How to bargain in Malay, Learn with Conversation

Who doesn't appreciate the thought of getting something they want at a reduced cost? It's always good to get your favorite item for a lower price because you can now save that money for other things. However, if you bargain incorrectly, the seller may become angry and you will not receive the lower price; worse, you may be unable to purchase the thing you desire.

People in Malaysia rarely bargain in shopping malls since the prices are often fixed. Bargaining in this case may be futile.

However, you actually can negotiate prices in morning markets when purchasing vegetables, meats, and groceries, as well as in night markets when purchasing clothing and decorations. However, because a majority of Malaysian sellers are Malay locals, they frequently speak Malay, which may not be your first language.

And haggling in a language in which you are not familiar can be difficult and time-consuming. If you're wondering how to negotiate in Malay, you've come to the perfect spot. We'll go over several tips and tactics, as well as some examples of how you could bargain in Malay.

Make comparisons between different shops.

Prices for things in Malaysia might be cheaper than you think. You could get a bunch of clothes for less than RM100 (around USD25$) in night markets. However, if you think that the prices are just too unreasonable for you, you could bargain with them, but always make sure you do compare the prices between each seller before you make a judgment.

In markets, the prices of things may not be stated clearly on the board. However, if you do love the one you chose, you could ask the seller for the prices first. Here are some ways you could communicate with the seller.

  • Malay: Hi, saya sangat suka baju ini. Reka bentuknya menarik dan cantik. Berapakah harganya?
  • English: Hi, I love this piece of cloth very much. Its design is attractive and beautiful. How much would you sell it for?
  • Malay: Hi, Berapakah harga untuk membuat satu rantai kunci di sini? Saya mahu membuat sesuatu rantai kunci bagi abang saya untuk hari jadinya minggu depan.
  • English: Hi, how much is it to make a keychain in this shop? I would like to make a keychain for my brother who is having his birthday next week.

Always be nice and be ready to give any relevant details.

Of course, one of the most important factors which determine whether you will get your items at a lower price is your attitude.

Even though there is a language barrier, try to smile and communicate efficiently with your seller. Here are some nice words you could say and some of the details you could give to make your seller have empathy with you.

  • Malay: Baju ini cantik sangat dan saya ingin membelinya untuk cucu saya kerana minggu depan ialah hari jadinya. Tetapi baju ini mahal sangat dan saya tidak mempunyai wang yang cukup untuk membelinya.
  • English: This piece of cloth is very beautiful and I want to purchase it for my nephew because he is having his birthday next week. However, this is too expensive and I do not have enough to make this purchase.
  • Malay: Durian ini mantap dan sudah masak. Saya ingin membelinya untuk anak saya yang balik dari Singapura. Dia memang suka makan Durian. Tetapi harga ini terlalu mahal, bolehkah beri saya harga yang lebih murah?
  • English: This durian is robust and ripe. I want it for my son who is coming home from Singapore. He loves Durian. But this price is too steep for me, can you give me a cheaper price?
  • Malay: Kasut ini sesuai untuk diberikan kepada kawan saya yang ingin ke UK bulan depan. Saya ingin membeli tetapi RM300 terlalu mahal kepada saya. Bolehkah saya dapat diskaun untuk kasut ini?
  • English: These shoes are really suitable as a gift for my friend who is going to the UK next month. I want to buy it but RM300 is too expensive for me. Can you give me a discount?

Or you could also try to compliment the seller with something nice. For example:

  • Malay: Walaupun kedai ini sudah lama dan kamu sudah tua, tetapi kamu masih dapat menjual banyak. Itu bagus!
  • English: Even in your old age, you store is still selling strong. It’s great to hear that.
  • Malay: Reka kedai ini sangat cantik! Saya sudah tertarik dengan reka kedai ini. Tauke pandai mereka kedai ini.
  • English: The decorations in this shop is exceptional! I am really attracted by the nice designs. You really do have great taste.
  • Malay: Sate yang dibuat oleh tauke sangat sedap dimakan dan rasanya berbeza dengan kedai yang lain!
  • English: These satays are really nice to eat and the unique taste is different from the other shops!

Try to buy in large quantities.

Similar to the law of economics, the seller would want to get as much profit as possible. Meanwhile, buyers would want to get their items at a cheaper price. If you can’t get your discounted items, try this trick. You would want to try bargaining the price of goods by buying more. For example, if a bunch of flowers is priced at RM50, you could try to bargain for 3 bunches for a total of RM120.

This trick usually works because the seller’s merchandise will run out quickly as well, which makes their sales increase.

Here is how you could bargain like this in Malay:

  • Pelanggan: Tauke, berapakah sejambak bunga ini?
  • Customer: Boss, how much is it for this bouquet of flowers?
  • Tauke: Sejambak dijual pada harga RM50. Kamu mahu membeli sejambak bunga ini?
  • Seller: One bouquet of flowers sells for RM50. Do you want it?
  • Pelanggan: RM50 untuk sejambak terlalu mahal untuk saya. Bagaimana RM100 untuk tiga jambak bunga?
  • Customer: RM 50 for one is too expensive for me. How does RM100 for three bouquet sounds?
  • Tauke: RM100 untuk 3 sudah terlalu rendah. Saya masih mahu membayar kos penghantaran yang banyak.
  • Seller: RM100 for three is too low. I still have to pay for the enormous amount of delivery charges.
  • Pelanggan: Oh, begitu. Macam mana dengan harga RM200 untuk 5 jambak. Saya boleh memberi bung aini keada kawan saya. Saya sudah membeli banyak, bolehkah beri diskaun lebih la.
  • Customer: Oh, that’s true. How about RM200 for 5? I can give them to my friends. I have already bought a lot of flowers, could you give me more discounts?
  • Tauke: Ok la, RM200 sudah dapat membayar kos penghantaran. Saya menjual ini pada harga kos kepada kamu la.
  • Seller: Alright then, RM200 is enough to cover the delivery charges. I am selling this at cost price to you.

