How to Haggle in Morocco like a Local? 

Fatima O.

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Bargaining in Morocco isn’t just about spending money, it’s a huge part of what makes our markets really special and vibrant. 

Just picture yourself weaving through the busy souks of Marrakech or popping into those charming little shops in Chefchaouen’s narrow alleys.

Here, making a deal is so much more than just scoring a good price. It’s about having a chat, showing some respect, and engaging in a playful negotiation with the shopkeeper.

artisanal shop in Morocco
Haggling in Morocco is a fun affaire, enjoy it!

If the idea of tackling these busy markets seems a bit daunting, don’t worry. As someone from Morocco who’s been through the haggling game more times than I can remember, I’ve got your back. 

I’m here to spill all the secrets so you can start bartering in Morocco like you’ve been doing it your whole life.

Haggling 101 In Moroccan

First things first, the market is known as the “Souk” in Arabic. If you’re looking to dive into this experience, just ask around, “Fin Souq afak? Where is the Souq, please?”

Trust me, this simple phrase is your golden ticket into the heart of Moroccan commerce.

Now, onto the main event: Haggling.

tourists haggling with a shopkeeper in marrakech
Tourists haggling with a shopkeeper in Marrakech

Observe Before Negotiating: Take your time to wander around the Souk and talk to vendors to see what the going rate is for the things you like.

Get Comfy with Haggling: Everyone does it here, so dive in and have some fun with it.

Play It Cool: When you’re asking about something, act like you’re just curious, not like you’ve gotta have it. This way, they won’t hike up the price on you.

Act Surprised at High Prices: If they quote you a sky-high price, look genuinely shocked. It’s your first move in the haggling dance.

Talk About Better Deals: Drop a hint that you’ve seen the same thing cheaper elsewhere. It shows you know your stuff and you’re not an easy target.

Don’t Name Your Price First: Instead of saying what you’re willing to pay, ask them to do better on the price. Let them make the next move.

Be aware of the currency exchange: Keep in mind that in Morocco, a dollar equals about 10 dirhams. It’s easy to get lost in numbers when the merchant is throwing numbers during the negociations. 

Be Respectful but Firm: If negotiating down from a high price, don’t offer something too low as it might come off as disrespectful. A reasonable counter-offer is key. 

Be Ready to Walk Away: Show you’re not afraid to leave without purchasing. This might prompt the vendor to offer a better deal to make the sale.

Final Offer: Ask for the vendor’s last offer, signaling you’re at the end of your negotiation.

Extra Tips for the Souk

Before embarking on your shopping adventure, ensure you have cash on hand. While our Moroccan dirham is king, many vendors also accept Euros, Dollars, and Pounds.

A Thought to Part With

Here’s something to keep in mind. Bargaining isn’t just a tradition in Morocco; it’s a way of life that helps you nab some great deals. 

But let’s not forget about the tough times our local craftsmen and sellers are going through economically.

busy souks in Marrakech
Souk night vibes in Marrakech

If you’re in a spot where you can, think about grabbing an extra item or tipping a bit more than the agreed price.

These small gestures of generosity can really brighten someone’s day and strengthen the sense of community and support that’s so crucial right now.

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About Fatima O.

Fatima, born and raised along the foothills of the Atlas mountains, in the heartland of the indigenous Amazigh peoples. She loves Moroccan tea and travel. Now, she travels and writes about the beauty of her homeland.

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