How to bargain the price down in bangkok

How to bargain the price down in bangkok

Some buyers are conditioned to try certain tactics to lower your price. Maybe they’ve read about negotiation in books or were trained to use pressuring strategies.

When buyers take this kind of positional and win-lose approach, their goal is generally to gain the most for themselves at the expense of the seller. For example, savvy buyers know that many sellers will be especially vulnerable to manipulation just when a contract is about to be signed. It’s tempting at this point for the seller to give the buyer what they want and lower the price instead of digging deeper to uncover if their concerns are valid, or a bluff.

Here are six common negotiation tactics buyers might use to gain a positional advantage, and ideas for how to respond:

1. Anchoring

Buyer says: “We’re looking to spend no more than $500,000 for this.”

With this tactic, the buyer shares a target price, such as a budget cap, to anchor the bargaining range.

How to respond: Ideally, you should be the first to suggest a price. Don’t wait for the buyer to do so. If that doesn’t work out, don’t accept their number at face value. Ask how they came up with their number, and how it fits with their budget. The goal is to uncover whether it’s a real number or a ploy.

2. Whack Back

Buyer says: “Your price is too high,” no matter what it is when you tell them for the first time.

This is one of the most common buyer tactics—to ALWAYS push back on the first price offered.

How to respond: Ask why. Listen fully as the buyer explains their objection, and ask permission to completely understand the issue. What they say will dictate your response. For example, if they say, “Well, I’ve bought it before for X!” You can say, “I think the reason I’m here is that you’ve had a lot of problems in the past. We’re different than X.” And so on.

3. Sticker Shock

Buyer says: “It costs how much?!”

The buyer appears to be shocked or stumped by the price you’ve offered. It could be an orchestrated reaction, rather than genuine surprise.

How to respond: Ignore their flinch and wait for any theatrics to die down. Ask why it seems high to them. Often their reasoning is faulty, and you can open up a conversation based on what you find out.

4. Cherry Picking

Buyer says: “I know I told you our initial order would be 5,000 units with 5 components, but we’ll just need 500 units and 2 components at first. I did the division so the price should be. “

In this scenario, the buyer has tried to unbundle a solution to gain concessions, and assumed the unit price will stay the same.

How to respond: Address the issue head on with a statement such as “I’ll need to review the pricing based on the new scope and terms.” They may make it seem as though these new terms came out of nowhere and nothing can be done, but remember—you don’t have to accept changed terms just because the buyer changed them. Engage in a discussion to work out appropriate pricing.

5. Pencil Sharpening

Buyer says: “You’re going to have to do better than this. We need to get it for less.”

This is a common pushback tactic to “get you ready” to drop your price because it’s “expected.”

How to respond: Don’t ask “Well, where do we need to be?” This is a trap. Focus instead on asking questions such as, “Why?” and “What are you comparing us to?” Hold your ground on differentiating the value you offer. If you probe to create solutions, the buyer will often back down.

6. Going, Going, Gone

Buyer says: “I will give it to a competitor by noon if you don’t make this concession.”

This tactic uses time pressure to get the seller to lower their price.

How to respond: Don’t panic or reflexively drop the price. Stall for time to think. Ask for a few minutes to disengage, saying something like, “I’m in the middle of something else right now. I can take a look soon and call you back.” Alternatively, you can ask, “So we’ll know one way or another after your meeting?” If the buyer says no, then it could be a bluff. If it’s a yes, take time to think and call back with a bargain you want. But be aware that this can be a power play on their part. If you cave, they’ll expect it in the future.

Now that you can identify these buyer strategies, prepare for your next negotiation by giving some thought to how you will respond if any arise. It’s your job to dig deeper into the real issues, separating the buyer’s valid concerns from their bluffs and manipulations.

How to bargain the price down in bangkok
Every year, millions of foreigners come to Bangkok, Thailand to buy cheap clothes. Thailand is famous worldwide as a place where you can buy cheap pants, shirts, jeans, t-shirts, skirts, silk suits, shorts, men’s suits and many other items of clothing.

But, if you’re not familiar with Bangkok, you’ll still need to know the best places to shop for cheap clothes. Shop at these wonderful places in Bangkok if you’re interested in buying cheap clothing, and you’ll soon be buying another suitcase.

Chatuchak Market – Also known as J.J. Market, Chatuchak is Bangkok’s local weekend market. With more than 15,000 stalls (it’s enormous!) the market sells everything, but it’s a particularly wonderful place to look for cheap clothes. Here you’ll find about 3,000 stalls that sell every type of clothing imaginable. From t-shirts to shorts, skirts to sweaters, jackets to pants, there’s everything here.

You can find professional clothing as well as traditional Thai clothing. There are also hundreds of cool shops that sell one-of-a-kind clothing by young, local Thai designers and prices are not usually more than $5-$12 per item.

