More people than ever are considering taking a trip to a Christmas market in Europe this year, perhaps buoyed by the current strength of the Pound against the Euro, now offering £1 = 1.2465 Euros compared to £1 = 1.1588 Euros this time last year.

While some stall holders will take cards, in most instances cash is king, offering opportunities for buyers to barter and haggle. Leading travel money provider ICE – International Currency Exchange is reminding travellers to request low denomination notes when ordering their currency to maximise the chances of some good old fashioned haggling and reduce the risk of theft in busy markets, by taking a pin-protected prepaid currency card.

Koko Sarkari, COO of ICE said,

“There are around 100 Christmas Markets in Germany alone, 25 in France, 20 in Belgium and 18 in Italy so there’s no shortage of magical places to visit this November and December. And if you fancy some haggling, you’ll need some cash to show the stall holder you mean business. But don’t be tempted to take all your spending money in cash – that could be asking for trouble. Load some money onto a prepaid currency card such as the ICE Travellers Cashcard and then withdraw what you need at ATMs and to pay for meals out and larger purchases in shops. Unlike a credit card, if a prepaid card is lost or stolen, only the amount on the card is at risk. One of the key benefits of the ICE Travellers Cashcard is that it comes with a free back up card which can be activated through one call to our team.”

 

Top 12 Haggling Tips

1. Do your research and shop around – make sure you know the types of crafts and products on offer and what they should cost

 

2. Understand the exchange rate – make sure you know how much sterling is worth

 

3. Don’t flash too much cash – take smaller denominations

 

4. Learn the lingo – it’s much harder to negotiate in a foreign language so try to learn a few choice words – it may help the vendor to warm to you and lower the price

 

5. Every city has its key take-home souvenir – ask the locals who does the best or cheapest souvenir

 

6. Set a budget and don’t be tempted to exceed it

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7. Don’t haggle too soon

 

8. Make sure you’re in control of the situation and lead the negotiation

 

9. Offer half of the stated price as your first bid

 

10. Stand your ground

 

11. Get the vendor to include something extra for no additional cost

 

12. NEVER tell them your budget