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veggievirgo Jan 20th, 2005 01:30 AM

Vietnam (Hanoi) question on sellers?
Good morning!

We have read through the posts here and have noticed some input on the amount of "pressure" to expect as tourists in the Hanoi area to buy items and services. We are ok with this, but like to be prepared.

So, has anyone out there who has already visited and witnessed the sales pressure in Vietnam ALSO been to Egypt to provide a comparison? This would be helpful for us, since we have been to Cairo & Giza and have witnessed relentless sales pressure.

Is Hanoi more, less, or the same??


hobbes Jan 20th, 2005 02:10 AM

I've been to Cairo tho many years ago and feel Hanoi is less "pressure". Actually, I did not feel immense pressure from sellers to buy things in Hanoi. I walked out of many shops empty handed because I did not like the prices or the wares on closer inspection were not to my liking or whatever and no-one chased me or pressured me to buy.

USNR Jan 20th, 2005 03:50 AM

Agree with Hobbes. Hanoi shopkeepers put no pressure on us. Bargaining, however, is part of "the game." If you see something you want (don't play games), offer 60 per cent of what the asking price. Settle on 80 per cent. But don't waste their time and yours just to be making noise.

Kathie Jan 20th, 2005 05:52 AM

Yes, I've been to Egypt as well as to Hanoi. I didn't find the shop keepers in Hanoi to be especially pressuring. However, there are young men selling books (sometimes other items) who will approach you and are not only persistent, but will shout obsenities at you if you don't buy! Granted it's only a few of these book sellers, but many people find it disconcerting to say the least. Sapa is legendary for young tribal women shouting obsenities at people who don't buy.

Just be forwarned about this, don't let it discourage you from going to Hanoi. The only area we saw this happen was in old town and along the lake. Most of the street sellers are just fine.

(You may have read my account of the "guides" at the Perfume Pagoda who wanted us to give each of them US$50 "for school" and to pay them for "guiding" us as well. They were the most persistent of any sellers I've encountered anywhere in my travels)

Lyndie Jan 20th, 2005 02:11 PM

Regarding bargaining-our rule is to offer 50 and pay 70%!!!! Works 50% of the time! Hanoi is wonderful and street touts i.e. postcard, guidebbok and map sellers, are a minor problem. If you're not interested just say Khong-Di. My partner is very rude and they just melted away when he told them NO.. GO!!! Have fun in Hanoi.

IsisMnroe Jan 21st, 2005 01:29 AM

We have been to Cairo many years ago and recently to Vietnam.

In my opinion, I believe if a person likes to shop, they would not mind too much about the sellers and their approach. I like to shop.

My husband, who does not like to shop and talks a lot, talks to the children who try to sell us things. I tell him if you take up their time, you should buy something from them. Don't waste their time if you are not going to buy. We bought some small items.

In Hanoi, which was the start of our trip in Vietnam, we were approached by tour cafes for tours as we walked by. No problem, we were interested in tours.
We were relentlessly asked to take cyclo rides. But we just told them we were walking and shopping. Sometimes we did take a cyclo ride to take us to dinner at restaurants.

But toward the end of our Vietnam trip in Saigon, we had bought most items from the children, postcards, cards, coin necklace, coffee dripper, that we told the children right off we had all those things and so they left right away.

In Saigon at the Market, I told the vendors, I have that capri pants, and that one and that one too. The reply was "You don't have this one!" We all laughed.

veggievirgo Jan 23rd, 2005 03:43 AM

Perfect! Thanks so much for the great feedback! This information is exactly what we needed, now we know what we can expect!

I love the "bargaining" part of the shopping, so I can't wait!

Thanks again!

rhkkmk Jan 23rd, 2005 05:56 AM

we have been to both cities as well...street vendors do apply limited pressure...i would not consider it oppressive in any way...just ignor them if it is...

here is an example....we were making a walking tour of the old city...we were approached by a woman selling "stacking" baskets (5)...they were and are wife looked at them briefly...the woman said $10 (as i remember)....we said no thank you and walked on...she followed us for a few minutes and later approached and said $7.....we said no thank we knew she wanted to play the sales game...we did not see her for 1/2 hour...she then approached us on another street...$5....we said no...
an hour later we did buy them for $2....we were delighted and so was she...
even after 3 years they still stink of smoke on humid days....we do like them very much and feel they are a real bargain...

in shops we found no pressure at all....the shop keepers were very helpful when you wanted help and left you to look at will....don't understand the extreme pressure comments...

as for the streets...just keep walking and ignor the people if you find it "rude" and ignor them totally....

SidB Feb 1st, 2005 12:16 AM

as for the streets...just keep walking and ignor the people if you find it "rude" and ignor them totally....

Please don't be rude. Be firm and courteous. Gets far better results.

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