To get to Chatuchak Market, take the sky train to MoChit station and follow the crowds. It’s open on Friday evenings and all day Saturday and Sunday (until about 6 p.m.).


Mahboonkrong Mall (MBK) – MBK Mall is one of the best places to buy cheap clothes in Bangkok. It’s an enormous mall with 8 floors and all types of clothing are available here.

From brand names to local designers, you will find any type of cheap clothing you want. On the next to top floor, you’ll see traditional Thai clothing as well as t shirts, short, jeans, skirts, jackets etc. On the ground, first, second and third floors, there are tons of little boutique shops and larger shops that sell any kind of clothing imaginable.

Also, on these floors, there are several inexpensive tailors that can make you a skirt, a women’s suit, a man’s work suit, shirts, ties, – anything you want and all very cheaply.

MBK is right next to National Stadium sky train station (one the right hand side as you get off the train, you can’t miss it!)

Siam Square – Siam Square is the local university area and is flooded with university students at any time of the day and night. It’s also a great shopping area for clothes as they cater to the price-range of college students, and also have the latest, hip, fashionable clothing at inexpensive prices. T shirts, skirts, shorts, spaghetti strap tops, jeans, shoes, everything is available here. Also, if you go into some of the little alley ways, you’ll find lots of other stores that are designer stores (local young Thai designers) at very inexpensive prices.

The only drawback to Siam Square is, because Thais are small and these stores cater to young people, the sizes are small. If you are above a US size 10, you’re not likely to find anything to fit you here unfortunately.

Siam Square as at the Siam sky train station. It’s the area opposite all the malls (Siam Discovery Mall, Siam Paragon, Siam Centre etc.) but, as all you can see are tons of shops and lots of young Thais, it’s difficult to miss.

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Bobae Market – Bobae Market is a clothesaholics’ paradise. Clothes are dirt cheap here, but you are expected to buy in bulk or wholesale (i.e.: three or four pieces at each stall). Prices are so cheap though ($1.50 per t shirt) that it’s easy to want to buy more than one item. Bobae has any clothing you would want but is specifically a great place for jeans, t shirts, shirts, blouses, skirts etc.

To get to Bobae, you can either take the boat from Siam Square (a bit difficult to find though, although one of the shopkeepers in any of the malls near Siam can tell you how to get there, and it is really fun on the boat on the klong) or, take a taxi.

Baiyoke Markets – There’s a huge market area near Baiyoke Tower and also hundreds of shops within the Baiyoke Tower complex. Again, here, you’re expected to buy at least two pieces (they don’t have to be the same designs though, just two t shirts, two pairs of shorts, etc.) but prices are about half of what you would pay at Chatuchak (around $1.50 per t shirt, sometimes even $1 per shirt and the quality is beautiful).

You can also get larger sizes here, so Baiyoke Markets are great for those who are above a US size 8, as well as those who are tiny (they have sizes for everyone because this is where much of the exporters to Europe and the US buys their clothing).

Go to Chidlom sky train station, and then take a taxi to Baiyoke. You can walk there, but the alleys are a little confusing. A taxi driver however will take you straight there for only about $1.25 fee.

Shopping Mall Sales – Bangkok also has many Western-style shopping malls with thousands of clothing stores. Siam Paragon, Siam Discovery, Siam Center, Central World Plaza, Central Chidlom, Gaysorn Plaza, Emporium, Central Ladprao, Seacon Square and more – all of these places usually have great sales on clothing at least once a month. So, make sure you check out the local malls too.

Don’t forget, if you go to any of the market areas, you can and are expected to bargain, so prices will be even cheaper than first stated. The only places you cannot bargain are in the large department stores and the supermarkets.

Even in the smaller shops, they will sometimes offer you a discount although, here, it’s best not to try to bargain but only to be ‘indecisive’ about buying more than one item. Miraculously, a lot of the time, the price will come down if you look like you might buy two or more.

Bangkok, Thailand, is a shopper’s paradise for cheap clothes, so don’t forget to bring lots of money. You’ll regret it if you don’t.

How to bargain the price down in bangkok

Doing a similar job to the taxi is Thailand’s ubiquitous tuk-tuk ตุ๊กๆ). So named because of the sound of their engine, these are motorized rickshaws and are popular amongst tourists for their novelty value. They are occasionally faster than taxis in heavy traffic as weaving in and out is easier, but generally about the same or slower. Without any luggage, 3 people can fit into one fairly comfortably – it’s possible to fit more in but it gets a bit cramped. Fares always have to be bargained for, and it is sometimes possible to bargain tuk-tuk drivers down to less than the taxi flagfall of 35B when they make good value. Most times, they offer no savings over a taxi, except perhaps if you’re good at bargaining and can speak good Thai. The initial price they quote is likely to be well over the going rate, but it’s easy to bargain it down to a more reasonable one if you know roughly the equivalent taxi fare.

