Personal Finance – Caffeinated

Jolting For More Jingle Jangle

A Haggler’s Reply January 31, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — coffeecents @ 5:52 pm

So I’m featured in the Washington Post today.  Cool.

The comments left by web denizens are interesting.  I’d want to reply to a few representative comments:

tslats wrote:

That’s it, keep looking over the items in stores, trying them on, using sales persons’ time and threatening their commissions ..

–Tslats, what you’re talking about isn’t haggling.  If you’re going to haggle, it’s important to know what you want and what price you’d buy it for.  And it is an absolute sin of haggling to “waste” time (time value of money and all that).  Haggling should be very direct and non-obtuse, ie “I want X there but I want to Pay Y.  I will buy it right now for Y.”  And that’s it.  No time wasted.

90172 wrote:

Remember. “Always shop at stores with bare concrete floors.”

Haggling is too “Middle East” for me. We’re corrupt already. We don’t need to adopt actions that can lead to more corruption.

and

We’re turning into Old Mexico.
thoughts wrote:
This is wonderful. Bartering is an early indicator that third world culture is coming on strong. What great multicultural progress!
–I’d say your racism is appalling.  Too Mexican, Too Middle-Eastern.  Since when did haggling become racial?
mosullivan wrote:
Wow. Just…wow. I’m very happy that most of us, at least, understand how commission and tips work. For those of you out there who DO perform this horrible wheeling-and-dealing, I REALLY hope you taste your own medicine. When you try to con from salespeople and waiters by whining, and when you try to trick people into giving you a product for free or for an unwarranted discount, you are not chipping into the company’s profits. You are stealing yes, STEALING–from that salesperson or waiter.
–Now, this is a really typical comment.  And one I have a big problem with.  By asking for a lower price, that somehow steals money away.  I must ask the question: Exactly how is that stealing?  It’s a person’s responsibility to look after their own wallet.  For my family, I’m going to get to the best deal I can.  Just because someone has X in salary doesn’t mean that they stop living a fiscally fit lifestyle.  Stealing means that you take something that already belonged to someone else.  Seeing as the target of a haggle (the product) isn’t sold, its not anyones?  I suppose whenever we buy a car we’re stealing from the car salesman since most car buying  involves haggling
eklektra wrote:
It’s not that people don’t feel comfortable haggling. Its that they are only comfortable haggling on certain items and the list of those items has not expanded yet. There’s no outpouring of sympathy when we knock 10% off a car price, but 10% off a pair of shoes is gauche?
— Both really good points.
And Finally, from a small business owner
jwardjr000 wrote:
I think it is great! From a retailers perspective that is. We have spent the money to get you in the door, we have knowledgeable sales staff ready to do the deal. Now, at that moment I’m going to let him walk out the door? No way! If I have bought the product right, on a level playing field, which I have most of the time. Then it is easy, give up a couple points, I get a sale and the Customer gets a deal. That is how it is. I own and Ace Hardware store with a large weber grill department, all of the grills are sold online, but then you once in a while get a person to comes into the store and works the “Lets make a deal” I truly have fun with it. Because I know I bought them right, and I can give them a deal better then anywhere else!
–That’s a guy who gets it.
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