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Bargaining in the Dominican Republic
8. Don’t get cornered in a shop with no escape route and don't let them put shoes on you without knowing the price first.
Getting cornered could be the end of your bargaining days, since you might just feel so obliged to buy something you really don’t want. So what do you do? Go shopping in pairs, have your goal in sight and stay close to the door. This way you can just book it and run if you don’t feel comfortable.

9. Realize that prices, and even a fair price, can be different depending on what part of the country you are in.
What works in Santo Domingo might not be true for Santiago, Samana or Puerto Plata, so keep that in mind and don’t walk into a store with your mind made up. Refer to Number 2 for more advice.

10. Don't buy anything hastily.
Chances are highly likely that there are lots of other places selling the same stuff that you want. Take your time and shop around, making note of the lowest final prices and use this info to your advantage. Don’t feel obliged to buy something just to please the vendor. Keep in mind that this is a game and there are hundreds, if not thousands, of tourists who came before and will come after you.

11. Give them one chance to give you a good price.
Ask the price. If you know you are being gouged, just walk away and don’t bother to go back. It will let vendors know that you are not to be messed with.

12. Getting your mother-in-law to do the bargaining for you or simply stating that you're family will help.
Having family or trusted friends to help you bargain is always key. If you have a friend here, just let them know what you want and let them go and get it for you. Give them the money, as they are most likely to help you get the best price. Or you can use the DR1 Forums to develop friendships that could help you as you start learning how to bargain. Many of the members know the DR very well and would be willing to help you get great products at good prices. This is an invaluable service.

13. Try telling them that somebody else can sell the same thing for less – this works in some cases.
You can always fib a bit and say that someone else is giving you a better price. It could work or it could backfire on you. The vendor might just tell you to go buy it elsewhere and well then you are S.O.L. Once again, reserve this tactic for well-versed and veteran bargainers.

14. Haggle when no one else is around. They do not want to give the same low price to everyone. Look and wait a few days.
This might just be the best advice one could give in terms of bargaining. If there are many people around, the vendor might be unwilling or hesitant to give you a good price, seeing that he might have to give it to everyone else.

15. Go before closing time, as they will sell off anything at the end of the day.
So go at night, or when the vendor is closing up shop and offer them a fair price. He might give you exactly what you need.

16. If you're paying cash you have a good chance of getting a discount.
Always bring cash and bring small bills. Credit cards and big bills are a red light to the vendor that you have cash to spend and that is not what we want them to think.

17. Check on Ebay for nick-nacks that no one else wants.
Checking on Ebay might be a final option for those who just can’t bargain. Tourists often make an impulse purchase and regret it when they get back home, so you can get some quality nick-nacks online for a fraction of the price.

And there you have it. These are some quick and easy steps on how to bargain while in the DR. These tips aren’t foolproof, but could help ease your way into the bargaining culture. Be mindful that not every vendor is willing to bargain and that you won’t be able to bargain everywhere you go. Malls, restaurants, hospitals and heaven are usually places you wouldn’t want to try to bargain, as prices for things are usually set in stone, but everything else is up for negotiation. Enjoy!
 
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