The first thing you need to know about bartering in Egypt is that you can do it pretty much anywhere: markets, shops, taxis and tour operators are all flexible on their prices, so never accept the first offer. However, you shouldn’t haggle for anything you’re not genuinely invested in buying – if the seller gets the impression you are just playing around they (quite rightly) wont be very happy.
If you’re sure you're interested in buying something, try to set an upper limit in your mind that you are willing to pay based on what it's worth. Make sure the seller doesn’t see a bulging wallet or get the impression you have a lot of cash as they will be loath to budge on their price if you think you can afford it.
Always ask the seller to offer a price before jumping in with a counter offer: this is the only way to gain the upper-hand in a haggling session and the seller may try to force you to state your price first. Once you have a starting price, offer the lowest price you think you can get away with without offending the seller and then take it in turns to adjust the price.
Your first few offers should stay the same until the seller begins to bring their price down: if the seller isn’t reducing the price as much as you like, attempt to walk away from the deal and you might soon find their prices drop dramatically.
Bartering in Egypt can save you a pretty penny, but it can also be a lot of fun, especially if you can throw a few Arabic phrases out to grease the deal: get “La'a, da ghaali awy,” (“no, that’s too expensive”) pitch perfect and you’ll soon be on your way to a cheaper deal!