Chic African Culture Africa Factbook

How to Barter in Local African Markets

Bargaining in the local markets of Africa is an ideal way to see local artists at work and get a good insight into the local culture, food, and art.


Bargaining is commonplace throughout Africa

Learn to the art of bartering, bargaining, and haggling in Africa 

Bartering, bargaining or haggling is a type of negotiation in which the buyer and seller of goods or services have a difference of opinion on the price which will be paid. In many African countries, you can bargain for goods and services such as food, clothes, souvenirs or the assistance of a local tour guide. 

In an African market, your shopping experience where you can bargain and get discounts on almost anything will hone your bargaining skills and directly support the local population. Bargaining in the local markets of Africa is an ideal way to see local artists at work and get a good insight into the local culture, food, and art. 

Whether you are immersing yourself in one of Africa’s largest outdoor market Addis Merkato in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, checking out the latest fabrics in Foumban, Cameroon daily outdoor market, or getting souvenirs at a Roque Santeiro Market in Angola, you will love the bargaining experience.
 
Foumban, Cameroon daily outdoor market

Bargaining is commonplace throughout Africa, first, you should visit many different shops and markets to get a general idea about the average price of what you want to buy. 

Convert the asking price into your own currency then halve the first asking price and start from there but remember to stay polite and have a sense of humor while bargaining, it is supposed to be fun. 

If you are not enjoying the experience, you can always walk away and walking away is a good way to get the price down quickly in some cases.
 
Serving local street food photo by dlisbona

If the price is too high or you don't want an item to just leave, there will be plenty more opportunities just around the corner. 

Pay with small change; do not show large amounts of money otherwise, the seller may hike the price when it’s discovered that you have lots of cash. 

Sometimes, paying for a local tour guide who knows the local language and the people can be the best way to help you get the perfect price for your hand-carved fetish sculpture.

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