We've just returned from a few days in Morroco during which we visited a few souks to have a look around. We picked up some tips about selling by observing Morrrocan Souk shop holders and thought we'd share them.
To start with when setting up your stall never put a price on anything and make sure everything is close together so the customer cannot see your products easily.
When a 'customer' gets near your stall/shop approach them and start a conversation. This conversation must include an enquiry about the customers nationality and location of where they live as it is inevitable that you, the stallholder (or wife) will have a mother, father, brother, sister, cousin, camel, goat or sheep which lives or has visited or comes from the customers town.
When the customer reaches your stall step out into their path and block their progress. If they hesitate and look at you or your products this is a sure sign they want to buy so greet them warmly with a shake of the hand. It is important at this moment not to let go as you can then guide them into your 'shop' using your free hand around the shoulders if extra persuasion is necessary.
Once the customer is inside the shop your previously unseen assistant must then stand across the entrance - this will allow you to release the customers hand and pass several products to the customer even if they haven't asked for them and remember......
If its too big - it will shrink in the wash,
if its too small - it will stretch in the wash or with wear
If its the wrong colour - it doesn't matter as the colour available suits the customer
If the customer says no - they don't mean it and are only playing hard to get
As a last resort don't forget to mention your sick mother/wife/children
If the customer does get away without buying don't forget you can follow them down the souk until the next shopowner takes over.
As a last resort if you fancy the customers wife never offer more than 4 camels - that is the absolute top price to pay for another wife.
Whilst the above is written tongue in cheek and not all Souk stall holders are rogues each of the above incidents happened to my wife, son and I in the last few days whilst visiting Agadir and Marrakech. Having visited several parts of the world we are not unused to the 'bargaining' nature of shopping but I must admit our recent experiences in Morroco were certainly more intimadatory and aggressive than we have previously experienced.
Looking forward to this years first event in a couple of weeks ........... I wonder.............