Saturday, February 2, 2008

You want 10? I'll give you 5.

I loathe bargaining with people about money. I hate garage sales only because of all the people who are haggling around me. It makes me visibly uncomfortable. I know I am a minority in this, since everyone I know does haggle when it comes to price.

Some only do it when it comes to buying from garage sales. Others enjoy the experience while buying a car at a dealership. Many still, will bargain with sales people inside stores.

Everything about arguing (as i think of it) with someone about price is totally out of my comfort zone. I am outspoken and abrupt so it's not the confrontation that I am scared of. I just don't like this game. The seller will price the item higher so that he has room to come down. The buyer will offer a lower price, and feels good about themselves as they leave because they've gotten such a 'good deal'.

Why? Everyone knows this goes on. So what's the point?

I don't hold many garage sales as I'm sure you've guessed. I tried to but it doesn't work. I price things at the price I expect to sell them at but nevertheless, there is always a conversation about price that goes something like this:

Buyer: "how much is this?"
Me: "5 dollars"
Buyer: "I'll give you 3."
Me: "It's 5."

Then they get upset, and I get upset and at the end of the day, I have to pack up all my crap back into the garage. It's futile.

The other day we bought a 'new' car (a 2002) and JP wanted me to seal the deal while he was away. Problem was that he wanted me to offer $500 less than the asking price. He knew that it would be hard for me, but he had no idea how much so. I couldn't sleep the night before, I thought about it all day, and then, just before I got to the lady's house (the one that was selling the car) my palms got all sweaty. In the end, I couldn't do it. I found something wrong with the car, and told her my husband would be by later to look at it.

I am lucky that she allowed that to happen, and didn't sell it to someone else. When JP went there, he offered $500 less, she said she wanted $200 more than what he offered. In the end we bought the car at a price we were happy with and she probably got what she had originally anticipated.

But to me, this little 'haggling dance' cost me sleepless nights, sweaty palms, a headache and more than a few gray hairs. I'd rather paid her the $300 more she had asked for and be done with it.

I guess I am a lone breed in all of this, but that is how it is.


Sayre said...

I hate that process too. I have only done it successfully once, for a piece of art that my husband got in the divorce. Haggled it down from $200 to $50 - but only because I LOVED it!

Eileen said...

Haha. Remember the garage sale you and I had? You priced things how you wanted them priced.
I agree with you for the most part. I HATE haggling with people for some things, especially cars. Remember when I worked at the toy store? People would ask me there if they could pay less for things than were priced. Would you do that at any other store? NO!
Unfortunately, that's the way a lot of the world is. The price is not the price, it's a 'starting point'.
I like going into 'normal' stores where you see a price tag, pay that price, and walk out of there without any surprises.

VV said...

I'm annoyed by haggling too. It seems dishonest to me. It's like, "look, I know you overpriced this, so I'm going to offer less" but I have no idea what their bottom line is, so if my "less" is still more than what the object is worth and they accept the bargain, I know I'll feel cheated, even if I never know for sure that I got the lowest price. Does that make sense?

That girl said...

Sayre - see, I look at that completely differently. If I loved the piece of art so much, I would just buy it at full price and not risk losing it. I'm such a dork, eh? LOL

Eileen - I SO remember that garage sale. You kept telling me to price it higher if I wanted 'x' amount for it. It was nerve racking. LOL. I don't understand how people haggle for lower prices in stores, especially in the one you worked in. Makes no sense to me.

VV - It is dishonest. And after you get them to lower the price, don't you just get furious, on principal, that they don't give the best price to start with?

tweetey30 said...

I dont like haggling either. I do it when I need to but other wise I am not really into it.. I am going to attempt my first garage sale this summer. Just some clothes that the girls arent wearing anymore. Will see how it turns out.

Dave said...

I don't know if they have Saturn dealerships in Canada; but, you'd love them. Sticker price is THE price. Down here, that's well, un-American.

The trick, and I make a living negotiating, is to not involve yourself emotionally in the deal. Know what you want, what you want to pay, and walk away if that doesn't happen.

luckyzmom said...

My philosophy is, "It doesn't hurt to ask". When we bought our present home, I wanted our first offer to be $12,500 less than the asking price (based on comparable homes I'd seen). My husband thought it would be insulting, so we offered $5,000 less as the realtor suggested and settled on $2,500 less. We went through a similar process with our latest new car. After some angry words, I finally understood his point of view. He is uncomfortable with bargaining. So from now on I will suggest I do the bargaining. I think you should be up front about how you feel about bargaining because, like me with my husband, I don't think he would want to put you in a position of feeling uncomfortable.

That girl said...

Tweets - good luck with your garage sale! Many people have great success with them.

Dave - We do have saturn dealerships here. Although, I bought my car from Toyota. Walked in, paid, walked out. Not even a test drive. (i knew I wanted a yaris for a while, and I'm familiar with how they run, so I didn't need a test drive) I must have been an easy sale for the salesman.

I do apreciate your advice about staying out of it emotionally. Maybe with practice, I will accomplish this.

Luckyzmom - You totally hit the nail right on the head. I too, find it 'insulting' to the other person, if I were to offer less. I think, like you guys, we'll just have to make my other half the 'bargain-er' and just leave me out of it :-)

Queen of the Mayhem said...

I detest haggling. I am SO with you on this! I just can't stand it....maybe that is why I have avoided buying Mr. Mayhem a new truck so makes me VERY uncomfortable!

Garage sales are the absolute WORST.....I avoid them like the plague!

That is why I do most of my shopping online!

Awesome Mom said...

I hate it too. I don't dicker even at yard sales. If I end up with something cheaper than the actual price it is because the seller offers it to me cheaper.

That girl said...

Queen - I too, am happy shopping online. I get it done in a fraction of the time and don't even have to leave my room. that to me, is a waaay better than all these people lining up for hours for the boxing day sales. Ugh.

Awesome mom- If the sales person offers it cheaper, I am happy with that as well... that's the only way I get a 'deal'. Oh, and coupons. I am so NOT above using them while I grocery shop.

Jazz said...

I hate bargaining too. Which is hell when you're travelling in Asia or South America where it's not only expected, it's the way things are done.

Which is why I travel with Mr. Jazz.

HamiHarri said...

Negotiating for stuff is both exciting and fills me with anxiety at the same time...

Pat and I have talked a lot about our "plan" about selling the condo and the price and such...

For some things (like milk and bread) I think there should be a set price...

For other things like cars/houses and even souvenirs, I think bargaining/negotiating allows for both parties to feel like they "won" or at least got something out of the deal.

luckyzmom said...

PS-I posted a picture of my watercolors. Know you'll want to have a look.