It’s essential to bargain the price with tuk-tuks before getting in. If you only ask after the ride, it’s likely to end in a request for an ridiculous fare which can obviously lead to an unpleasant situation.

Just like taxi drivers, the tuk-tuk drivers mostly come from the rural northeast of Thailand and don’t have to undergo any training (some will not even have passed a driving test), so don’t be surprised if they sometimes have no idea where your destination is. A subtle point to remember when in one is not to rest your feet on the rail near the drivers head, as doing so is extremely disrespectful towards the driver.

As tuk-tuks are open-ended, they expose passengers to the high pollution levels in the middle of Bangkok’s roads and offer almost no protection in case of an accident. There is theoretically a ban on new tuk-tuks as they are so noisy and polluting, but it doesn’t really seem to be being enforced at present. Nevertheless, many of the local residents are not too enamoured with tuk-tuks nowadays and, were it not for their popularity with tourists, the days of the tuk-tuk on the streets of Bangkok would surely be numbered.

What’s wrong with tuk-tuks?

Though they are initially popular with tourists, most people seem to stop using tuk-tuks fairly quickly. They have something of a reputation for taking passengers to an entirely different destination than the one they requested, and it’s not undeserved either. This alternative destination is invariably a a type of shop, usually a tailors. They get paid a commission from the shop just for bringing you there (though whether they admit this to you is another matter), and this often takes the form of cash and/or a free petrol fill-up in a nearby station. If you find yourself in this situation, there’s not much you can about it, except take a brief look in the shop, come out and wait to be taken to your proper destination. It’s not a good idea to buy anything in the shop, the prices are marked up significantly (30% +) to give extra commission for the driver and profit for the shop, so they’ll be cheaper elsewhere.

Remember too that tuk-tuks are no cheaper than taxis, and if you’re offered any trip for what seems suspiciously cheap (e.g. 10B, 20B or even free), they have to make money somehow. You can be 100% sure this fare will be subsidised by either visiting a few clothes shops or as part of the infamous gem scam. The plus side of this is that you can often get to your destination quite cheaply, providing you’re prepared to put up with a little sales pitch on the way. Some people even recommend telling the driver you know what he’s up to before you get in, and you don’t mind going to a couple of shops for him to pick up commission in exchange for a free ride ! Given that most tuk-tuk drivers English is extremely limited though (not extending much beyond ‘Hey you ! Where you go ? You want tuk-tuk ?’), how well this plan will work if you can’t speak Thai is debatable. On the other hand, it’s not unusual for the driver simply to drive off after receiving his petrol voucher and leave you in the middle of nowhere – not a nice situation if you are a new arrival.

In general, the same rules apply to tuk-tuks as to taxis if you don’t want any problems. Don’t take ones that spend all the time parked in tourist areas, don’t act like you’ve just arrived and problems are be unlikely. In addition, avoid offers from tuk-tuks for ‘shopping trips’ or ‘sightseeing tour’ for 20B/hour or similar, as it ends up wasting a lot of time. In the evening, when the shops are closed, is the best time to take a tuk-tuk if you want the experience.

How to bargain the price down in bangkok

How to bargain the price down in bangkok

If there’s one trap I’ve seen investors fall into time and time again, it’s “chasing yield”: getting pulled in by a high dividend yield and not digging deeper to see if that payout is really sustainable.

An asset class that’s collapsed in 2020—and is now on the verge of vanishing completely—is a classic example of the dangers of getting distracted by a high current yield.

The investments in question are called exchange-traded notes (ETNs), some of which held out the promise of mid-double-digit yields. Unfortunately, these funds—which some folks disastrously confuse with their bigger brothers, exchange traded funds (ETFs)—came with a catch that’s now sending their values to zero.

Let’s take a closer look at this cautionary tale and see what it tells us about some of the traps lurking out there in dividend-land.

ETNs Are Not the Same as ETFs

The first difference between ETNs and ETFs is that there are far fewer ETNs out there than ETFs—just a couple hundred ETNs at the start of this year—but, as the chart below shows, that number is dwindling as the amount of assets in ETNs has fallen to its lowest level in a decade.

How to bargain the price down in bangkok

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That’s partly because ETNs are underperforming, but it’s also because many are shutting down.

How to bargain the price down in bangkok

So far in 2020, 37 ETNs have shut down, or a whopping 17% of the total.

The Financial Times is the latest to report on this phenomenon (and I first warned about ETNs two years ago). Earlier this year, The Wall Street Journal did an in-depth report of some retirees who lost their savings in ETNs, which are issued by big banks such as Credit Suisse CS (CS) and UBS (UBS).

Trouble is, most investors don’t read the fine print when they buy ETNs—and that causes them to miss ETNs’ biggest problem: they’re structured in a way that lets the banks that issue them shut them down if their value falls too low; this clause is usually buried in the ETN’s disclaimers.

