5/50.- Cairo, khan el Khalili, gold shop


Egypt has been a tourist destination for more than one hundred years. Local sellers may not have gone to college, but after more than one century dealing with tourists, they have learnt all marketing tricks.

First of all they will invite you to their "unique" shop. Then they will offer their products, and finally they will try to sell you something at the highest possible price. If you want to buy something, the first rule is not to show much interest, and the second one is to keep smiling.

When you want to buy something, vendors will ask you how much you want to pay. You should not give a price yet, you should wait for the seller to give the first price. My experience says that their first price usually will be three times higher than their last one. Your goal is to get the lowest price. Once the seller has given his first price you should laugh and say it is a crazy price. Then he will ask for your price. When he has asked for your price several times, you should give him a price 4 times lower than his. This will usually upset him, you should keep smiling. After a long negotiation you should be able to pay a third of his initial price. If he doesn't offer a price low enough you should say no, and leave the shop. If he is interested he will give you a good price, if not, you will have to go to another shop and start another negotiation. It may seem tiring, and it is; but it is the way things go in Egypt.

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