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The Chinese Art of Haggling That You Can’t Miss!

Mar. 8, 2019

HSK 3 quiz

Bargaining is an art and may be very helpful in daily life. At least, it is so often used in most markets and back-street clothes shops. And when you want to bargain over the price with the salesman. “卖家 (mài jiā) The seller” usually use this Chinese phrase “一分钱,一分货 (yì fēn qián, yì fēn huò) You get what you pay for” as a response.

Key Learning Points: (Preview)

一分钱,一分货 (Yì fēn qián, yì fēn huò) you get what you pay for

“一分 (Yì fēn)” means one cent, “钱 (qián)” means money and “货 (huò)” means goods.


A: Nǐ zhè tiáo qúnzi zhēn hǎokàn, duōshǎo qián?
A: 你这条裙子真好看, 多少钱?
A: Your skirt is so beautiful! How much is it?

B: Sì bǎi kuài, yǒudiǎn guì.
B: 四百块, 有点贵。
B: Four hundred yuan, a little bit expensive.

A: Shì yǒu diǎn, búguò yì fēn qián yì fēn huò, zhè qúnzi chuān zhe duō yǒu qìzhì ya!
A: 是有点,不过一分钱一分货, 这裙子穿着多有气质呀!
A: Yeah, it is. But you get what you pay for. You look so elegant in this skirt!

In fact, many Chinese like to “砍价 (kǎn jià) drive a hard bargain.” Why? Because they know very well that many daily items are not worth the price that the seller gives, hence there is the phenomenon of “货比三家 (huò bǐ sān jiā) shopping around; comparison shopping; shoppers researching purchases.” In addition, if you spend a few extra minutes negotiating prices, you may save tens or even hundreds of yuan and there will be a great sense of satisfaction such as the psychological satisfaction of saving a small percentage.

Not only that, everyone wants to buy something cheap and beautiful. Therefore, they engage in bargaining and bargaining is like a debate, which for some people, it is very exciting and interesting.

Here Are Some Common And Useful Sentences for Bargaining:

Gěi wǒ dǎ ge zhé ba.
Give me a discount.

Mini-Test Answer: 打折 (DǎZhé) Discount

Kě bù kěyǐ piányi yì diǎn mài gěi wǒ?
Could you give me this for cheaper?

Rúguǒ wǒ duō mǎi xiē néng dǎzhé ma?
Can I get a discount if I buy more purchases?

Zhè yàng dōngxi wǒ kěyǐ zài bié de dìfang mǎi dào gèng piányi de.
I can get this cheaper at other places.

Zuì dī nǐ néng chū shénme jià?
What’s the lowest you’re willing to go?

Bàituō, nǐ jiù piányi yì diǎn gěi wǒ ba.
Come on, give me a little deal on this.

Key Words:

折扣 (Zhékòu) n. discount

砍价 (Kǎn jià) v. haggle; drive a hard bargain

还价 (Huánjià) v. bargain


Gùkè: Qĭngwèn zhè dǐng màozi duōshăo qián?
Customer: Excuse me, how much is this hat?

Shòuhuòyuán: Liǎng băi wǔ shí yuán.
售货员: 250 元。
Shop assistant: 250 yuan.

Gùkè: Tài guì la! Néng piányi yì diǎn gěi wǒ ma?
Customer: That’s too much! Can you give me this for cheaper?

便宜 (PiánYi) Cheap / Let Someone off Lightly (Intermediate)

Shòuhuòyuán: Liǎng bǎi yuán. Zhèshì wǒmen de zuì dī jià le.
Shop assistant: 200 yuan. That’s our rock bottom price.

Let’s take a short quiz to practice some of the vocabulary you’ve learned! Leave your comments below if you have any questions or have any special experiences with bargaining!

And if you want to really experience the fun of bargaining over the prize in Chinese, welcome to register our free trial, to have a role play with our Chinese teacher, come and join us!

HSK 3 quiz
1. Read the dialogue and answer the question below.

Xiǎo Hóng: Zhè tiáo kùzi tài guì la, wǒ zuìduō zhǐnéng chū yì bǎi yuán.
小红: 这条裤子太贵啦,我最多只能出100元。

Shòuhuòyuán: Duìbùqǐ, wǒmen jùjué huánjià.
售货员: 对不起,我们拒绝还价。

Which of the following statement is true according to the dialogue? Please choose the best answer.

A. Xiao Hong thinks this pair of trousers is very cheap.
B. Xiao Hong wants to bargain over the price with the salesman.
C. The original price of this pair of trousers is 100 yuan.
D. The price of this pair of trousers is less 100 yuan.

See Answer Analysis

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