Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Bargain like a gypsy

Bargain like a gypsy, but pay like a gentleman, says a Hungarian proverb.
I have never mastered the art of bargaining. In fact, I stand at a distance when my wife bargains at certain shops. Amazingly, she mostly triumphs quoting lesser prices.
She also knows the outlets where the trick will not work. When she finds a shopkeeper irritated by her haggling, she would push me to the forefront to bear the brunt of verbal assault.
What is funny is that I find many prominent shops announcing 50 per cent or even 70 per cent reduction in prices almost round the year. I have seen a 70 per cent price reduction board at a brand shop in a prime location for nearly a decade. Does it mean that they make a huge profit even when they sell at a 30 per cent price? It’s a mystery.
My personal experience of bargaining has been a crushing defeat, literally.
I was walking with a group of friends when a roadside vendor in Mumbai flashed colourful dress material for sale. Not keen to buy, I quoted less than half the price.
“Take it,” came the reply, leaving me dumbfounded.
I fell for the bait, picked a shirt piece and merrily went home. Thinking that I should wash the cloth before I gave it to a tailor for stitching, I drenched it in a bucket of water and left it for drying.
Next day, I could not identify the material as it was totally crumbled and in the size of an undergarment.


  1. hahah! Nice post! I hate bargaining and haggling with annoying shopkeepers so I prefer fixed price shops :)

  2. You've chosen a good topic, yes some people are good at bargaining, others aren't. But we can see the decline of roadside vendors - two decades ago there weren't so many showrooms and malls around, so bargaining was prominent but now it's all modernised and price fixed.

    Coming to the sale thing, price reductions are more a marketing gimmick trying to attract customers - if a product is being sold for 30% of its original price - it is either too old stock which needs to get cleared or it is low in quality.

    You have given a good message. Well written Bhai, Cheers!! :)

  3. I bought a hair band for 25 rupees from a shop and it broke the next day. I guess it was not worth even 2 Rs. :-( Street shopped items are not meant to be washed !! haha :D

  4. Lol..discounts are to hook wink people. As I am in business I know how it works..;) but sach ki bath hai.. I have not offered any discounts...till now.:)

  5. Hehe
    The shrinking shirt ...!!

  6. Even I am a complete failure when it comes to bargaining.
    In fact,I find it very embarrassing when my wife bargains.

  7. Very interesting. Yes, bargaining is an art mostly mastered by ladies.

  8. And, you didn't tell us what your wife thought of your skills. However, I can guess the rest. :)

  9. Well those who keep the 70% sale going round the year are marketing genius and poor buyers falling for th neat neat trap:)

  10. Not in the genetic make up of us Brits to bargain and haggle. My attempts whilst on holiday left me feeling uncomfortable and once paying more than the original price asked for.