Knowing how to bargain in India is not only a skill but a way of life that’s indispensable when buying products/services from street hawkers and market vendors to tuk tuk drivers and guesthouse managers.
Never pay the asking price from a goods shop or a street hawker in India. This is not Europe where price tend to be fixed. And even if you feel that the item is reasonably priced, still, go ahead and ask for a cheaper deal. We are not a local and we don’t look like one. We will always be asked to pay more than the locals by the vendors (and by the museums and temples too!). And sometimes, you will be surprised by how much the price could go down to.
I found my fun bargaining when I was shopping in India. It is more than cutting price but a chance to chat with the locals (the vendors) and get a better idea of the true living standard of that particular town/city. Unless you bargain and try to find it out yourself, you won’t believe how much cheaper things actually cost for the locals than for the tourists.
And Indians, in general, are friendly, talkative people (at least for the many whom we have met). They love talking, and seem to have the whole world of time to spend chit chatting. So, be light-hearted and chat with them when shopping in India next time. Don’t be serious about anything, even when the vendor has quoted an extraordinary high price that makes you wonder if he thinks you are just another stupid tourist. Keep your sense of humor and be jovial. Chit chat with him a bit here and there and ask him for a cheaper price.
Come to the end of it, there is really nothing to lose. And who knows, you may make some friends too!