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do you haggle?

paul wheaton
Trailboss

Joined: Dec 14, 1998
Posts: 20494
    ∞

This just popped into my head as I was thinking about the forgive/integrity thread ...

I am, personally, not a fan of haggling. I know there are people, and entire cultures, where this is the way to live. People love it. I don't.

It seems like haggling is something where you start off from a point that you know is not fair. You know a fair price is $20, but you start at $2 (or $200). So the party starts with a price that is advantageous to themselves.

I like the idea of starting at the fair price. Here is my fair price. You either think it is fair, or you don't.

As engineers, it seems that there are frequently decisions to be made and some engineers seem to be of a haggling variety. They start with saying something like "the only path is XYZ" - they know it is not the only path, but they say it is in the hopes that this will be a form of persuasion.

It just seems wrong to me.

Am I the only one that thinks this way?


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Deepak Bala
Bartender

Joined: Feb 24, 2006
Posts: 6661
    
    5

When people initiate the haggle i propose the fair price and thats that. I finish the deal then and there. If they dont want to accept it i am off.

Ever haggled over a salary proposal ? Me, not yet.


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Jeroen T Wenting
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 21, 2006
Posts: 1847
Living in a culture where it's considered rude, I generally don't.
Exceptions are cars and houses where it's called "negotiating a deal" instead of haggling and quite expected (not to mention the asking price there is always more of a guideline).

In some places I know I'll get a discount, but I'm not going to ask for one.


42
Ashok Mash
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 13, 2000
Posts: 1936
Agree with Jeroen there, its considered almost rude here, and I would be mighty p*ssed if my manager were to "haggle" my estimates. I enjoy when he goes 'alright, sounds good', so I make sure my original estimate is as realistic and competitive as it can be, well most of the time anyway!


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Ben Souther
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 11, 2004
Posts: 13410

You seem like a nice guy.
I'll answer this question for ........


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marc weber
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 31, 2004
Posts: 11343

Unless it's a social norm, I think most people are uncomfortable haggling, because they are usually left with an impression they didn't do as well as they should have.


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Ben Souther
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 11, 2004
Posts: 13410

To me, haggling is like looking someone in the face and calling them a liar.

If they are honest then the price they're asking must be fair in their opinion. If I offer less then I'm telling them that I don't believe them.
Arun Kumarr
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 16, 2005
Posts: 513

somebody been to this site.
http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/


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Satish Chilukuri
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 23, 2005
Posts: 266
Nah. I don't haggle. I'm persuaded way too easily .
Bert Bates
author
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 8803
    
    5
Sometimes I haggle, and I think I should haggle more. One way or another, we're all in business - what's the distinction between haggling and negotiating? My perspective is that the act of "pricing" is a very complex and dynamic thing...so haggling can just be viewed as a natural process to do determine whether the seller has been keeping his pricing algorithm up to date


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David O'Meara
Rancher

Joined: Mar 06, 2001
Posts: 13459

Origonally I would always pay the listed price, but I have started to introduce negotiations as long as it can create a win-win situation. eg I want a camera, rather than asking to pay less you can ask them to include a side item. If you count the ticket cost of the two items you have done well personally, but when counting the discount the store only counts the price they paid for the additional item, not the ticket price. I'll also say 'how much if I buy item Y too?' where I am prepared to pay for X and Y if the price is right, but may not but X at all if I'm not happy.
Ben Souther
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 11, 2004
Posts: 13410

Like with most towns in America, ours just had a Home Depot and a Lowes (big hardware/Home Improvement chains) move in.

I still have two small hardware stores near my house and one near my office and like the convenience of them. I also just like the idea of small neighborhood hardware stores so I try to support them.

I never try to chisle them down on small stuff (nails, nuts, bolts, etc...) but if I buy something for more than $80 or so, I will usually offer them the chance to match the big chain store pricing. If they can come close, I'll buy from them and save my self the trip up the road.