Here’s how I explained it back in 2018, when I was writing about the now-defunct VelocityShares Daily Inverse VIX Short-Term ETN (XIV):

“Credit Suisse is shutting the fund down. They can do this because it’s an ETN and not an ETF, and an ETN doesn’t hold the assets it’s betting against. The ETN was a credit product—essentially, shareholders of XIV were giving Credit Suisse a loan, and the value of that loan was based on a theoretical but nonexistent basket of VIX futures the ETN didn’t actually hold.

When the VIX spiked in early February, those futures became worthless, so Credit Suisse shut the ETN down, locking in investors’ 96% losses.”

Fast-forward to today, and the ETNs that remain are in rough shape.

Let’s take as an example Credit Suisse’s X-Links Monthly Pay 2xLeveraged Mortgage REIT ETN (REML), which pays an 18% yield. That means you could invest $167,000 in this fund and get a middle-class income stream paid to you monthly. A more seductive offer is hard to find. But this is the opposite of seductive.

Part of the problem is that REML invests in REITs that use leverage to offer mortgages to property owners, then leverages its investment in these leveraged companies! And REML is one of Credit Suisse’s better performing ETNs.

How to Avoid Yield Traps Like ETNs

So what’s our takeaway here?

First, and most important, when we see a double-digit yield, we need to dig deeper and see exactly why that yield exists. Another thing to bear in mind is that if a double-digit yield is sustainable, it likely won’t stay in the double digits for long: investors will discover it and bid its price up, thereby bidding its yield down (because yields move in opposition to prices). The key is to get into a fund when these dividends are overlooked (locking in your high yield) and then hold while the market discovers it and bids its price higher (generating capital gains).

This “high-yield-with-price-gains” scenario happens all the time with my favorite high-yield investments: closed-end funds (CEFs). Take, for example, a CEF called the PIMCO Income Strategy Fund II (PFN), which currently yields 10.6%.

PFN is a corporate-bond fund that has had a stable payout for over a decade, which is how it’s delivered a 9.1% annualized total return over that period. Most of the time, the fund yields around 8% to 9%. But as you can see in the chart above, PFN yielded more than 10% in late 2018 and mid-2019 and is doing so again now as investors oversold the fund in the spring and are slowly correcting their mistake.

Investors’ shift back into PFN is happening in slow motion in 2020, but it is happening. This is why you could snap up PFN now for a sustainable 10% yield—and then, when PFN’s yield falls to around 8%, like it did a couple years ago, you could sell it for a profit and move on to the next fund.

Plus, PFN is a CEF, not an ETN, so PIMCO can’t cancel it just because the market panicked, which means this is a fund you could trust your money with for years to come.

Michael Foster is the Lead Research Analyst for Contrarian Outlook. For more great income ideas, click here for our latest report “ Indestructible Income: 5 Bargain Funds with Safe 8.8% Dividends.

Published December 26, 2019 – Updated on February 2, 2020

How to bargain the price down in bangkok

Bangkok has the most number of freelancers of any city in Thailand. Not only does the city attract a lot of tourists, but it also attracts many of the Thai women from other regions of the country.

They come Bangkok in hopes of finding some independent business to do. And what better than to keep the male foreigners company, in exchange for some payment.

In this article I will give you a brief intro on the topic, then the best places to find freelancers in Bangkok. We will also learn about the prices, attitudes, and more helpful info in 2019.

Table of Contents

Intro

The huge influx of freelancers in this city has created an interesting supply and demand balance. No matter how many single male foreigners come to experience the nightlife areas in Bangkok, there always seems to enough working women to supply the consistent demand of male sex tourists. A huge portion of these women are the freelancers, and in terms of value, it may be the best option for most guys in Bangkok.

It can be a great thing to deal with the women directly, without having a bar act like a “middle man” to broker the deal. The high bar fine prices, lady drinks, and also your own drinks at the best girly bars makes it a smart choice to attain the services of freelancers these days.

Another guaranteed option is to head to the massage parlors, but those aren’t quite as cheap as most guys would like to pay for services in Bangkok.

Here are the best areas to find freelancers:

Nana Plaza Area

As the sun sets, you will gradually find more and more working women lined up just across the entrance to Nana Plaza, which is on Sukhumvit Soi 4. You will find freelancers pretty much on both sides of Soi 4, the closer it gets to Nana Plaza entrance.

For those of you that are new to the scene, just be aware that there will be quite a few ladyboys in this area as well.

Sukhumvit Road

The Sukhumvit stretch, mainly from around Soi 5 all the way to Soi 17.

In the evenings, and until late is where you can find many Thai women freelancers waiting for potential clients to walk by. This will be on the north side of Sukhumvit Road, the odd numbered Sois.

