How to bargain/ask for a discount in Thai

by | Nov 8, 2020 | Tips, Thai

Going to a market, putting yourself in a situation where you are required to squeeze every bit of Thai language out of you is a great way to improve your Thai. In this post, I will teach you vocabulary, sentences, and general advice on how to haggle and bargain in Thai.

In Thailand, places that you can bargain are open markets, beachside, street side, or shops in a touristic area.
You won’t be able to ask for a discount in modern malls or brand name stores.

General advice on how to bargain in Thailand

How to bargain in Thai

Have a rough idea of what the price is by shopping around a bit before purchasing.

In order to have a good idea of what’s a fair price, you should go to a few stores first. Some shop owners are clever and will give you a super high price, so that even if you ask for a discount, you still pay higher than you should.

Let the seller tell you the first price

As a foreigner, you probably don’t know the prices and you might think things are more expensive than they really are. Sometimes you will be surprised at how cheap something is. So while you might think something is 300 baht, it might actually be 200 baht. So let the seller tell you the price first.

Act like you aren’t interested

If the seller sees you are interested they might hike up the price knowing you are willing to pay. Pretend like you are just looking around and curious about the price.

Start with a lower price than you expect to pay

Let’s say the seller tells you a price but you want to pay less. Say a price that is lower than what you think the seller will agree to. This way you guys can meet somewhere in the middle.

Learn to read Thai numbers.

Thai’s have their own numbers. Sometimes the price is written in these Thai numbers – so that Thais understand but not foreigners. By learning to read the numbers, you can see the actual price.

To learn more about Thai numbers, check out my article.

Numbers in Thai
Numbers in Thai

How to haggle in the Thai language

If the seller looks a lot younger than you, call him/her น้อง (nóng) which means younger sibling. Otherwise call him/her พี่ (pêe) which means older sibling.

Also if you are a woman put ค่ะ (), if you are a man put ครับ (kráp) at the end of the sentences.

Before I show you example sentences, let’s learn some important vocabulary.

Important Vocabulary

  • How much?
    tâo rai

  • To sell

  • Price

  • To lower

  • To bargain

  • To buy

  • How many baht?
    gèe bàat

Now, I will give you a whole bunch of sentences you can use and you will hear when asking for a discount or bargaining in Thai.

Example sentences

  • How much?
    ขายเท่าไร (literally: sell how much)
    kăai tâo rai 

  • What’s the price?
    ราคาเท่าไร (literally: price how much)
    raa-kaa tâo rai

  • How much can we bargain?
    dtòr dâai tâo rai

  • Can you lower the price a bit?
    lót raa-kaa nòi dâai măi 

  • What’s the max you can give me?
    hâi dâai mâak sùt tâo rai 

  • Can you lower it a bit more?
    lót èek nít dâai măi

  • Can you lower it a bit more?
    lót èek nòi dâai măi

  • In that case, I’ll walk and check out other stores.
    tâa ngán pŏm bpai dern doo ráan èun gòn

  • If you give me at 100 baht, I’ll buy it.
    ถ้าให้ 100 บาทซื้อเลย
    tâa hâi · nèung-rói · bàat séu loie

  • In that case, can you add … as a freebie?
    ngán kŏr tăem · dâai măi

  • 1 is 100 baht, 2 is 150 baht, okay?
    1 ตัว 100, 2 ตัว150 ละกัน (ตัว is the classifier for clothes)
    nèung dtua · nèung-rói sŏng dtua · nèung-rói-hâa-sìp · lá gan 

  • I’ll take 3 pieces at 250 na.
    เอา 3 ตัว 250 นะ
    ao săam dtua · sŏng-rói-hâa-sìp · ná

  • This is all I can give, really.
    hâi dâai tâo née jing jing

  • I’ll come back later.
    dĭeow kôi glàp maa

  • If I take the entire bulk, how much?
    tâa măo mòt hâi tâo rai

I hope you are now ready to go to Thai markets and bargain with the Thai sellers. Asking for discounts is very common in Thailand so don’t be afraid to haggle, just give it a try!

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