How to Handle Hawkers 101

As you go around sightseeing in India, you'll notice so many hawkers milling about. It's a good thing our guide warned us and gave us tips on how to deal with them.

1. Eye contact means you want to buy. So, do not look. Just look straight ahead and never meet their gaze.

2. Do not touch unless you are interested to buy.

3. "No" means yes. Do not talk to them.

If location, location, location is the key to property development. Ignore, ignore, ignore is the key to not being bothered by the hawkers. Of course, this all assumes that you do not want to be bothered and do not wish to buy.

If you do want to buy though, make sure to haggle or at least, keep silent and wait. This is a true story, one which I witnessed myself. Some hawkers were selling necklaces near our bus - starting out at 5 for 100 rupees. We weren't interested so we just sat in the bus ignoring the seller. He then engaged in a one-way conversation - "Ok, 6 for 100. Ok, 7 for 100..." and so on. After a few more minutes, it was up to 11!

The sad part though is we still didn't buy. Interesting story though.

[By Angelica Viloria | Friday, April 4, 2003]

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