A large portion of these freelancers will be hanging outside (and inside) the famous Thermae Bar, located near Sukhumvit Soi 15. It is well-known place to find freelancers in Bangkok.

Nightclubs & Bars

Another great way to find freelancers in the city is to check out some of the popular nightclubs. Most of the clubs with working women will be around the popular foreigner areas such as Sukumvit. Some great nightclubs in Bangkok to find freelancers are Insanity, Mixx (at the Intercontinental Hotel basement), Sugar.

Some of the beer bars around Sukhumvit are also potential places to find some freelance working girls. The Beer Garden on Soi 7 is always a good place in this regard, and also some of the bars around the Nana Plaza.

Generally, you may find a potential freelancer in any of the tourist bars around the Sukhumvit Road area, especially around the red light districts, Soi 7, Soi 11, and Nana Plaza.

Online

Online is easily one of the best and easiest ways to find freelancers in Bangkok. There is a huge listing of profiles of women who are open to meet foreign males in exchange for some payment. This includes all types, from full pros, to semi-pros who are working independently to make some extra money on the side.

In terms of value, it may even be the cheapest. You don’t need to head out into the streets, bars, nightclubs to find women. All of which costs money to do.

Meeting all types of women online in Bangkok can easily be done by using a site like ThaiFriendly, which will give you quick access to a large listing of profiles to view.

Freelancer Prices in Bangkok

The cost of the getting the services from an independent freelancer is the following:

  • Short Time: Around 1,000 Baht – 1,500 Baht
  • Long Time: 2,000 Baht – 3,000 Baht

As always, keep in mind that the cost varies. The more younger and attractive women will be asking for the higher end of the prices.

Experience is also a factor. Once you understand the pricing and how to negotiate you will generally be paying the low end of the prices for the services. The prices I mentioned are the going rates for most women at the time of this writing (2020).

Freelancers Vs Bar Girls

As mentioned before, there is some key differences to know when it comes to getting your service from freelancers, as compared to the bar girls.

The main difference is that that freelancers work independently, and are not affiliated with any bar. So you may not be able to track her down in Bangkok. If anything goes wrong in the transaction, or if she steals anything from your room then you are most likely going to have to deal with it on your own or just accept what happened. Although it happens very rarely, it is still important enough for me to mention it.

The second factor is that bar girls get routinely tested for STD’s, whereas freelancers do not. There is a certain risk factor when it comes to getting services from a freelancers, but most guys are willing to compromise on that due to the cheaper prices and convenience.

The good thing is that with more experience you will get a better idea of which freelancers are worth going with, and which ones to avoid. But lets be honest, in this industry there is always a certain risk, even with bar girls.

About Tony

Tony is a blogger, an entrepreneur with a world of travel experience. He’s passionate about sharing his experiences with others. He writes on topics related to South East Asia, namely Thailand, Philippines and Vietnam.

Reader Interactions

Comments

Alan Williams says

Hi Tony from experience is it safe to leave your Money and valuables in the room safe, I’m staying at The Landmark on Sukhamitt next week…or should they have a Central Safe at the reception.Any advice would be welcome. Would it be ok in your opinion to take a Freelancer to my room, have met one on Thai Friendly just nervous thanks Alan

Hi Alan, from my own experience, its better to keep any large amounts of money and valuables in the safe when she is in the room with you. Also, if she offers you a drink when you return from the shower don’t drink it (just in case). Taking a freelancer back to the room is very common for many guys, but make sure you look out for any odd behaviors before going with them.

How to bargain the price down in bangkok

The Bangkok Shopping Guide

If you are a type of tourist that considers shopping a quintessential part of traveling, you should bear in mind that the Bangkok shopping experience is both a day and night activity. This city offers shopping in high-class stores, while also giving you an opportunity to try something cheaper and more in line with the Eastern trends. This shopping guide will lead you through it all, as well as teach you how to bargain and avoid being scammed. Furthermore, it will help you understand why Bangkok is one of the world’s most famous retail hubs.

Let’s discuss the top places to shop in Bangkok.

Retail Therapy

Many of us like to buy things as a type of therapy, and it works great for the majority of everyday problems. Now take that up a notch and imagine what it’s like to shop Asian style. The experience of shopping at one of Bangkok’s famous markets, especially at night, is something that you’ll be telling your grandchildren about. Buying low-cost, high-quality items will release all the stress built up from shopping at Western malls.

The Thai capital has it all — jewelry, clothing, shoes, and of course, food and spices you shouldn’t go home without trying. You can buy all that at Bangkok’s famous malls and night markets.

The Malls

Be aware that you can easily spend an entire day in one Bangkok mall. Malls are located all over the city. They are easily accessible from any part of the town and are almost always located near some tourist attractions.

So let’s explore some of the top malls to shop in Bangkok.

