Tourists overcharged? It's a two-way street

By Minh Minh   September 21, 2023 | 11:26 pm PT
Tourists overcharged? It's a two-way street
Foreign tourists buy clothes at a store in Ho Chi Minh City's District 1 in 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Minh Nga
With overcharging vendors blamed for reducing Vietnam's attractiveness, readers said sometimes it's the vendors who are victims of haggling.

"A scam is where you have no choice but to pay inflated prices. Nobody is forcing you to buy conical hats or pictures, if you don't think it is worth it then don't buy it."

"Many tourists are frugal and haggle VND5,000 on a VND25,000 banh mi for example. Stop being so cheap, especially when some get up at 4 a.m. to prepare ingredients and drive one hour to the city center to sell a few sandwiches in the searing downtown heat to help support their family. You're haggling over 20 cents with someone who earns $300 a month."

"Why at all do you go to markets? Go to shopping malls with lower and fixed prices, air cons and no beggars and no lottery tickets sellers. Everything is cheaper there than on markets, with more comfy shopping experience. Also you can buy some wooden gifts at [...] normal shopping malls sometimes."
Teal Burton

"A vendor who is charging just around 8 euro for a souvenir does not earn enough to have a holiday overseas. I wonder why western tourists who can afford a holiday are so stingy when it comes to purchases in poor countries."

"It's a "market" where one "negotiates". Can't agree on a price? Then don't pay. Every travel guide in the world warns about the high prices at Ben Thanh market. Where's the "rip off"?"

"Market vendors are used to bargaining, whereas Western tourists less. I wouldn't call this overcharging. However, it's maybe worthwhile, to mention such characteristics (not overpricing) in appropriate marketing leaflets."

"Easiest way to not get scammed is don't go. Also need to remember the game Western tourists like to play, trying to get one over the vendor who is just trying to make a living. Two way street, personally I’ll pay what’s on the tag if I need something, can’t be bothered bartering."

The opinions expressed here are personal and do not necessarily match VnExpress's viewpoints. Send your opinions here.
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