Craft & Design
Haggling for Asian electronics
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Unplggd has two articles on shopping for cheap tech in Asian markets and how to haggle down the price on the stuff you want.

Do your research. One of the first steps in haggling over a sale in Asia is to do proper research before making a purchase. It’s easy to find out what the retail prices and market value prices of items are in Asia beforehand. For example, you can check out the listings on Yahoo! Auctions in Taiwan. I use Google Translate to get an idea what a page says.

Yahoo! is really big in Asia, bigger than eBay in my opinion. Almost everyone uses Yahoo! including Asian retailers and vendors. They aren’t really used as auctions per se, but rather as an e-commerce site. These auction lists give you an idea of how much an item retails at different vendors. These prices are almost always lower than the retail price. I’ve bought cell phones, laptops and desktop computers this way. I just call up the retailers and get their location.

Bring a local. The best way to get a better deal is to go with a local friend or acquaintance. They will be able to haggle better and faster than you ever will. However, they do need to know a bit about what you want.


How To… Take Advantage of Technology Markets in Asia


How To… Haggle in Asian Technology Markets

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18 thoughts on “Haggling for Asian electronics

  1. Actually, you may be able to. There was a piece on the evening news a few weeks back that, given the sluggish economy and poor sales, store chains (electronic and furniture were singled out) have given their salesdroids permission to negotiate on price. So try it out. You may be surprised.

    And let us know if you DO try it out and if it works!

  2. Bring a calculator whenever haggling in places where your not up on the lingo. Also, with in the multi-vendor markets, barter with multiple vendors before buying. Don’t be afraid to walk away when they don’t accept your offer. They will chase after you when they think they’ve lost the sale. That is if you haven’t pissed them off first.

  3. Calling store employees “salesdroids” is just classism. Sure, some store employees are not very knowledgeable about all the products their employer sells, and there are others that are. But because they work “retail” and do not appear to have devoted themselves to whatever intellectual pursuit the customer values, for any number of reasons, they all deserve a pejorative?

  4. I have worked in retail for over 8 years, and I now manage the oldest living and largest independent bookstore in Las Vegas, NV. I take absolutely no offense to “salesdroids”. I have had to train quite a few of them myself, only they weren’t as helpful as Watto’s shop droids!

    Compared to myself & their older co-workers, who can do amazing things like; I don’t know… Count, Read, Spell, Learn new things. The droids being pumped out by our local school district seem like they aren’t being “programmed” very well.

    As for taking offense, “it’s not what they call you, it’s what you answer to”, or some such business.

  5. I’ve worked big box and local single owner retail. Many salesdroids really do need to pointed in the right direction and handled gently in order to get any “work” out of them. You certainly don’t want to interrupt them while they “work.” Customers can be just as bad and are far more numerous.

    Haggling will never take off here in the states because nobody can do it. That may be a bit of an exaggeration. Maybe 5-20% are intelligent enough to do it.

  6. For reasons involving supervillainy, I’ll likely be in Taiwan early next week. The article talks about consumer electronics, which is great, but does anyone know if Taiwan has Shenzen SEG style component stores and if so, where they might be ? I’ll be in Kaohsiung City…

    Any help will be rewarded by making your death short and painless during the robot revolution I instigate.

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. And he has a new best-of writing collection and “lazy man’s memoir,” called Borg Like Me.

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