“Tisu Ma Me”; The Art of Bargaining in Ghana

Almost every Ghanaian is business-minded, we are very good at bargaining and getting the most expensive goods at the lowest price. Bargaining is a major feature of Ghana’s trade system.

Sellers and buyers are everywhere. Shopping experiences range from a person walking the street with a couple of shirts to elegant designer boutiques and shopping malls, this makes trading unplanned for. Because of this, Ghanaians are allowed to bargain for a lower price for the good.

Buying and Selling at the Market

But before that, what does “Bargaining” mean to the Economist, from Bargaining or haggling is a type of negotiation in which the buyer and seller of a good or service dispute the price which will be paid and the exact nature of the transaction that will take place, and eventually come to an agreement. Bargaining is an alternative pricing strategy for fixed prices.

How it Works in Ghana

In Ghana, when you ask the price of something, the price initially quoted to you is 30% to 50% higher than what the seller will accept. Do not counteroffer with the price you are willing to pay! Your counteroffer should be a ridiculously low number (maybe 50% of what you would pay). Source: (Easy track Ghana)

The Rule

The most important rule to remember is to bargain for everything. Try not to be annoyed and never get angry – ( Except for goods in the supermarkets, high-end shops, hotels and restaurants, everything has a price and you must be prepared to do some friendly bargaining with the vendor.

In general, when asking for the price of a good, the seller would initially, offer the item, at 30 to 50 per cent more than what they expect for the item, Your counteroffer, should be ridiculously low, about 50% less than what you are willing to pay. You and the seller would go back and forth until an agreement is made. If you cannot make a deal, do not get angry or annoyed, simply move on.

Sales at a Shopping Mall in Ghana

Walking Away Does the Magic

Sometimes, this gesture, of walking away will prove to the seller that you are set on what you are willing to pay and they will settle on the end price that you had determined. Keep in mind that the vendor is familiar with the economics of this type of business and they will never sell anything that puts them at a loss.

Until you are comfortable with the bargaining process, you may want to have a guide. You will also pick up a few tricks from your guide that will help when you understand some tricks in Ghana’s trade system.

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