Start your bid at half price

When you start bidding, try to start the bid at the middle point. That way, you could work your way up and meet in the middle to satisfy both parties. Here are some examples of how you could start the bid.

  • Pelanggan: Baju yang dijual pada harga RM40 ini terlalu mahal, bolehkah jual kepada saya pada harga RM20?
  • Customer: This cloth which is priced at RM40 is too expensive for me. Can you sell it at RM20?
  • Tauke: RM20 terlalu rendah. Saya boleh jual kepada kamu pada harga RM35. Harga ini sudah sangat rendah.
  • Seller: RM20 is too low for me. I can sell I at RM35. This price is already very low.
  • Pelanggan: RM35 masih terlalu tinggi. Bolehkah rendah lagi, saya tidak mempunyai banyak wang lagi dan saya memang mahu baju ini. Bolehkah dijual pada harga RM25?
  • Customer: RM35 is still too high. Can you give me a lower price? I do not have much money left and I really want this cloth. Can I buy it at RM25?
  • Tauke: RM25 masih terlalu rendah. Berapa wang yang dibawa oleh kamu?
  • Seller: RM25 is very low. How much money did you bring?
  • Pelanggan: Saya membawa RM30 sahaja. Bolehkah saya membelinya pada harga RM28?
  • Customer: I only brought a total of RM30. How about I buy it at RM28?
  • Tauke: Bolehlah, saya menjualnya pada harga kos kepada kamu sudah.
  • Seller: Alright. I sell it at cost price only for you.

Promise to recommend and return to the shop

When all the other methods do not work, try this. Try convincing the seller that you will help to recommend their shop to your friends. In addition, you should also promise that you will be loyal customers. Here are some examples so that you can practice.

  • Malay: Bolehkah saya mendapat diskaun membeli basikal ini? Saya akan memperkenalkan kedai ini kepada kawan saya yang ingin membeli basikal juga.
  • English: Can I get a discount for my purchase? I will recommend this shop to my friends who are interested in buying bicycles.
  • Malay: Saya juga akan datang ke kedai ini lagi apabila saya ingin membeli alat tambahan untuk basikal saya.
  • English: I would also come back to this shop if I want to buy accessories for my bicycle.

Here is a sample dialogue for you to practice.

  • Penjual: Hai, selamat datang ke Kedai Johnny. Nak cari apa?
  • Seller: Hi, welcome to Johnny’s shop. How may I assist you?
  • Pelanggan: Hai, saya ingin mencari sebuah hadiah untuk kawan saya. Dia akan pergi ke Singapura pada minggu depan.
  • Customer: Hi, I would like to find a gift for my friends. He is going to Singapore next week.
  • Penjual: Oh begitu, saya mempunyai kek lapis yang sedap. Saya pasti kek lapis kedai ini akan menyejutkan kawan anda.
  • Seller: Alright. We have delicious cakes here. I guarantee that our cakes will make your friend wanting for more.
  • Pelanggan: Oh boleh-boleh. Berapakah harganya?
  • Customer: Sure. How much was it?
  • Penjual: Satu kek lapis dijual pada harga RM20. Berapakah anda ingin membeli?
  • Seller: One cake is sold for RM20. How much do you want to buy?
  • Pelanggan: Saya ingin membeli 5 buku kek lapis. Bolehkah saya membelinya pada harga RM60?
  • Customer: I want to buy 5 cakes. Can I buy them at RM60?
  • Penjual: RM60 terlalu rendah, saya boleh memberikan RM10 diskaun kepada kamu sahaja.
  • Seller: RM60 is too low. I can only give you a RM10 discount.
  • Pelanggan: RM90 mashi terlalu tinggi. Bolehkah saya membeli 5 pada harga RM100 dan kamu memberikan saya dua lagi kek lapis percuma.
  • Customer: RM90 is still too high. Can I buy 5 of them at RM100 but could you throw in 2 more for free?
  • Penjual: Saya akan rugi jika saya berikan 2 kek lapis kepada kamu percuma. TIdak boleh.
  • Seller: I would be selling it at a negative profit if I do that. I cannot do that.
  • Pelanggan: Kamu membantu saya, saya membantu kamu. Saya akan memperkenalkan kedai kamu kepada kawan-kawan saya. Saya juga akan datang lagi kepada kedai ini pada masa yang akan datang. Bolehlah membantu saya dengan harga ini.
  • Customer: Let’s scratch each other’s backs. I will recommend the shop to my friends if they want to buy cakes. I would also come again to this shop soon. Please help me with this price.
  • Penjual: Tidak boleh. Tetapi saya boleh memberikan 1 kek lapis percuma sekiranya kamu membeli 5 pada harga RM100 boleh?
  • Seller: No. But I could give you only one cake for free if you buy 5 of them at a price of RM100. Is it okay?
  • Pelanggan: Boleh boleh. Terima kasih ya.
  • Customer: Yes. Thank you.

There you go. That is how you could bargain in Malay. Give it some practice and you could be getting your items at a lower price or even the lowest price.

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