Banter or barter?

This year I received the best Christmas present ever, a trip of a lifetime cruising the Caribbean from Mrs C, I received this on Christmas day and was over the moon as she knew that this had always been my dream destination!

The first day that the travel agent was back open off we went to get some U.S. dollars and get excited about our trip and see if there were any “on shore” excursions that we could take out, there were literally hundreds of trips but guess what? They cost hundreds of pounds too, then we realised that drinks weren’t included and the final insult was that we were only going to get $1.16 to the pound! O.K. so I know that going to Caribbean is not something to moan about but I couldn’t help being shocked at the amount of money it was going to cost us, the poor exchange rate was killing us before we had even got there although after plenty of chatting and charming the travel advisor we were able to get a “mates rate” of $1.22!

Next up was the on shore trips and unfortuaently there was no room for negotiation as these were done through a third party, Mrs C doesn’t say much in these situations although this time she piped up with “let’s not pay for any trips through the agent as they are too expensive we can just BANTER with the locals when we get there” now the travel advisor couldn’t stop laughing at this stage and I could see the funny side as of course she meant BARTER not BANTER on saying that us traders know that the two go hand in hand, the more banter we have with traders or likewise our customers the easy it is to barter and get a better deal for ourselves, my first day down the market seems like yesterday when I was shouting out “come on ladies feed them babies” and things like “rainy day prices now” sometimes even “shout out a number…. Not your telephone number….. a price” customers loved this kind of banter and in turn I was able to sell at a price that wasn’t questioned.

As me and Mrs C arrived on each Island on our cruise we started by chatting and charming the locals, talking to them about what is great about their country before bartering for the best price for our shore trip and after that getting them to take us to the best markets and shops to get our souvenir’s sorted at half the price of the shops as soon as you get off the Ship.

By having banter with the locals we were able to barter easily and get some real bargains on our excursions and some prezzies for the kids to take home with us, not only that as you can tell from the pics we had a great time too, when we were back on the Ship that night we told other holiday makers who decided to come with us so that we could fill a mini bus and get the price of the trip even lower per person!

So make sure you have banter, be personable and get to know your customers AND suppliers better, it puts you in a much better position to strike deals on your terms, I have always worked on a “stack em high sell em cheap ethos” to do this you need volume so why not look for others to buy with you as a group and then the next time you are buying maybe you can be the one to set the price not your supplier as we all know the key is to make money when you are buying and selling, not just selling!

I banter and barter everywhere and a great way to sharpen up my skills is to do this on EVERY shopping trip I go on, 90% of the time I get the deal I want, 10% of the time I don’t but 100% of the time is hilarious to see the look on Mrs Cs face when I do!
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