I don't really consider that haggling.
Roger Nelson
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 21, 2002
Posts: 95
well, what is a fair price?
If it takes 5 bucks towards all the expenses involved in creating a product, and if its sold at 10 bucks. Is charging a profit of 100% fair?
I think demand/supply have been always a key factor in deciding the final price irrespective of whether the price is fair or not.
I guess there's no such thing as fair price

I believe when the price of product is open for haggling, it brings up a scenario where the Customer A was able to haggle down the price, while customer B ended up paying the asking price.
If customer A and B exchanges data, they would come to the common conclusion that the seller cannot be trusted on giving a fair price:-)
( No wonder car salesman are not a trusted lot :-) )

I guess fixed pricing looks more trustwothy, but it will only be able to give a fair price if seller is not a monopoly, or there is no price fixing by various sellers for mutual bebefit.
Aj Mathia
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 11, 2003
Posts: 478
Originally posted by Paul Wheaton:
This just popped into my head as I was thinking about the forgive/integrity thread ...

I am, personally, not a fan of haggling. I know there are people, and entire cultures, where this is the way to live. People love it. I don't.


If you were a part of that culture you would.
But since you are not you cannot actually comment on how you would react if you were in such a position.

this is not directed to paul.
but to all
south indians idli, sambar
islami believers wo its wrong coz x does not like it
h1b well illigeal aliens whatever

my grand parents were asian indians.
I am australian
my wife was of chinese origin but no longer
my brother is ameriacan
his family is as well
what makes you what you are??
i think you do ... if you did not than your dad or mom did...


the world is no longer american,african,european or thai

if you are proud of your position and culture.....
justify it ...
or dont shake that butt about who you thing you are
coz you will be like the other thread
who am i??? wellllll
i am who i make of myself..
if anyone is offended by this post then reply to it or start a new thread threaten it
deleting it without justification is just a sign off whatever


You think you know me .... You will never know me ... You know only what I let you know ... You are just a puppet ... --CMG
David O'Meara
Rancher

Joined: Mar 06, 2001
Posts: 13459

if anyone is offended by this post then reply to it or start a new thread threaten it
deleting it without justification is just a sign off whatever


This last statement shows that you know it was unacceptable by our standards and still decided to post it. I was going to delete it after reading the first paragraph but would prefer to leave it to the MD moderators. I don't hold much hope.
Aj Mathia
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 11, 2003
Posts: 478
Originally posted by David O'Meara:
if anyone is offended by this post then reply to it or start a new thread threaten it
deleting it without justification is just a sign off whatever


This last statement shows that you know it was unacceptable by our standards and still decided to post it. I was going to delete it after reading the first paragraph but would prefer to leave it to the MD moderators. I don't hold much hope.


is that because it is beyond your judgement???


the question of removal was because it was no longer meaning-less
and at the same time too meaningfull to remain meaningfull

ha can you still justify without deletion or locking..

i am a free minded person awaiting a rational arguement.
David O'Meara
Rancher

Joined: Mar 06, 2001
Posts: 13459

Excuse me for being dismissive, but I'm dismissing you. Please don't try to hijack the conversation.

Ben brings up another point I usually consider when purchasing (expensive) goods. I would prefer 5to purchase at a fair price from a small supplier rather than immediately going to a larger chain. I see purchasing at larger chains as counter productive in the long run.
Bert Bates
author
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 8803
    
    5
I agree with the notion of buying from a local shop instead of a big chain, and I also will pay a small premium to the local shop - but that seems like a different topic.

Back to haggling and pricing...think about airline ticket pricing and their strong and complex supply and demand algorithms. How about when a vendor decides to put stuff on sale? Does that mean the vendor was ripping everyone off before the sale? Commerce is very dynamic and slippery, and haggling is just a natural way of responding.
Aj Mathia
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 11, 2003
Posts: 478
Originally posted by Bert Bates:
I agree with the notion of buying from a local shop instead of a big chain, and I also will pay a small premium to the local shop - but that seems like a different topic.

Back to haggling and pricing...think about airline ticket pricing and their strong and complex supply and demand algorithms. How about when a vendor decides to put stuff on sale? Does that mean the vendor was ripping everyone off before the sale? Commerce is very dynamic and slippery, and haggling is just a natural way of responding.


ha so you agree that the small retailer has to haggle. as when he decides a initial price it is based on his profit + cost price..
or else he is runing a charity org
back to davids hijacking accusation

if it is justifiable i guess
its L capital L loser theory where i got the silver balls so i dont care about the bronze ones

my wife who is ignorant to the rance had a look at thhis coz i was all agravated(excuse the spelling) she said
people who dont know about some things talk about it like they know about it
some even like they have a PHD on it.
its just wrong.
[ September 24, 2006: Message edited by: Ajay Mathew ]
Ben Souther
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 11, 2004
Posts: 13410

Ajay Mathew,

You've been here long enough to know why it is important to
UseRealWords

Abbreviations such as "u" or "ur" in
place of "you" and "you are" or "you're" confound language translation software making
it hard for our non-English speaking members to read your posts.
"plz" is not a word in the English language.

