Tourist always 'kena sembelih' when they shop and dine in Penang.
Of course la kena, obviously you're tourist ma..even if you are Malaysian from other states.
Do you want tips on how to minimize your loss?
Ok, fine...when you travel to Penang you have to pantang on few things:
1) Speak Mandarin and Cantonese, you need to either speak Penang Style Hokkein or Northen Malay dialects.
2) Speak other than Northern Malay Slangs, Keyel, Jaybee, Kelantanese are most dangerous.
3) Shop and dine where the other tourist go, normally at tourist spots like good old Batu Ferringghi, Upper Penang Road, Padang Kota etc.
4) Begging for discount where you can demand for it. (the power is yours)
5) Rush buying.
6) Compare your own currency exchange rate with RM while shopping.
The reasons to pantang
1) Obviously Penangites get less price than foreigner, so if you cannot speak all the above, get ready to be axed on your neck.
2) Those slangs are slaughtering-prone because they are so easy to notice. Imagine,"Pokcik kawe maghi jauh ni, bagila diskaun seriyal duo". Doesn't sounds North at all.
3) If you choose to shop and dine at tourist spot, you are asking for it. Instead of Padang Kota go to Padang Brown-trust me the food there are far better and price are cheaper. Instead of Kek Lok Si go to Lorong Kulit for cheaper immitation goods.
4) Do not beg for discounts, you are the buyer, its your choice what? Go for as low as 70% less and gradually up to 50%. Take your own sweet time. You're in holiday, no rushing. Always stick to maximum 50% less the original price.
5) Like I said, no rush buying. You need to ronda-ronda and window shop for 1 round and then come back to the shop that offer the lowest price. They are abundant and the products are all the same.
6) Don't compare to your Sing Dollar (oopss!) or other currencies because they are of course deceiving. You might think its really cheap but then its hell a lot cheaper than that.
If you think that you have so much money to spend during holiday, and you don't really care giving it away for an imitation goods, WTH just do as you please.