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The Art of the Deal

 
 
fishin
 
Reply Mon 11 Aug, 2003 03:03 pm
Are you a "wheeler-dealer"? Is shopping a chance for you to see if you can whittle down the marked price on something?

I never have been. I'll look around and see if I can find teh best advertised price on something but I'm not one to haggle with a sales person. Once I find the best price I just buy it at that price and I'm done with it.

Today was one of the rare times in my life where I've actually tried to negotiate my way into a deal (I didn't really have much to lose to begin with so there wasn't any risk..) and it actually worked. It isn't a huge amount of money but it worked anyway. It's an interesting feeling of accomplishment. It's almost like I got away with something that I shouldn't have.

In someplaces in the world the haggling is expected. For the most part it isn't here in the US (at least not in a retail store).

If you are a haggler what do you get out of it? If you aren't, why do you avoid it?
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Craven de Kere
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Aug, 2003 03:16 pm
I rarely even compare prices but as you say, in some parts of the world haggling is a must. Especially for foreigners.

I'm trying to haggle on the price of a server now though.
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Sugar
 
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Reply Mon 11 Aug, 2003 03:21 pm
I look high and low for the cheapest price. When buying online I do a separate search for coupon codes for certain sites to get something even cheaper (an extra 10% off today at art.com - woohoo!). I've never haggled though. The boy's brother does it all the time and is pretty successful. I guess I just feel too weird - almost an odd sense of shame that I appear cheap and I'm bargaining because I can't really afford what I'm attempting to purchase.

I don't know. I suppose we all do it for big ticket items like cars and houses, but I'm not sure how I'd fair on regular store bought items.
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kev
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Aug, 2003 04:08 pm
Whatever you do fishin dont ever take a holiday in Morrocco you have to barter for everything including cups of coffee, my wife and I were asked for £5 per cup, after 15 minutes we got it down to .50p per cup a saving of £9.

I wouldn't go again if it were free.

Like you I hate bartering, which ruined the holiday.
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fishin
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Aug, 2003 05:11 pm
Ha! Server haggling I could prolly do Craven!

Yeah, we do quibble on cars and houses Sugar. I guess we expect to and most people don't have a problem with it in those areas. Maybe because of the high $$ we're willing to play the game.. ???

Been there kev! Not in Morrocco but I played the game in the open-air markets in Saudi and Egypt. I guess I don't really hate it so much but it's more that I'm just not comfortable. I hate not knowing if I got ripped off or if I made out ok on a deal. I don't have much confidence in my on the spot deal making ability. I guess you have to know what everything is really worth to be comfortable and isn't a strong area for me.
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Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Aug, 2003 05:20 pm
I will bargain for large items. We just got a new air conditioning system. The salesman gave us a price (I figure that he had a bit of leeway), and I told him what I wanted to pay, and he agreed.
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quinn1
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Aug, 2003 07:49 pm
Due to certain employment opportunities I have found that there are MANY MANY ways to haggle on many items you wouldnt naturally believe - here in the US at least - that would work prices with you, payments, options, etc. Its all quite interesting but, Im the same way...unless its a car or a home its just not a 'natural' feeling.
Mostly, if you find a service be it landscaping, cellular, uniforms, etc they are all businesses and all have competitors. You find their price, price of competition, and decide which one you'd like. You then check all areas like web pages, advertisements, etc. for competitors specials or call for quotes. When you call up about the services you are more interested in you just let them know about competitors. They will generally give you the same deal for the service you are really interested in.
I have known people who have this down to not only a science but, an art form. Its scary. Especially when they want me to do it for them. Its creepy, I agree.
I suspect in this economy you can generally go further with many items.
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Misti26
 
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Reply Mon 11 Aug, 2003 09:03 pm
Dr. Phil had a show on the other day about negotiating deals. He said women do not like/want to negotiate. Most of the women on the show agreed, they do not care to negotiate, because they feel they are cheating the salesman out of his paycheck/commission.

Dr. Phil went on to explain the sales people do not expect to get the marked price. They expect to be haggled, and they are aware that women do not haggle. Dr. Phil went on to state when you go to buy something, first you must realize you CAN live without that item, that takes the anxiety out of it. You then should ask "is that your best price?", if the salesman says yes, you then should tell him you're not a buyer at that price.

It was very interesting, and pissed me off royally that most women don't haggle and men do, and they get the best deals!
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Aug, 2003 09:16 pm
Oh, I loooooooooooooooove to haggle. LOVE it.

That said, I will only do it in venues that are "appropriate." I won't go up to the clerk at Target and say, "This bike is nice, but I ain't gonna pay $39.99 for it. Howzabout $25?"

But at flea markets, for example, I go hog wild. And have gotten some absolutely amazing deals. (I SO miss the Rose Bowl and Pasadena City College Flea Markets...) I flat-out lie. (They do it, too...) I put my money all over the place, in different pockets, in different parts of my purse, and will take out that one lonely $10 bill and say sadly, "this is all I have left..."

