Friday, February 11, 2011

Bargain

My middle brother Ben is quite a haggler. He has no difficulty arguing prices and talking people down. When we were in Mexico a few years ago he talked a vendor way down on jewelry in what was a memorable haggling. He does it in a direct, but somehow amicable manner. He smiles, he pushes the person to lower and lower prices---never letting on that he will buy it regardless of the chosen price. Watching him haggle is like watching a full fledged performance. I marvel at his abilities.

I, on the other hand, am waaay too polite. The few times I have tried my hand at bargaining I felt the sweat form on the palms of my hands, my chest tightened as my breathing became erratic. I usually cave immediately. I think, well maybe this amount is really all the person can afford. I don't want to insult them. I imagine that they have starving children at home who are all dependent on full price sales. I am not quite sure what my problem is---what do I think will happen if I just try?

So a few weeks ago when I spotted an old sewing cabinet at a thrift store I was not very eager to try and bargain, but it was priced for more than I wanted to pay. So, I marched up to the counter where there was a female cashier. I can't tell you what she looked like because I was too freaked out to make eye contact (I get this way when ordering food over the phone also). I squeaked out my intent and we marched over to the sewing cabinet. She pulled out her best moves saying, "I just put this on the floor and I hate to lower prices on the first day."

Normally this is where I back down (which is so strange because I am generally quite outgoing and definitely not a submissive type), but I decided to press her. "Well, there are some serious repairs that need to be made, I think it's over priced," I said, nearly whispering that last bit.

She paused for a moment as I pointed out some areas that would need mending. A sigh. "Well, I won't go any lower than $15, " she said.

"Sold!" I barked out enthusiastically. I may have been able to talk her even lower, but I was just so excited to have a successful haggling.

Sewing Cabinet

I took my victory home and made the necessary repairs, but now I am trying to decide what color I should paint it. Any ideas?

Are you a good haggler? Any tips for my future as a haggler?

9 comments:

affectioknit said...

What an awesome cabinet!...no I'm not a haggler...way too shy for that...

the mountain fox said...

That's a cool cabinet! And well done for haggling! Dark blue maybe...or something unexpected like orange? You could use some wallpaper as well....

Emily said...

Oh man, I am terrible at haggling. Like you I can hardly speak or make eye contact. I usually just have Mike do it! :)

Christina said...

It's fantastic! It would look good in any colour I think. Way to go for getting up the courage and getting it for only $15!

:)

Ben said...

Looks like you got a good deal; the sweating and tightness in the chest is the whole reason I like to haggle in the first place.

Keia Kato-Berndt said...

That cabinet is so cool. I wouldn't paint it at all, the natural color is nice ;)

Lindsay said...

I too am terrible at haggling. I experience the same "shyness" ordering food over the phone! I'm glad I'm not the only one. I found a sewing cabinet at a thrift store a couple months ago... very mid-century, but luckily the price was just right for me: $4.95.

New follower and love your posts.

sophie said...

Haggling is expected in South Africa but when we were there I couldn't do it - it is a seriously poor country and I just couldn't not pay the asking price - Andrew thought I was crazy but he couldn't see that place through my eyes! I love the cabinet, $15 is a bargain.

sarahlozecki said...

I hate haggling, but I think the secret is acting like they are crazy for questioning your lower offer. Not in a mean way, but just a shrug of the shoulders if you don't mind not buying it, but also the shrug that says "it was worth asking about". I have been known to shrug in the mirror a few times to practice when going to the thrift store near me with some tough cashiers!

Decor two cents: Light color or leave it natural.

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