-Ben
Bert Bates
author
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 8803
    
    5
Hi Ajay,

I understand that English is not your first language and I admire the fact that you are communicating in English! That said, I'm having a lot of difficulty understanding your last post Would you be willing to try again? Perhaps if you slowed down a bit and spent a little more time explaining each idea it would be easier to understand.

Thanks!

Bert
marc weber
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 31, 2004
Posts: 11343

Originally posted by Bert Bates:
... Commerce is very dynamic and slippery, and haggling is just a natural way of responding.

It certainly cuts to the chase. I mean, if we accept that there is no intrinsic "fair price" for anything, and selling prices must be agreed upon by both buyer and seller. Haggling opens the dialogue, in contrast to indirect (and lagging) responses to market conditions -- e.g., buyers holding off because a certain purchase seems "expensive," and sellers then lowering prices because sales have dropped. Or on the other hand (as we enter round two)...

But as logical and direct as it might be, I still think there are significant cultural aspects that prevent haggling from becoming commonplace. As I suggested above, I think most Americans are uncomfortable with haggling because they feel they're not good at it, and therefore feel vulnerable in that situation, certain that their naivety will lead to them being taken advantage of. So instead, we passively defer to the mass market, saying "I'll just wait for the price to come down," instead of forcing the issue by making a direct offer.
[ September 24, 2006: Message edited by: marc weber ]
Aj Mathia
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 11, 2003
Posts: 478
Originally posted by Bert Bates:
I understand that English is not your first language and I admire the fact that you are communicating in English!


May I ask you what got you to this conclusion?

Yesterday I was a bit high, so the mind was moving a bit faster than the hands while typing.
This topic is about haggling and members are trying to justify its existence
But the attitude of it isn�t right.
It starts with an air of superiority or inferiority when people say they are not like those people or their culture, politely.

The rest of my ranting was uncalled for here.
But it came up because of this general air around some topics in MD and JD.

If you are interested in knowing what I was try to get across about the other stuff I tossed in let me know and I will start a separate topic so that this one stays intact.
Devesh H Rao
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 09, 2002
Posts: 687

Originally posted by Ajay Mathew:



It starts with an air of superiority or inferiority when people say they are not like those people or their culture, politely.
.


I am, personally, not a fan of haggling. I know there are people, and entire cultures, where this is the way to live. People love it. I don't

Hey Ajay.. I can bet the above sentence got you started.

Another way to look at it is the last two word's make it very clear that it's Paul�s personal opinion and he is very much well entitled to have one. Some one disagreeing can very well do so with points on why is the case .

Now coming back to topic.

Haggle is to Negotiate, Barter, Bargain.

So any person who has ever negotiated, bartered or bargained about anything has in fact participated in haggling. There are also people I have personally met who do not believe in Negotiating, they say something and stick to it.
Even deciding, whether to buy from a local shop having a slightly higher price than a warehouse having discounts could amount to bargaining with ourselves on the choice, so instead of haggling with the seller we haggle with ourselves on the decision.
Shipra Verma
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 11, 2005
Posts: 116
You have to haggle for almost everything sold on the roadside by vendors (fruits and vegetable, taxi and all other services) in India. I am so used to haggling that if I don�t do it feels I am being sold.


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Frank Silbermann
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 06, 2002
Posts: 1385
A residue from English feudalism is that talking about money was long considered impolite. It's what those common people in trade had to do for a living, in contrast to aristocratic landowners who had servants to handle the sordid details of life. As people used to imitate their "betters", people in trade also strove to keep money talk out of social conversations.

Stores with fixed prices became popular in this context because it allowed polite women to shop without offending their sensibilities with a lot of money talk. Prices were marked on the goods -- the same price for everyone -- the storekeeper had to set a competitive price or people would simply walk out without buying. (This worked best in towns large enough for storekeepers to have many competitors.)

A beneficial side-effect of this practice is efficiency -- sales could be made with less time and effort, so a few retail clerks could handle a huge amount of trade. That lowered costs for everyone.

This approach worked especially well for common items, but haggling remained for items more difficult to price -- expensive unique items sold infrequently. It's easy enough to know what they going rate is for a loaf of bread, but much more difficult to know the going rate for the only house for sale on the side of some specific hill. Also, there's more temptation to break the etiquette when the stakes are higher, e.g. when trading in more expensive items (horses, automobiles, houses). Once consequence is that car salesmen and horsetraders suffered a lower social status than people in other occupations providing the same income level.
paul wheaton
Trailboss

Joined: Dec 14, 1998
Posts: 20494
    ∞

The difference between negotiating and haggling, in my opinion, is that somebody will propose something that they think is unfair - to their own advantage.

Negotiating is where both parties think they are proposing something fair.

So if I am willing to sell something for 20 bucks, and somebody wants it, but they think that it is worth only 10 bucks, then we can talk about why there is a difference in what we think is fair. Negotiating.

If somebody offers me a dollar for it, and then pesters for a bit and then offers two dollars without gaining any new knowledge of the item - that strikes me more as the person thinking that I might have been stupid enough to go for the dollar. Okay, I'm not that stupid, so let's now see if I'm "two dollar stupid". It's just offensive.
Devesh H Rao
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 09, 2002
Posts: 687

Originally posted by Paul Wheaton:
The difference between negotiating and haggling, in my opinion, is that somebody will propose something that they think is unfair - to their own advantage.

Negotiating is where both parties think they are proposing something fair.

So if I am willing to sell something for 20 bucks, and somebody wants it, but they think that it is worth only 10 bucks, then we can talk about why there is a difference in what we think is fair. Negotiating.

If somebody offers me a dollar for it, and then pesters for a bit and then offers two dollars without gaining any new knowledge of the item - that strikes me more as the person thinking that I might have been stupid enough to go for the dollar. Okay, I'm not that stupid, so let's now see if I'm "two dollar stupid". It's just offensive.



I guess it is just the degree of fairness which makes a difference or should I say draws the line between a negotiation and haggling, but again its my opinion.

What may appear fair to me may not be fair at all for the person in front, even 10 dollars may seem like "ten dollar stupid", so it's sort of binary for me, I stick to the printed price or on other side of the fence negotiate/barter/bargain/haggle.

PS: I do not personally negotiate, Given a price either I buy or walk out. Sometimes I have been offered a second price when I have walked off but I do not get back into the negotiations. Once decided is good enough for me.
Bert Bates
author
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 8803
    
    5
LOL Ajay

Yesterday I was a bit high, so the mind was moving a bit faster than the hands while typing.


And here I was mistaking that state for a second language
Aj Mathia
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 11, 2003
Posts: 478
I have a xyz shop in a mall.
Consider one range of products.
The initial stock cost around 50c to a dollar per piece at wholesale rates.
That�s after heaps of haggling/negotiating with the wholesaler.
The price of the item in the mall is 20-25$. People ask about the product but very rarely about reducing the price.
During the weekends I setup a stall in a market.
The items are priced at around 10-15$.
75% of the customers ask for a lower price.
The funny part, there are the fancy BMWs etc in the customer parking spots.

What do you think is the reason for this?
Sharmi Ragoth
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 12, 2006
Posts: 31
Paul, living in the States, I don't see much potential for haggling. So, I don't know what experiences you have had with it.


that strikes me more as the person thinking that I might have been stupid enough to go for the dollar. Okay, I'm not that stupid, so let's now see if I'm "two dollar stupid". It's just offensive.


But you don't have to take this so seriously.
Living in India, haggling is the norm for certain shops... especially street side vendors, push cart vendors with produce. Haggling is almost a given.. so most sellers hike up the price expecting the buyer to haggle it down. Let me give you an example conversation:

Seller: Rs.20 for one mango, nice juicy ones, Rs.120 for half a dozen
Me: Hmm.. those don't look so good. I will give you Rs.14
Seller: Madam, what is this Madam.. no chance... how will I make a profit?
Me: Come on, I see same mangoes selling for Rs 10 at <some other location>
Seller: No, those are bad quality. These are the finest. Come, come, give me Rs 18. I have to pay for school books for my kids..
Me: Ok, Ok, lets not waste time. I am buying a dozen. You can give it for Rs.16.

And the deal is struck. Now, both of us know from the start the final price is not gonna be Rs.20 or Rs.10. But if, I outright quote Rs.16, he will refuse.. because he doesn't want to be seen as a pushover, he has a reputation to maintain among the other vendors and buyers, and he needs to have the satisfaction that he was able to negotiate the price up from what I originally wanted. These conversations are not to see who is stupid, but it is almost like a sport. In the process, most times, a rapport is established and I will choose him over others the next time I go there.
Devesh H Rao
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 09, 2002
Posts: 687

Originally posted by Sharmi Ragoth:
These conversations are not to see who is stupid, but it is almost like a sport. In the process, most times, a rapport is established and I will choose him over others the next time I go there.


Or not go to if taken for a ride..
marc weber
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 31, 2004
Posts: 11343

Originally posted by Sharmi Ragoth:
...Me: Ok, Ok, lets not waste time...

Well, there's that.
Frank Silbermann
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 06, 2002
Posts: 1385
Originally posted by Ajay Mathew:
I have a xyz shop in a mall. ... The initial stock cost around 50c to a dollar per piece at wholesale rates. ...

The price of the item in the mall is 20-25$. People ask about the product but very rarely about reducing the price.

During the weekends I setup a stall in a market. The items are priced at around 10-15$. 75% of the customers ask for a lower price. ...
What do you think is the reason for this?
Most people are not good judges of quality, so when they buy from an established store they are relying on the store's reputation (and willingness to take back products which prove defective). In market stalls people take the risk that the products are defective or cheap imitations, and expect lower prices in return for taking this risk. That's why they seem more accepting of higher prices in the stores.

In the mall shop, the traditional etiquette against haggling holds. Marketplace stalls, in contrast, are usually set up by people who come from cultures where haggling is accepted and expected, or by lower-class natives too poor to own a store and therefore unconcerned about maintaining the illusion of social status. Shoppers feel that haggling is expected in market stalls and assume that asking prices there start out high in expectation of haggling. "When in Rome, do as the Romans do." People who are offended by haggling simply stay away.

That the same people often observe different etiquettes in different places reflects both the gradual decline in the sentiment that money-talk is vulgar, and the recognition that etiquette is often arbitrary (sort of like identifier-naming standards in computer programming).

Originally posted by Sharmi Ragoth:
But you don't have to take this so seriously.
Living in India, haggling is the norm for certain shops... so most sellers hike up the price expecting the buyer to haggle it down. Let me give you an example conversation:

Seller: Rs.20 for one mango, nice juicy ones, Rs.120 for half a dozen
Me: Hmm.. those don't look so good. I will give you Rs.14
Seller: Madam, what is this Madam.. no chance... how will I make a profit?
Me: Come on, I see same mangoes selling for Rs 10 at <some other location>
Seller: No, those are bad quality. These are the finest. Come, come, give me Rs 18. I have to pay for school books for my kids..
Me: Ok, Ok, lets not waste time. I am buying a dozen. You can give it for Rs.16.

And the deal is struck. Now, both of us know from the start the final price is not gonna be Rs.20 or Rs.10. But if, I outright quote Rs.16, he will refuse.. because he doesn't want to be seen as a pushover, he has a reputation to maintain among the other vendors and buyers, and he needs to have the satisfaction that he was able to negotiate the price up from what I originally wanted. These conversations are not to see who is stupid, but it is almost like a sport. In the process, most times, a rapport is established and I will choose him over others the next time I go there.
Yes, that is how it was a century ago among Jews who emmigrated from eastern Europe to England and America. Back then the inhibition against money talk among people of British ancestry was much stronger than today, so many natives concluded that Jews were pushy, stingy, money-hungry, etc. -- when it was really little more than a collision between two different sets of expectations and customs. (People even started using the word "Jew" as a verb meaning "to lower the price of something through bargaining." Nowadays, that usage is considered impolite.)
 
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