I've gotten oriental rugs for $50 (NICE ones -- I don't care about the real provenance, I don't believe they're 250 years old, but they're actually wool and they're actually nice colors and they've lasted great so far), really good quality vintage 40's jackets for $10 and under, turn-of-the century prints for $2-5, vintage silk scarves for 50 cents, etc., etc., etc. (With the scarves and such, it was often more like they were marked at $5/ each, and I gather up several of them -- say 7 -- and offer $10 for the lot.)

Anyway, I like it for that feeling of accomplishment, like Fishin' says -- all kinds of people either don't ask or unsuccessfully attempt to haggle, and pay more for the exact same thing. Plus there's a weird element of comaraderie when the hagglee realizes he/she is dealing with someone who knows her stuff...
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Mon 11 Aug, 2003 09:26 pm
I moan and groan, wheel and deal, suffer and complain, barter and haggle. Now, I don't have it down to the fine art that my friend Yvonne does - there's something about the TONE of her voice - I don't think you understood me. Shocked - but I'm quite good at it. I did quiet well this time 'round at buying a car. I wore the guy out. I had time, I had the money, he had a month-end quota to meet.

I'm a fan of the technique noted by Sozobe - but this is all the money I have - or - well, my budget for this is this. I guess I can't afford both of these so I won't take either.

Of course I pick my targets. I won't ever bargain at Goodwill - and as a result, they always give me a deal when they're doing their own pricing at the cash register. I'm not good at bargaining at places like Sears - the afore-mentioned Yvonne does extraordinarily well at large chains like that. Again, there's something in that TONE.
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kev
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Aug, 2003 10:25 am
This subject has always been a source of annoyance to me , because there is a saying in yorkshire, that yorkshiremen are so tight with their "brass" (money) that they can buy from a jew and sell to a scotsman and still make a 100% profit.

In many cases it's probably true but this art form unfortunately gave me a very wide berth.
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Aug, 2003 10:48 am
Yes, you can bargain at Sears, at least on major appliances & furniture. Also, nonfunctional blems, like a scratch on a toolbox are money in the pocket. In the latter case, you've only to ask.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Aug, 2003 10:53 am
Right, I do that kind of thing all the time. (Makeup marks on clothes, etc. Fels-naptha will get 'em out. Smile)

What about a $39.99 bike at Target, though? (My take is "no", but if that's OK, watch out folks in red...)
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farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Aug, 2003 10:55 am
Or, you can ask the salesman to make a blem in a most obscure location.
Haggling is in my families DNA, we argue over ice cream . Merchants get tired and give in more frequently than let the world know about this dark secret.
I cannot understand the logic of people saying how very much they had to pay for something.That just tells me how stupid they are How little you paid, thats somebody I wanna hang out with.
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Aug, 2003 11:00 am
When i was in Korea, we had a ball doin' this. The small shopkeepers find you boring and worthy of nothing but contempt if you don't haggle. Sometimes, they turn their back and walk away. We used walk up to a stall in the market, turn over a few goods, and then laugh, remarking: "Numba hocking (at this point, "hawk" and spit on the ground) ten!"--which means the very worst. The shopkeeper will get exited, and begin comparing you and your ancestry to dogs. You then make remarks of the appearance of his mother, and her lack of pubic hair. At some point in the discussion, you ask how much--without breaking stride in his invective against you, the shopkeeper replies with his first price--and you laugh uproariously. The rhetoric gradually tones down as the price is lowered. Finally, you walk off, with say, a beautifully carved marble chess set for 10,000 wan (about $30 when i was there), which is a steal. The shopkeeper is laughing to himself about the crazy round-eyes who paid 10,000 wan for a 5,000 wan chess set. Everybody goes home happy.
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Aug, 2003 11:29 am
I've haggled where it is expected, say in Mexico at a tourist spot. Don't haggle much in every day life, but I don't shop all that much.

Sometimes in our gallery we give a discount (if agreed by the artist before hand), but that is rare..if someone buys more than one expensive painting we will take 10% off of a second one, fifteen percent off a third. On the other hand, our prices are as low as we can stand in the first place, and when people we happen to know have plenty of money start right off looking for a deal, we are swift to be firm - not that we aren't firm anyway, our prices are our prices. We don't want to down price our artists' work, as they have pulled their prices up over time, and downpricing can devalue someone's earlier purchase.

Once in a while someone is insulted that we won't give them a deal. An architect I know wants a big discount to buy one of my own paintings. But they were already underpriced, and have gone up and sold for more since then. We're still pals, but no deal.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Tue 12 Aug, 2003 11:32 am
Right, that's the thing, Osso. I don't want to bully someone who really can't lower the price. But people who CAN lower the price often say, first, and quite convincingly, that they can't. So I usually stick to venues where I know they're lying. Very Happy

Target probably CAN lower the price, but I don't want to bully some middle manager who will get in trouble for it.
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quinn1
 
  1  
Reply Thu 14 Aug, 2003 05:17 pm
How interesting was it today when Mr Auto dealer man called me with the inexcusable price for a catalytic converter, well just cuz Im 1000 miles and a few months over the warranty its enough to make ya nuts, and low and behold...Cass does what she has been talking about....
Can you do any better?
No hesitation at all.....
10% off
I saved 50 bucks!
Of course, Im a good customer....sigh Rolling Eyes
still...
its worked.
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