It was very nice to have a local with me while going to Grand Bazar. I think I was able to do a reasonably good bargaining myself, but it was good not to be alone, mainly it was good that the other person was a local, spoke the language, etc! Worth it!
My husband and I did the "Let's Shop and Bargain" tour with Merve, and are so glad we did! We were really trying to make the most of each day we had in Istanbul, and the Grand Bazaar is quite big and overwhelming the first time you go in - we honestly didn't have an entire day to devote to going to each stall and trying to figure out who had the lowest prices. Merve knew where to take us for each item on our list, so we never got lost once. Also - don't underestimate how helpful it is to have a native Turkish speaker to bridge some of the language gaps and negotiate the prices (most of the sellers spoke some English, but there were times when we were describing what we were looking for in detail, and she was able to convey that with no problem). Finally, let me just say that Merve is such a genuinely sweet person. We left feeling like we had a friend in Istanbul! Don't miss out on this tour!
Istanbul merchants can be very sweet talking and can convincingly persuade you to over buy. Having a native really helps when bargaining and getting the best price. So not only will shopping with Merve be fun, but it will also save you money!