IconSiam

IconSiam is not just a mall — it is a multi-purpose building and one of the largest shopping malls in Southeast Asia. The first Apple Store in Thailand was opened in this mall. You can also visit an exhibition hall, and there’s a cinema complex with 14 movie theaters. IconSiam is famous for its riverside park of 10,000 m2 (110,000 sq ft) along the Chao Phraya River.

Terminal 21

This mall is another wonder of Bangkok. Part of the same building as Grande Center Point station, Terminal 21’s curvilinear glass-and-steel façade resembles a high-tech airport. Every floor represents one of the world’s famous cities. You can wander in a maze of shops in Tokyo City, walk down Carnaby Street, bag a bargain in an Istanbul souk, and feel like you are buying fish at a pier in San Francisco.

CentralWorld

This giant may be the largest mall you’ll ever walk into. The mall is located right in the heart of Chidlom, an area known for its many malls. It has an outdoor square for large-scale events, such as Bangkok’s official New Year countdown party.

CentralWorld’s retail stores allow shoppers to see storefronts at a glance, while skylights and open wells bring natural light. Sculptures made by famous artists line the halls, and you’ll tilt your head to look at 3,500 glass balls hanging in an open well.

Platinum

Platinum is famous for its specialized mega-stores like SuperSports, PowerBuy, B2S, Central Food Hall, SB Furniture, and Toys ’R’ Us, which span across several floors and offer fashion items imported from Korea, Hong Kong, Japan, China, and India. Each floor of Platinum Fashion Mall is named after one famous shopping district from around the world — Orchard, Nathan, Ginza, Soho, Oxford, and Camden. There’s also a fitness center, spa, yoga, and beauty center. It’s also home to The Rink, an open ice skating rink.

If you are a parent, you can take your kids to the Genius Planet Zone and Thailand Knowledge Park.

MBK Plaza

If your idea of shopping is to pay a few dollars for an Adidas T-shirt or a Gucci belt, MBK is a place for you. Opened in 1986, MBK Center is especially active on weekends, when half of Bangkok converges to shop for cheap. Be sure to visit MBK’s 3D Trick Art Museum while you’re there.

Siam Paragon

Siam Paragon is often referred to as the mother of all malls in Bangkok. It is a tourist destination on its own. Clothes are mostly from Thai fashion designers, and you should definitely explore this world.

The plaza outside the mall with its fountain is a popular meeting point and a great photo opportunity. In addition, this mall has a Sealife immense Aquarium with an underwater tunnel.

How to bargain the price down in bangkok

The Markets

Visiting a market is always a fun activity, regardless of where you are. The local vibe, people, and the atmosphere they create is an experience on its own.

Bangkok has something special not a lot of cities have. Night shopping at night markets is something that will change your idea of shopping. Let’s explore some of the top markets to shop in Bangkok.

Chatuchak Market

Chatuchak is the largest market in Asia. Even though navigating around busy stalls can sometimes be tricky, the sensory overload you’ll experience here is quite unique. You can taste different types of food that look otherworldly, hear loud music blasting from the bars, and relax in one of many massage parlors.

You can find literally anything here. The prices are low, and bargaining is part of their tradition, so don’t be afraid to ask for an even lower price.

Pratunam Market

Pratunam is more of a morning market in every sense of the word. The stalls there are open from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. If this is a little too early for you, there is another part of the market that starts to work around 11 a.m. and closes around 7 or 8 in the evening.

Pratunam is especially good for wholesale. Be prepared for crowds since it’s difficult to walk in here because aisles are incredibly narrow and packed with shoppers with food vendors and street sellers on the side. All of this makes the quintessential Asian street market experience. You should come to feel the atmosphere but also for low prices.

Talad Rot Fai Srinakarin Night Market

Talad Rot Fai Srinakarin is an incredible mix of a traditional market, hipster market, and drinking venue. It has changed its location a couple of times since it was first opened on land owned by the state railway of Thailand.

The underground vibe makes it an interesting place to visit even if you don’t plan on shopping. If you’re looking for something special, here, you can find specialized shops for vintage and retro clothes.

Klong Toey

This market is located in the poorest districts of Bangkok. It’s an underground food market specialized in selling seafood. If you are into photography (RELATED: How I got my first job in photography), you will probably stay here all day just looking at insane scenery you’ve never seen before. You’ll walk by open stalls with fresh seafood and get to feel how locals live around here. So if you are into exploring or street photography, this is definitely a place for you.

How to bargain the price down in bangkok

General Rules for Shopping in Bangkok

Bangkok’s unique shopping experience, like everything in life, comes with a certain price. The Thailand government isn’t particularly good at controlling the quality of the products sold at the stalls. Fake copies and cheap imitations are a normal thing here. So if you want to buy something truly branded, you should definitely avoid markets. Aside from fake branded stuff, watch out for scammers and walk away if anyone is offering you something without you asking first.

Another thing that is common for Thailand is that people like to bargain a lot. Don’t be ashamed to walk away if you’re not satisfied with the price or you plan to lower it as much as you can.

