If you’re planning on visiting China or Taiwan then haggling is a skill that is essential to learn. Bargaining for a better price is common practice in most night markets and small shops, and even the larger retailers have some leeway for discount if you are buying goods over a certain value. So it’s definitely worth your while to learn a few phrases to help you avoid being taken advantage of while navigating the sea of people in a Taiwanese night market.
多少錢（多少钱） Pinyin: duō shǎo qián English: how much money
價錢（价钱） Pinyin: jià qián English: price, cost
價格（价格） Pinyin: jià gé English: price, cost
便宜（便宜） Pinyin: pián yí English: cheap (in price)
預算（预算） Pinyin: yù suàn English: budget
折扣（折扣） Pinyin: zhé kòu English: a discount
打折（打折） Pinyin: dǎ zhé English: to give a discount Usage: In Chinese rather than say “10% off” like in English, “discounted to 90% (of original price)” is used instead. So to say 10% off in Chinese, one would say 打九折（dǎ jiŭ zhé）, likewise 20% off would be 打八折 （dǎ bā zhé）and so on.
The price is over my budget
There’s no way that you can buy something that costs more than the money you have. Letting the seller know that you are on a budget is a good way to pursuade them to lower the price. Consider this conversation over the price of clothing:
Customer:\ 老闆，請問這件衣服多少錢?\ 老板，请问这件衣服多少钱?\ lǎo bǎn, qǐng wèn zhè jiàn yī fú duō shǎo qián ?\ Excuse me, boss. How much is this item of clothing?
Shop Owner:\ 這件衣服590元\ 这件衣服590元\ zhè jiàn yī fú 590 yuán\ This one is $590NT.
Customer:\ 可以算便宜一點嗎?\ 可以算便宜一点吗?\ kě yǐ suàn pián yí yī diǎn mā?\ Can you give me a better price?
Shop Owner:\ 算你550元就好\ 算你550元就好\ suàn nǐ 550 yuán jiù hǎo\ I can give it to you for $550NT
Customer:\ 價格還是有點超過我的預算了，如果可以算500元的話，我就買\ 价格还是有点超过我的预算了，如果可以算500元的话，我就买\ jià gé hái shì yǒu diǎn chāo guò wǒ de yù suàn le, rú guǒ kě yǐ suàn 500 yuán de huà, wǒ jiù mǎi\ The price is still a bit over my budget, if you can do it for $500NT I’ll take it.
Shop Owner:\ 好啦\ hǎo lā\ okay, okay!
Can you give me a discount？
A lot of the time you’ll find that to get a discount, all you need to do is ask:
可以提供一點折扣嗎?\ 可以提供一点折扣吗?\ kě yǐ tí gōng yī diǎn zhé kòu mā?\ Could you offer me any discount?
這個價錢太高了，可以給我折扣嗎？\ 这个价钱太高了，可以给我折扣吗？\ zhè gè jià qián tài gāo le, kě yǐ gěi wǒ zhé kòu mā?\ The price is really too high. Is there any discount you can give me?
你可以給我最多的折扣是多少？ 你可以算多便宜？\ 你可以给我最多的折扣是多少？ 你可以算多便宜？\ nǐ kě yǐ gěi wǒ zuì duō de zhé kòu shì duō shǎo? nǐ kě yǐ suàn duō biàn yí?\ What’s the most discount you can give me? How much cheaper can you offer?
如果可以打八折的話我就買。\ 如果可以打八折的话我就买。\ rú guǒ kě yǐ dǎ bā zhé de huà wǒ jiù mǎi.\ If you can give me a 20 percent discount I’ll take it.
除非你再便宜一點，不然我不買。\ 除非你再便宜一点，不然我不买。\ chú fēi nǐ zài pián yí yī diǎn, bú rán wǒ bú mǎi.\ Unless you can lower the price, there’s no way I can buy it.
There’s more than one way to skin a cat, if you’d rather not directly ask for a discount, you could ask for a deal on quantity, mention that a competitor has a better price, or point out a product defect:
如果我買多一點可以比較便宜嗎？\ 如果我买多一点可以比较便宜吗？\ rú guǒ wǒ mǎi duō yī diǎn kě yǐ bǐ jiào pián yí mā?\ If I buy more than one can you offer me a better price?
前幾間店我也有看到相同的東西但是價錢比較低ㄟ!可以給同樣的價錢嗎？\ 前几间店我也有看到相同的东西但是价钱比较低ㄟ!可以给同样的价钱吗？\ qián jǐ jiān diàn wǒ yě yǒu kàn dào xiāng tóng de dōng xī dàn shì jià qián bǐ jiào dī! kě yǐ gěi tóng yàng de jià qián mā?\ I have seen the same thing in another shop for a lower price, will you match their price?
這有一點點瑕疵ㄟ!可以給我多一點折扣嗎？\ 这有一点点瑕疵ㄟ!可以给我多一点折扣吗？\ zhè yǒu yī diǎn diǎn xiá cī! kě yǐ gěi wǒ duō yī diǎn zhé kòu mā?\ This one has a defect, can you give me an additional discount?
Don’t be afraid to ask
If you’re from a western country then haggling in a shop for a better price might seem quite alien. But in China and Taiwan it’s common place, so just give it a shot, you’ll be surprised at how much money you can save.
Have you ever tried bargaining for a better price using Chinese? What happened? Where you successful?