"estimate of prices" Bargaining Tip by nasesco72

Bargaining, Cairo: 10 reviews and 4 photos

I spent 10 days in Cairo/Luxor so by the end of the trip I got a good idea of pricing for goods..

Papyrus - I paid over 200 LE for a A2 size piece on my first day.. by the last day I was getting similar quality for 25 LE each! Dont listen to shop keepers about unique pieces etc.. 99% of of artwork is mass produced (albiet by hand by lowly paid "artists"). I prefer the darker coloured items as it looks more unique. Careful not to buy printed banana paper copies - easy to tell the difference.. just put it up the the light.. real papyrus has cross-weave pattern

Perfume - around 30LE per 100g.. make sure the product is not doled up with vegetable oil.. hard to tell the difference. Real perfume should still have a detectable frangrance on your skin 12-18hrs later

Stone carvings - I bought a half metre high / 7KG beautiful alabaster vase for 110 LE.. initial price was 600! This was after hard bargaining which left the shopkeeper nearly in tears lol
Also all stones should be about the same price e.g. marble, granite, basalt or alabaster

Arabic CDs - 6-8pounds each - probably all pirated copies anyway

Egyptian cotton scarves - 20-30 LE each.. bargain hard.. if you buy say 5 or 6 you might be able to get for less

Garbalayas (traditional gowns) - 40-70 LE or 130LE for high quality cotton

Taxi - for short trips.. 1 LE a minute or 1 LE a KM... for whole day bookings 150-200LE depending on distances travelled

Camel Rides (Giza) - Local price for 1hr is 50LE so anything more than 100LE is too much
Also, budget for a tip of 50-70LE to camel handler. Its alot but since your at the giza pyramids they will hit you hard.

Bakeesh (Tips) - 5 LE for carrying bags (e.g. hotel staff), waiters, short trip taxi,tourist police
10-30LE for impromtu tour guides, all day taxi bookings

Also - If the item is under 20 LE.. its probably not worth your time bargaining. Also, to get a idea of the cost price.. bargain hard from a very low price. If you walk away and the shopkeeper does not follow you to offer your price you know your price is under his cost price. So come back later and continue the bargaining.

Most importantly.. smile and make jokes.. it tends to save me a lot of money!

Finally, these people make alot less money than you so even if you bargain the item down to very low price give a tip the sales person after paying the agreed price.

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jan 18, 2010
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