How to bargain the price down in bangkok

How to bargain the price down in bangkok

If there’s one trap I’ve seen investors fall into time and time again, it’s “chasing yield”: getting pulled in by a high dividend yield and not digging deeper to see if that payout is really sustainable.

An asset class that’s collapsed in 2020—and is now on the verge of vanishing completely—is a classic example of the dangers of getting distracted by a high current yield.

The investments in question are called exchange-traded notes (ETNs), some of which held out the promise of mid-double-digit yields. Unfortunately, these funds—which some folks disastrously confuse with their bigger brothers, exchange traded funds (ETFs)—came with a catch that’s now sending their values to zero.

Let’s take a closer look at this cautionary tale and see what it tells us about some of the traps lurking out there in dividend-land.

ETNs Are Not the Same as ETFs

The first difference between ETNs and ETFs is that there are far fewer ETNs out there than ETFs—just a couple hundred ETNs at the start of this year—but, as the chart below shows, that number is dwindling as the amount of assets in ETNs has fallen to its lowest level in a decade.

How to bargain the price down in bangkok

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That’s partly because ETNs are underperforming, but it’s also because many are shutting down.

How to bargain the price down in bangkok

So far in 2020, 37 ETNs have shut down, or a whopping 17% of the total.

The Financial Times is the latest to report on this phenomenon (and I first warned about ETNs two years ago). Earlier this year, The Wall Street Journal did an in-depth report of some retirees who lost their savings in ETNs, which are issued by big banks such as Credit Suisse CS (CS) and UBS (UBS).

Trouble is, most investors don’t read the fine print when they buy ETNs—and that causes them to miss ETNs’ biggest problem: they’re structured in a way that lets the banks that issue them shut them down if their value falls too low; this clause is usually buried in the ETN’s disclaimers.

Here’s how I explained it back in 2018, when I was writing about the now-defunct VelocityShares Daily Inverse VIX Short-Term ETN (XIV):

“Credit Suisse is shutting the fund down. They can do this because it’s an ETN and not an ETF, and an ETN doesn’t hold the assets it’s betting against. The ETN was a credit product—essentially, shareholders of XIV were giving Credit Suisse a loan, and the value of that loan was based on a theoretical but nonexistent basket of VIX futures the ETN didn’t actually hold.

When the VIX spiked in early February, those futures became worthless, so Credit Suisse shut the ETN down, locking in investors’ 96% losses.”

Fast-forward to today, and the ETNs that remain are in rough shape.

Let’s take as an example Credit Suisse’s X-Links Monthly Pay 2xLeveraged Mortgage REIT ETN (REML), which pays an 18% yield. That means you could invest $167,000 in this fund and get a middle-class income stream paid to you monthly. A more seductive offer is hard to find. But this is the opposite of seductive.

Part of the problem is that REML invests in REITs that use leverage to offer mortgages to property owners, then leverages its investment in these leveraged companies! And REML is one of Credit Suisse’s better performing ETNs.

How to Avoid Yield Traps Like ETNs

So what’s our takeaway here?

First, and most important, when we see a double-digit yield, we need to dig deeper and see exactly why that yield exists. Another thing to bear in mind is that if a double-digit yield is sustainable, it likely won’t stay in the double digits for long: investors will discover it and bid its price up, thereby bidding its yield down (because yields move in opposition to prices). The key is to get into a fund when these dividends are overlooked (locking in your high yield) and then hold while the market discovers it and bids its price higher (generating capital gains).

This “high-yield-with-price-gains” scenario happens all the time with my favorite high-yield investments: closed-end funds (CEFs). Take, for example, a CEF called the PIMCO Income Strategy Fund II (PFN), which currently yields 10.6%.

PFN is a corporate-bond fund that has had a stable payout for over a decade, which is how it’s delivered a 9.1% annualized total return over that period. Most of the time, the fund yields around 8% to 9%. But as you can see in the chart above, PFN yielded more than 10% in late 2018 and mid-2019 and is doing so again now as investors oversold the fund in the spring and are slowly correcting their mistake.

Investors’ shift back into PFN is happening in slow motion in 2020, but it is happening. This is why you could snap up PFN now for a sustainable 10% yield—and then, when PFN’s yield falls to around 8%, like it did a couple years ago, you could sell it for a profit and move on to the next fund.

Plus, PFN is a CEF, not an ETN, so PIMCO can’t cancel it just because the market panicked, which means this is a fund you could trust your money with for years to come.

Michael Foster is the Lead Research Analyst for Contrarian Outlook. For more great income ideas, click here for our latest report “ Indestructible Income: 5 Bargain Funds with Safe 8.8% Dividends.

