When I was in Peru a few years ago, I was too afraid to do any bartering with people. I was so used to seeing a price tag and paying what it said for it, that I had trouble adjusting to the barter system. If I went into a shop and asked how much something was (because I saw no price tag on it) the person who was selling me it would quote a price- and I would pay it, without asking for something lower, not knowing that they put the price higher than it was really worth them to sell it as- just because I was a tourist and probably would pay what they asked. My friends had to tell them off, and get a better price for me.
Now I am in Ghana, and I have to use the barter system practically everyday. For instance, when my friends and I took a taxi the other day, I had to ask the driver how much the ride home would before we got in the car. He said 5 Cedis. I thought that was too much, so I said, “No, no, 3 Cedis is what we have paid before!” He agreed on that price and drove us home. Sometimes the cab drivers don’t agree and just pull away, but another taxi comes along soon and then you can probably get the price you want from someone else.
However, I still don’t know if I agree with this system or not. What if that taxi driver had no other choice but to take those 3 Cedis instead of complaining and missing out on driving someone? That’s why I’m not sure that the barter system will make much of a comeback as our economy evolves in the future.
-% Reese %-