Bartering, haggling, negotiating … a price is never fixed!

Recently my husband talked $25 off a home inspection that I don’t think we would have got if he hadn’t asked for it.

I was lost in admiration. Coming from my comfortable Western world, I wouldn’t have dreamed of asking for a discount. The price seemed fixed to me.

It reminded me of a scene when I was in Africa as a tourist. This street vendor was speaking to me loudly and rapidly, holding up first one beaded necklace and then another, all in a language I couldn’t understand.

“I don’t speak English,” I said.

He continued jabbering at me in another language.

“How much?” I finally asked.

Immediately, without blinking an eye, he said, “Twenty” – in clear, unmistakable English!

Ah, money – that universal translator. But for some reason, something not quite so universal is the desire to barter, haggle and negotiate. When I go into a supermarket store, for instance, I expect to pay the listed price.

For big things like buying a house, or a car, or even with salary negotiations, I’m uncomfortable trying to haggle. This article on the Forbes blog, “Why Men Are Better Negotiators Than Women,” listed some points that made a lot of sense to me.

Do you find it easy to barter? Or are you like me, far more comfortable paying the sticker price (and presumably getting ripped off)?

About multiculturalmarriage

I'm glad to be part of a multicultural marriage! I grew up in the U.S. but am married to an African husband. This makes life challenging, creative and cool - all at the same time!
This entry was posted in Communicating/Relating techniques, Finances, Ways of life and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Bartering, haggling, negotiating … a price is never fixed!

  1. Here’s another sucker for being ripped off, I’m afraid! Maybe that’s one of the reasons for marriage. Stick a man and a woman together and at least one of you is usually a better negotiator! 🙂

    • That’s an interesting point, gracefullflower … that one of you has to be better than the other. Sometimes, though, both of you can be just bad at something – like directions, for example! We keep constantly getting lost. At least, so we always say, we can be lost together.

  2. Jen says:

    I visited London once and had to ask a friend to do my bartering for me so that I got a better deal! There is something so uncomfortable about it for me. I wish things were just honestly priced as what they are worth, but that would be the death of capitalism wouldn’t it…

    • I’m with you on the “uncomfortable” part, Jen! I’m glad you had your friend with you, though. I really admire people who can do bartering well. They’re usually very relaxed, personable souls who make you feel as though you’re in a win-win situation (both buyer AND seller are comfortable with the final price), if you know what I mean?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s