese counterfeit markets,it is actually really easy to find approximately the same things in different stalls.Don’t hesitate to pretend you’ve been to the other shops already,and tell them you know the price and know that is cheaper.This sentence may seem long but is really useful:
Zhè ge chǎnpǐn zài nàbiān de shāngdiàn bǐjiào piányi.
5- It’s ok
     forget it
If this argaining experience leads you to nowhere, it’s time for you to use your best acting ever by pretending not to be interested in the product, and just leave the shop (in a dramatic way if possible), and make them feel like it doesn’t matter to you anyway: "没关系 (méiguānxì); 那算了(nàsuànle); 拜拜 bàibài."
Hopefully, something will happen like in famous drama movies, with the shopkeeper begging you: “NO! WAIT! … What about 120?”
If you can go from 1000 to 120 yuan, consider yourself a good master of negotiation. It is actually possible to go lower, but let’s appreciate these local shopkeepers that have to bargain every day to earn their living. In this situation, 120 is a good win-win situation where both sides can be satisfied (even though some shopkeepers will still pretend to be upset by the final price).

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