How To Buy Something in Thai Posted by palmisano on Sep 9, 2011 in Beginner
Buying things in Thailand can be a challenge to noobies in the Land of Smiles. Sure, you can point and gesture and type prices on a calculator, but that will only get you the special ‘farang price’ . . . You can always purchase based on the price tag, but many sellers are willing to go lower if otherwise they’d lose the sale. Most of these sellers are professional sellers, so you won’t be able to out-smart them. But I’ve found that if your Thai is good enough, you can smooth-talk a lower price.
I remember once a long time ago back when I was still new to speaking Thai. I had tried my hand at bargaining for a lower price. It was my first attempt at bargaining, and I decided to bargain 20% lower. But I accidentally got my numbers confused and asked for a price 60% lower . . . three seconds later he said yes, which was about the time I needed to realize that I mis-spoke and just got the deal of a life-time. Well, it was just a pair of green shorts, and I only saved like $5, but I was a dirt poor fresh graduate without a job back in those days . . .
Anyway, here is a list of a few phrases that will help you purchase stuff like a pro.
How much is this?
เท่าไรครับ tow3rai1 krap4
อันนี้เท่าไรครับ an1nee4 tow3rai1 krap4
กี่บาทครับ gee2 baat2 krap4
It’s very expensive!
แพงมากเลย paeng1 maak3 loy1
Can you lower the price?
ลดราคาหน่อยได้ไหมครับ? lod1 raa1kaa1 noy2 dai3 mai5 krap4
Do you have this in size X?
มีไซซ์______ไหมครับ? mee1 sii1 ______ mai5 krap4
สามสิบสอง saam3 sib2 sawng5 (this is a number, like size 32 for example)
Do you have this in color Y? (see this blog post to learn about Thai colors)
มีอันนี้เป็นสี______ไหมครับ? mee1 an1 nee4 bpen1 see5 _______ mai5 krap4
Do you sell XX?
ขาย_____ไหมครับ? kaay5 _______ mai5 krap4
Where can I buy YY?
ผมซื้อ_____ที่ไหนดีครับ? pom5 sue4 _______ tee3 nai5 dee1 krap4
I’d like to buy Z of them.
ขอ_____อันครับ kaw5 _______ an1 krap4
In that last example, I’d like to make a mention that everything you buy has different ‘unit words’ associated with them. If you are a beginner and want to keep it simple, use อัน. 80% of the time it won’t be correct, but you’ll easily be understood no problem.
Since we are on the subject of Thai markets, here is a video of one . . .
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