For some, souvenirs are the kinds of things you dangle from a keychain or stick onto the refrigerator. For me, they're investments. One of my favorite pastimes when I travel is to shop the artisan markets for local arts and crafts. Like closing a deal in finance, I think of these souvenirs as my deal toys. I've scored rugs from China, Morocco, and Turkey, art from Ramatuelle in France, and landscape paintings from Montenegro. My best acquisition was an authentic Chin Dynasty bowl that my husband, with his eagle eye, discovered in the Dongtai Markets in Shanghai. We later saw a similar piece in a museum in Japan. Items like this are rare to find nowadays, but I'm always on the lookout.
The negotiations - and the people I've met along the way - are as memorable as the souvenirs. There is no one size fits all when it comes to negotiating globally, but there are fundamentals. Here are a few of the tips I've learned in my travels to over 45 countries: