What do you think of when you first hear the word haggling? Do you imagine yourself at a flea market browsing the aisles for antiques? Or do you picture a garage sale with people looking through old boxes and milk crates full of odds and ends?
Most of my haggling has been done overseas while on vacation in a foreign country.
I absolutely love going to their local markets or even vendors on the side of the road and checking out their handicrafts. Locals know you’re a tourist and assume you have lots of money. In my experience, when I ask how much, I find they’ll often offer me a price which is pretty high (It helps to know the conversion rate to see if you’re being ripped off, as well as a bit of the language so you can ask how much and say things like too expensive). And so begins the battle of bargaining, naming prices back and forth until either you’re satisfied or you walk away in search of a better bargain.
Sometimes I feel bad for walking away, but at the same time I feel I have the upper hand. They just lost a potential sale. I feel even worse when they try to call me back, but sometimes you just have to walk away and move on.
I’ve had a few experiences haggling or if you prefer a better word, bargaining back home. One instance was when I was just about to purchase a pair of shorts that were already on sale. I noticed there was a button missing and asked politely if it was possible to have a further reduction on the price. The salesperson asked her manager and I ended up paying only $10 + tax for those shorts, which are in still decent condition.
The second instance with clothing was when I was going to purchase a winter jacket (again on sale) and noticed a rip in the inner lining (barely noticeable). I mentioned it to the salesperson and that since it was the only one left in my size and the colour I wanted, I would be willing to purchase it if he could apply a small discount. Again, he asked permission from his manager and I walked away with a nice jacket for a much cheaper price.
I don’t normally go looking around for already damaged clothing, nor do I intentionally try to damage the clothing just to get a discount. Like many people, I’ll do a quick check of the clothing to see if there are any holes, rips or buttons missing. If I can’t find one in better shape and if the damage seems repairable, then I have no problems in asking for a discount. I don’t see anything wrong with asking for a discount and being reasonable about the amount, such as an extra 5-15% off. All you have to do is ask politely. The worse that could happen is that they say no. Stores want to get rid of last season’s clothing or clothes that aren’t selling well to make room for the new stuff.
I even consider price matching at the grocery stores or electronic stores as a guaranteed successful haggle. There’s nothing more satisfying than knowing you found a better deal and it’s given to you.
Kijiji is also a great place to haggle. It’s like one online giant garage sale. Although there is no rule set in stone in terms of setting a price, I personally think that all sellers should say on their ad that prices are negotiable within reason. It’s such a huge turnoff for me when I see that the seller says that this price is firm. Really??!?! You honestly couldn’t take off $10-$20? Next!
Do you consider yourself a haggler? What have some of your haggling experiences been like?
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