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)?

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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?

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