Tips for Surviving the Market

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How to bargain the price down in bangkok

The Chatuchak Weekend Market in Bangkok also called J.J. Market or simply just “the weekend market,” is one of the world’s largest outdoor markets and the largest market in Thailand. It claims to be the largest weekend market in the world, drawing 200,000 visitors per week and sells almost everything you could possibly want, from pets to furniture to clothing.

Because the Chatuchak Market is so huge—sprawling across more than 25 acres—and popular, most visitors give themselves at least a few hours and up to a full day to wander and shop. Seeing the entire market in a day would be an exhausting endeavor, so it helps to have a shopping plan when you go.

Tips for Visiting the Weekend Market

With a little advice from those who often go, shopping the 15,000 stalls of the Chatuchak Weekend Market will be less daunting. While some of these tips will serve you well at any market, others are specific to the Bankok market.

  • Go Early: Go before the crowds, and the heat, which makes it hard to enjoy the shopping.
  • Get a Map: Chatuchak is big and confusing, so it’s easy to get lost. Grab a map from one of the visitor centers in the outer perimeter of the market or take advantage of the many maps posted inside.
  • Act Fast: If you like it, buy it now, as it will be difficult to find your way back.
  • Use a Landmark: The Clock Tower in the center of the market is the easiest place to find. It makes a good landmark for meeting up with people.
  • Beware of Scams: Although crime is fairly low in Thailand, petty thievery does happen in crowded markets. Don’t present an easy target (e.g., an unzipped backpack, smartphone sticking out of back pocket, etc.). Even still, you’re more likely to get “robbed” by being overcharged or sold a fake!

What to Buy

For visitors, the best values at Chatuchak are the housewares, Thai silks, handicrafts, and clothing.

Everything at Chatuchak is cheaper than at shopping malls (even MBK) and more touristy markets in the city, so savvy shoppers wait to do all their souvenir buying until they get here. There are also plenty of outlets selling furniture, hardware, music, instruments, Buddhist art, antiques, books, pets, plants, and lots of shirts, dresses, and shoes that are fun, cheap, and colorful.

What Not to Buy

Stalls in Chatuchak Market have been busted doing illegal trade of birds, reptiles, and other wildlife.

Like other markets throughout Asia, many products made from insects, wildlife, and marine materials are for sale. With no easy way to verify the source, even purchasing products made from seashells could be supporting damaging practices. Avoid anything made from animal products altogether.

Some items to avoid are:

  • Items made from animal products (e.g., ivory, crocodile skin, turtle shell, coral, etc.)
  • Preserved insects, snakes, and spiders
  • Antiques and items that could be considered “cultural artifacts” may raise officials’ eyebrows
  • Technically, it is illegal to export images of Buddha from Thailand, although this is rarely enforced

Bargaining

Unlike many of the other tourist markets in the country, Chatuchak is not a place for hard bargaining since all the competition keeps prices reasonable. If you’re buying a lot from any one vendor, you may get a 10 – 15 percent discount, but rarely more than that.

That said, you should still bargain for items a little. Do so in a good-natured way. If you can’t get the price you want, there is a very good chance you’ll see the same item again later, deeper in the market. But buy if it’s a one-of-a-kind find—there is a very low chance of finding your way back to the same stall later.

Shipping Stuff Home

There are a number of shipping companies with outlets in the market, and most can be found in the annex on Kamphaeng Phet II Road. Small items are probably best packed in luggage, but larger items can be shipped by a company like DHL to anywhere in the world.

Eating and Drinking

There are over a hundred stalls and restaurants in the market where you can buy cold drinks, sit down and rest, or have a full Thai meal. Most are outdoor, but for air conditioning, look for Toh Plue Restaurant in the main market or Rod’s across the street on Kamphaeng Phet II Road.

Plan to eat while visiting the Chatuchak Market. You can nibble from the street-food stalls, eat in the food court, or find a proper, sit-down restaurant. A handful of bars and nightlife options around the food court come alive in the evening.

Facilities

There are bathrooms, ATM machines, and even a police booth in the market. In 2017, free Wi-Fi was added to the list of amenities at the market.

Hours for Chatuchak Market

The Chatuchak Market is open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. The market looks open on Fridays, but this day is for wholesalers only. Wednesdays and Thursdays, just the plant section, is open from 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.

If you’re serious about shopping, arrive at the market early. You’ll beat some of Bangkok’s scorching afternoon heat and part of the 200,000 shoppers who visit the market every weekend. Some stalls shut down a bit early in the afternoon.

How to Get to the Chatuchak Market in Bangkok

The Chatuchak Market is located in the northern part of Bangkok, not far from the Mo Chit BTS Station. Bangkok’s horrendous traffic turns a relatively short distance into a long trip. Plan on around an hour by taxi from the Khao San Road area to the market. Use the trains when you can.

Beware of many shops and stalls along the way, hoping to intercept or distract you from the real market. You can get there by car, taxi, Skytrain or MRT.