In the UK we pride ourselves on our sense of fair play. It’s one of our national ideals and we find it very hard when we go aboard that people aren’t the same or have a more loose definition of it. The modern Briton is used to going into a shop or going online, seeing a price for something they want and then paying for it. There is no negotiation; we just assume that the retailer is charging us a fair price as they are fair people. Imagine then the surprise when in the Souks of Marrakech we Britons find that the prices are merely a guide and we have to actually haggle with the vendor who is even prepared to not sell it to us if we don’t.
We hate haggling. We Britons culturally seem to find any interaction with a stranger uncomfortable (this was not always the case) and do our utmost to end the conversation as soon as possible. We view buying something as a private transaction and it doesn’t seem to bother us about what is charged, we just assume it is fair. Although good outsourced accounting services like https://www.mushroombiz.co.uk/homepage/services/accounting/ would encourage you to always shop around for the best price. It’s one of the reasons why the high street is suffering at present in the face of online competition. We don’t have to speak to a person we just fill the basket and give over our card details and then start praying that nothing is wrong with it when it comes (we’re also rubbish at returning online items as well).
Back to the souks in Marrakech. Haggling is a quick fire negotiation between two parties over the cost of something. You can pretty much pick out the British people who have collapsed in round two with an “oh, ok, Sorry”, well before the vendor has reached the price they are willing to except. We also get scared as they throw in colloquialisms for colour and fun and then get exasperated when we British don’t appreciate this or play along. Not only that the vendor almost has to withdraw the product because they know that their ripping off the buyer which then means that the buyer gets annoyed.
It is really ok. Try to come out of your comfort zone and follow these rules. Prices are a guide. Have a price in mind that you want to pay and start lower than it. Don’t be worried if they say, “are you trying to rob me”! It’s all part of the play. Make your way up to what you want to pay and then stick there. Also, be prepared to walk away. This scene from Monty Pythons the Life of Brian is a good example of how not to do it and the links of the pictures will help.