While haggling at markets, most 'experts' recommend to offer half of what the seller quotes for an item and hopefully meeting somewhere halfway. Is this the case in the Grand Bazaar? If not, any recommendations on how to go about negotiating prices?
Unfortunately this is the case in the Grand Bazaar. The best thing you should do is to be patient. For one item you are looking, ask at least 4-5 different shops and get their best prices. At the end, go and negotiate with the best price and try to meet at the 60-70% of that best price. Sometimes boring and tiring process, but this is how it works. almost 7 years ago
Haggling is all part of the fun of the Grand Bazaar. My suggestion is decide how much you want to pay for it and then stick to that.
I always offered around 80% lower than the asking price, and expected to pay around 50% of the asking price as my final price. If you start really negotiating hard on a price, then it is expected that you will close the deal, so jumping from one stall/shop to another is not really the done thing.
I would stroll by, ask generally the price and if you find something you like, then decide what you want to pay and settle down with some "cay" for a while and enter into it with fun.
If you cannot agree at all on the price, and sometimes in the confusion of exchange rates people are arguing over a very small amount, then leave the shop. If your price was a good one, they will come after you, but if you were too cheap, then they will leave you alone.
Remember - they do this all the time so are experts at it! almost 7 years ago
I made reservations for that same period and we are staying at a nice decent hostel for a week in Sultanahmet area called Old City Esma Hostel Quite cheap for 10 euros a night you get a bed there and it seems to be very clean, and as most reviewers said "it has the fluffiest pillows in Istanbul" ... I would go for it almost 7 years ago