How to bargain in Chinese + How to haggle in China

How to Bargain in Chinese

In China, it is all about “bargaining”! Everything is negotiable! Therefore, besides shopping in supermarkets or malls, you should try to bargain with Chinese vendors in markets. The first price is always too high and especially if a foreigner asks for. Therefore, people should know some basic Chinese phrases to be able to deal with vendors during your stay in China! Otherwise, they will pay too much.

We are going to teach you some useful tips to give you more self-confidence to bargain as today’s Chinese language learning! This can be great fun when you’re in the mood, and of course, saves you a lot of money. Maybe you might want to know more about how to pronounce some Chinese phrases well while negotiating with the Chinese shopkeeper. TutorMandarin offers effective mobile classes to learn Chinese – perfect to get ready for your stay abroad! Our professional tutors will correct your pronunciation carefully and make you raise awareness of using the right tone.

So, why not sign up our 1-on-1 free trial to give it a try to learn Mandarin online?


Okay, let’s get back to our bargain lessons. Keep these tips in mind!


1.Learn the catchy Chinese phrases!

Chinese Pinyin English
这/那个多少钱? Zhè/Nà ge duōshăo qián? How much is this/that?
太贵了! Tài guìle! Too expensive!
可以便宜一点吗? Kĕyi piányì yì diăn ma? Can you make it cheaper?
再算便宜一点? Zèi suàn piányì yì diăn? Can you make it cheaper?
有没有大号一点的? Yǒu méiyǒu dà hào yī diǎn de? Are there larger sizes?
有没有小号一点的? Yǒu méiyǒu xiǎo hào yī diǎn de? Are there smaller sizes?
可以算我__ 元吗? Kě yǐ suàn wǒ __yuán ma? Can you make it___dollars?
我不要. Wǒ bù yào. I don’t want it.


  2. Start low! And set your ideal price in mind in advance.

Depending on the market, the starting price could be 9 or 10 times what it should be. So, when you’re negotiating, don’t be frightened by the price the vendor tells you at first. Simply start with a very low price to make sure you and the vendor will meet at your preferred price!



  • Tip: Be aware of the quality of the goods, since China is a big manufacturing country, counterfeits are everywhere!
  • Tip: Don’t be disrespectful to the vendor. Always keep in mind that the vendor also has to earn some money with the goods they sell.


 3. The melodrama is just the sellers’ trick! Ignore it!

We know that haggling is hard work! But stick to it, the effort comes at a price! You might also find it’s common that sellers will share their tragic stories or intimidate you in some other ways. But don’t show your compassion easily, it might be a promotional technique.


   4. Just walk away – it works as long as the vendor wants to sell!

Bargaining in China is like a drama and your responsibility is to “act”. Show your interest of a commodity first, bargain with the seller, and if you aren’t satisfied with the price, just leave the market or place. We recommend you to just walk away like you don’t want the merchandise anymore. Most of the time, the seller will chase after you, and imply that it’s possible to make the price lower. The seller doesn’t react? Don’t mind. You might find it somewhere else at the same market and you can still come back if you don’t. So, try this trick next time! It’s fun to practice your acting skills!

  5. Dress casually

Don’t dress too eye-catching or rich (with lots of ornaments), in case that the price proposed by the seller will accordingly be a little higher.

  6. Bring small change

Don’t show large denominations of money, otherwise, you might become the target of theft, or your wallet will be bled dry by the sellers.

  7. Smile and have fun

Shopping is all about enjoyment! So, keep your mood relaxed and happy.

Takes a look at the video we provide you with online shopping skills!

We hope you have lots of fun in the Chinese market. Practice these tips to become a bargain master soon!

 Sign up our free trial to learn Mandarin and download the Chinese App for more Chinese language materials and to learn Mandarin online.

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