Holds back when haggling

This item appears on page 52 of the July 2011 issue.

I feel it is necessary to add my thoughts to the subscriber’s letter “Hints for Haggling” (May ’11, pg. 15).

We took the trip “Amazon & Inca Adventure” with GAP Adventures (Toronto, Ontario, Canada; 888/800-4100) in June ’10. At the start of the tour, our group leader, Andreas, went over many things, including bargaining. He made some points which I think everyone who travels, especially to Latin America, should consider.

Selling their crafts or other goods is the livelihood and sole source of income for many of the people you are buying from; they are clearly not earning the same amount as you are. Bear in mind that a difference of five or ten pesos, colones, soles or even dollars may mean a day’s food or shelter for the seller. What effect would that difference really have on you?

The biggest pleasure of your purchase is not that it “was a steal” but that you got something that is a remembrance of your trip and could possibly not be bought at home.

New York, NY