"(1) Negotiate prices. I..." Local Life Tip by bbprushnok

Local Life, Jordan: 32 reviews and 36 photos


(1) Negotiate prices. I discovered after several days that I could have paid less if I had negotiated more aggressively. If you are unaccustomed to doing this, try to hook up with someone who knows how to. The young Australian woman I met was an experienced, hardnosed negotiator who knew how to get the prices she wanted.
(2) The Jordanians and Arabs seem to belong to extended families. If you hire a taxi ride, as I did, your taxi driver will guide you to a hotel that belongs to a family member. In short, you will be pushed gently, firmly, and inexorably toward family related businesses. As a result, you may not get the best prices. If you have a plan in mind, stick to it. Don't be rude but break free from the glossy politeness that can ensnare you.
(3) Carry exact amounts of money in the local currency. It turns out that a negotiated price for a service is fluid and not honor-bound. For instance, when we tried to pay the negotiated price of 15 dinar per person for a tour with our Bedouin guide in Wadi Rum, he said that he had no change for the 20 dinar bills with which we paid him. Clearly, he was trying to extract an extra 5 dinar. This experience put a bad spin to an otherwise delightful experience.
(4) When you negotiate, make sure everyone is clear what it is that has been agreed upon. Double and triple check.
(5) Don't take the horse rides in Petra unless you are trying to redistribute your wealth. You can pay $5 US or more for a ride that lasts 10 minutes. I paid about $3 US for such a ride, felt like an American sucker at the end. Then the so-called Bedouin begged for more money. I ended up feeling ashamed for both of us.
(6) Learn some basic Arabic phrases for 'thank you', 'hello', 'good evening', 'how are you.' You'll be rewarded with warm smiles and friendliness for your small effort.

Review Helpfulness: 1.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Aug 24, 2002
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