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Divisoria Smarts: 5 tips on how to haggle like a pro

Buying in bulk always helps
By Carlo P. Mallo |

For August, Entrepreneur.com.ph is featuring Divisoria, one of the city of Manila’s most popular destinations and recognizable landmarks. For many, “Divi” is the marketplace for everything from food to electronics, all at bargain prices. For resourceful and money-savvy entrepreneurs, it’s a suppliers’ haven.


Divisoria is not only a supplier’s haven, it is also a place to learn a lot about running a business and that includes negotiating for the goods you want at the price you want it, or at least close to it. For the ordinary person, it’s what is known as haggling.

Entrepreneur.com.ph asked Divisoria expert and Entrepreneur Philippines’ managing editor for the magazine Eileen Ang for five tips on how to haggle your way to cheap prices in Divisoria.

1. Start haggling for 50 percent off the price tag.
"Since they will not give it to you at the first price that you want, haggle for a very low price,” Eileen said. Usually, the deal ends at a 25 to 30 percent discount or halfway between the original price and the first bargain offer.

2. Don’t show interest for the product you are haggling for.
“Be ready to walk away if they do not give it at the price you want or refuses to bargain,” Eileen said. By feigning disinterest in the product, the store owner might give in to your price or work around it.

3. Scout around for cheaper prices.
“The first store does not have the cheapest prices, especially if it’s located by the entrance,” Eileen said. In most cases, the farther away the store is from the entrance, the cheaper the prices.

4. Use Chinese phrases.
It’s an urban legend but Eileen swears by it. By speaking a few phrases of the Chinese dialect, Fookien, you can actually work your way to cheaper prices. “Sometimes the store owners are more inclined to give discounts if you speak to them in Chinese,” Eileen said.

5. Don’t be obvious that it’s your first time.
“Show a little guile,” Eileen said. Unscrupulous store owners can take advantage if they sense that you are not used to the Divisoria-way and even give you higher prices.

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