We also bought lots of fun and inexpensive gifts for our families from the Ben Thanh Market, as well as really cute clothes for ourselves.
In most of Asia, haggling is a part of every day life. I learned to haggle while living in China, and I loved it!
Here are a few haggling tips:
-First of all, you need to know that one U.S. Dollar is equal to over 23,000 Vietnamese Dong. So when you are told the price of something, convert it to American Dollars, and if the price seems fair to you, and it is something you are ok with paying, then no need to haggle!
-With that said, haggling can be fun (and addicting), so definitely try it out!
-Since you are a foreigner they automatically assume you have money (with 1 million [yes million] Dong equal to about 45 American Dollars, they're not wrong!]), so they will start the price out higher, sometimes much higher than they would normally sell it for.
-Look around. We walked the outer corners of the market, where most items had price tags, so we could get a general idea of the prices of things. These were still more than a local would pay, but at least you get an idea.
-Haggling is all about the win win. Both parties need to come out feeling happy.
-And last but not least; Haggling is fun, I do like to haggle here and there, and is sometimes vital to me not feeling ripped off, but at the end of the day, 10,000 Dong is only 43 cents!!! I am not going to haggle over 43 cents, because I know that that 43 cents will go a whole lot further, and mean a whole lot more, to the person selling their wares on the side of the street, than it will to me!