Feb 17, 2010


Do you know that the majority of Indonesian society prefer traditional markets than supermarkets or hypermarkets? One thing that also makes the traditional market in Indonesia is still their choice because they are free to bid or bargain for merchandise sold. Bargaining for Indonesian people is a common practice and much-loved especially by housewives. Besides they can get cheaper goods, a bargaining process brings the consumer satisfaction because they feel to be able to defeat traders’ set prices. Unlike a fixed price, the price of the bargaining is considered in accordance with the agreement of both parties.
source of photo: www.stuffiranianslike.wordpress.com
Bargaining tradition in Indonesia is almost done in various areas and each region has its own uniqueness. In Padang, West Sumatra, for example, bargaining activity is known as marosok. Marosok is the bargaining process that happens between a seller and buyer using shaking hands. The shaking hand process is always covered by another object, such as gloves, clothes, or hats. Each finger represents the value of money. This activity is not only done by the mothers but also common practice done by the father, though perhaps not as persistent and so strict as the mothers.
picture by: www.west-sumatera.com
Transaction is done "alone" between sellers and buyers by using sign language. Without any speech or discussion, traders and buyer just shake hands and play each finger to transact. However, the shaking hands is unseen by person outside the seller-buyer.  The purpose is to make other people do not see the transaction process. Through that way, the price is known only between the seller and buyer.
When bargaining takes place, sellers and buyers shake hand each other, holding his fingers and shaking from side to side. If the transaction is successful, all hands off each other. Conversely, if prices do not match, the hand still clutch the other hand while offering a new price that can be agreed. This is a unique habit of bargaining in Indonesian community. For this matter, Indonesian people can be relied on.


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