Day 16: The Art of Haggling

Would you look at those hues!

During my very short time as an amateur haggler in the Otavalo market, I’ve seen patterns in the paths that one’s shopping interactions take. Here are a few designations that I’ve either seen happen or experienced myself.

The Pacifier

Succumbing to a three dollar-trinket because you’re new to the game and the shopkeeper has a charming demeanor


The Too Simple Steal

When you somehow finagle your way from 28 dollars to 6 dollars in a single aggressive statement of frugality. You’re accomplished but slightly dissatisfied at the amount of work you had to do


The Loss

When you buy something and somehow lose it five minutes later


The Loss and Generous Return

When you buy something and lose it five minutes later; but, once you walk past the same stand two hours past, the shopkeeper sees your sad, wandering, doleful eyes and hands you a free pair of earrings


The Epic Battle

When you go back and forth with the vendor for upwards of two minutes, and realize that you only got the price down by 50 cents


The What Have I Done

When your arms feel oddly tired, and you look down at yourself to see three bags full of alpaca sweaters


The Are You Sure That’s Real

Receiving a convincing speech about an “authentic, hand-woven scarf” and turning it over to see a MADE IN CHINA tag


The Fine Trade

When a vendor doesn’t have proper change, and you receive a few coins and along precious stone in exchange. A fine trade


The What The Heck

A necklace comprised of a rope and a guinea pig hand acting as the pendant

…Tengo miedo

The Incredible Find

Seeing something you could only pull off in your wildest dreams, trying it on and realizing you look amazing in this Indiana Jones hat


The I’m Distracted By A Puppy

Self explanatory, I feel

I would have handed over my money belt and also all of my limbs in exchange for you


Thank you, Otavalo, for teaching me that I am an easily distracted and swayed consumer when faced with trinkets and bright colors. I welcome my fellow hagglers to edit this post and share their experiences as well.