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Where's the Best Place to Haggle?

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by Michaelie Clark (subscribe)
Pun-loving freelance writer based in Victoria.
Published January 14th 2012
Haggling is something that comes naturally to some people. They'll wrangle and negotiate and beat down prices and then will skite most heartily when they end up with a good deal. It doesn't matter whether they're made of money or whether the item is already only priced at $3 – it's the thrill of the bargaining battle they love. This doesn't necessarily mean they're tight with money generally, but you can bet they'll quibble on principle. You'll find these haggling hotshots debating over wares at markets, bazaars, op shops, garage sales and car boot fairs. You'll see them in action in car yards, furniture stores and home wares outlets. Every now and then you'll see them struggling to stay schtum as their groceries go through the checkout.

Haggling Flea Market
Have a haggling spree at a flea market. Photo credit: Janne Hellsten


At the other end of the spectrum are those for whom haggling is a hardship. They'll offer a tentative show of wanting a better deal in the hopes that the seller will make the first move, murmuring that it's a bit more than they wanted to spend. Moments later, strategy exhausted, they'll hand over the full asking price. They don't want to argue with anyone. They worry about leaving the seller out of pocket and depriving his children of shoes. They fret over coming across as pushy. For these people, the process is fraught with angst and the cost of haggling is far too high.

Haggling Car Boot Sales
Get bargain loot from a car boot. Photo credit: Mark Murphy


For others, getting a better deal is a boon but not a necessity in life. Let's have a look at some of the best places to banter your way into a bargain.

Haggling Markets
Find your haggling mark at a market.


Markets
Even half-hearted hagglers love the opportunities of a good market. Check out some of the best in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, including fresh produce and farmer's markets, fish markets, arts, craft and clothing markets and flower markets. Particular markets of note are the Queen Victoria Market, Paddington Markets, and Eagle Farm Markets.

Thrift Shops and Vintage Stores
Vintage and thrift stores are great places to snag a bargain if you know your stuff. They can be especially good if the seller doesn't know the real value of a designer item, though this doesn't happen so often these days – even the charity shops have become savvier about when to hike the price. Take a look at some of Melbourne and Sydney's best vintage stores and Brisbane's best op shop opportunities.

Garage Sales
A good haggler can have pretty much free reign at a garage sale. Dedicated discount seekers can find out what's coming up in their city at eGarageSales and Street Garage Sales.

Now – let's quibble over the issue of haggling. Are you a happy haggler? What is haggling worth to you? Where are the best places to try haggling? Leave a comment and let us know.
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