How to Haggle in Divisoria and Make the Most of Your Shopping Budget

School supplies, imitation products, kitchen ingredients, birthday party prizes and the likes. Name it. Divisoria is one heck of a shopping district for cheap stuff. If you don’t mind overruns or unbranded stuff at an affordable cost, then Divisoria is the best place to get them.

A great bargaining ability is one of the must-haves for any Divisoria shopper. A Php300 item can go down to a Php150 because of two things: 1) their capital is really low, meaning they can still adjust, and 2) you can play your cards just right. No matter how low the prices at Divisoria may already seem, though, haggling powers will still be helpful if you want to go on a real shopping spree there.

WIMmap

Quick Guide :

A – Drop-off

Usual drop-off point from Divisoria-bound jeepneys coming from, Cubao, San Juan, Sta. Mesa, LRT-2 Recto Station.

B – 11/88 Mall

Only a few stalls are open and there are fewer people. You can find a lot of clothing stores here and a few stalls of bags and purses, too.

C – Lucky Chinatown Mall Annex

Generally more expensive than those from the farther side of Divisoria, but you can get great finds of cheap food and clothes.

D – Lucky Chinatown Mall

Probably the “fanciest” mall in the area with stores such as Clark, which will make you wonder why it’s there.

E – Tutuban Mall

Not the cheapest side of the place, either, but you can also find clothing stores and bridal wears there.

F – Tutuban Mall Annex

Extension building of Tutuban Mall which caters to a variety of products such as clothes, bags, accessories and even preloved gadgets.

G – 999 Mall Bldg 2

One of the newest buildings in the area which has a skybridge connecting to building 1. Has a variety of products, as well. Basement has a lot of fabric stores and bridal wear.

H – 999 Mall Bldg 1

Clothes, toys, bags, shoes, accessories – name it. Also, try out the fresh lumpia seller at G/F nearest the Soler-Reina Regente Entrance just at the side of the escalator.

I – City Place Square

Not much in here since it’s really a residential area. However, it does have an ACE Hardware, a Gold’s Gym and a number of clothing stores.

J – 168 Mall Building 1

A vairety of stalls for pretty much anything you might need.

K – 168 Mall Annex

Mostly clothes, bags, and novelty shops.

L – 168 Mall Building 2

Also caters to a variety of products. Also has printing shops. The basement has a grocery and bridal wear.

M – Dragon 8

Newest mall in the area. Contains pretty much what the other malls have, but it’s new, so some stalls are still vacant.

N – Juan Luna St.

Upholstery, , flooring and linoleum, and sandals are mostly along this street.

O – Ilaya St.

Cheap fabrics and clothing are along this street.

P – Tabora St.

Birthday, debut or wedding giveaways, and raw materials for projects can be found here.

Divisoria_Shopping_teemoy

 Divisoria Shopping, Wikimedia, photo by Teeemoy

Preparation:

  • Don’t wear or bring anything that shouts ‘fancy’. People won’t lower the prices if you have an iPhone.
  • Bring small bills and coins. If you keep pulling out 500’s and 1000’s, you might become a target of pickpocketers and the like.
  • Be friendly and casual. You need good small talk to get the “discount mood” in.

Being thrifty is a way to get the best deal out of your money. However, make sure to still be considerate of others and haggle reasonably. There are a lot of hot-headed tinderas and owners that will shoo you away or indirectly insult you by saying “isa lang naman bibilhin mo e” whenever you bargain for a price.

How to Haggle in Divisoria and Make the Most of Your Shopping Budget

6. The I’m-just-a-student sad face.

Don’t forget to mention that you need the items for school and that you have so many other expenses and that you really need them and that you’re “poor” because you’re still studying. I’ve tried this a few times since I’m always mistaken to be a 1st year college student.

divisoria shopping good guy greg

5. The walk-away.

This has a 50-50 chance of working, unless you’re a potential buena mano. This is where you pretend like you’re not going to buy the item anymore because it’s expensive, then walk away. Before leaving, you can also throw in the words “sa iba na lang ako bibili, mahal dito eh.” Sometimes the seller will end up agreeing to your haggled price, just so they won’t lose a customer… other times, they will simply let you go.

divisoria shopping y u no

 4. Mr./Ms. Kulit.

Bug them. Simple as that. Keep your friendly and pa-cute tone handy and use phrases like, “sige na, ate…” and “bigay mo na sa’kin ng mas mura, kuya *flash a smile*” Just don’t be too annoying, especially if you plan to come back someday.

divisoria shopping

 3. The fraudster.

The scene: pretend like you’re canvassing for something and have already encountered someone who sells it at a cheaper price than what is being offered at the store that you are at. If you see an item for Php50, for example, pretend like someone offered the same thing for Php40, but you didn’t pursue it because you were hoping to find a lower price. If they want to make sales, then they will usually agree. Just a warning, though: my colleague Mark shared his ate’s experience with me wherein the tindera said “Sige, ituro mo saan ‘yung ibang nagbebenta. Kami lang nagbebenta ng ganito rito.” Which is kinda embarrassing, right?

divisoria shopping brian

 2. The boss tapper.

Remember: tinderos and tinderas price products based on what their bosses tell them to and that’s about it. Chinese families are hands-on with their businesses, so it’s highly likely that they will be sitting by the counter collecting and giving change. This gives you the chance to casually ask if they can still give you a lower price. Use the words “achi” (ate) or “anya” (kuya) to call their attention.

divisoria shopping success

1. The friend magic.

To be more specific, a Chinese friend, or at least someone who can speak Fookien. Most of the owners in malls inside Divisoria are Chinese, and the majority of them speak Fookien. While many are able to speak and understand a bit of Filipino, a lot of Chinese also practice “tangkilikin ang sariling atin.” So, if you get the ball rolling by haggling in Chinese (usually Fookien more than Mandarin), then yay! This has proven to be effective by my friends who take me with them. Haha!
divisoria one does not simply

Going to Divisoria is a fun (and tiring) thing to do. At times, prices can be low and it’ll make you feel like it’s embarrassing to haggle, but don’t be scared as the worst that could happen is getting a “no” as a reply. Practice your haggling skills and your friendly tone and your Php1000 will go a very long way! Surely, once you get the hang of it, you’ll appreciate Divisoria even more!

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