Whilst backpacking, I have met some incredible artists making beautiful hand made craft goods, I have also met some incredible sales people selling beautiful hand made goods. It is very hard when you see those things at that time to know when you are getting over charged. It's also hard to tell who it was made by, and how much time it took them to make it, or whether it was just a factory.
I am used to knowing to price of something when I go into a shop and buying what I need, so when I go to these markets, question if I need any of this stuff or is it a case of FOMO, I do know I have missed out on some absolutely bargains and some one of a kind items.
So, ask yourself………
Does it seem like a lot for what it is?
Would you buy it in your home country?
When you see it or wear it what does it make you feel?
What is this made of?
How did they make it?
Is it unique?
Do you like the person who is selling to you?
First rule of negotiation
Look around know the prices
Check the quality
Ask for the best price and walk away or say no it's ok I will go back to my friends shop. If they don't come back with a better price then you know that they are giving a good price, go grab a drink from somewhere, think about it and if you want it grab it.
This works 90% of the time. However sometimes you will meet artist that has such a good story that what ever they are doing, it just has to be bought.
We travel across Guatemala, and got to a place call San Pedro La Laguna, which was a very cool little artisan town that we fell in love with, walking down the street one day we met a jewellery maker nomad who had traveled all over Central America finding stones and making unique pieces with them, we sat with him as he showed us a stone and he whipped up this incredible necklace right in front of our eyes, he said the stone was made for us, and actually didn't want much money for it, this was a special gift, we appreciated what he had done so we gave home more.