March 27, 2008
Fine tune Bargaining Skills, Haggling has arrived to big stores as well
You don’t need to be in the by lanes of Sukumvit or in midst of Chandni Chowk to practice the art of bargaining. Haggling has turned official and is being practiced in major stores like Best Buy, Circuit City and Home Depot. Although the sentiment behind the move is a lackluster economy, retailers are going to any lengths to secure a sale. Earlier on you could easily haggle on big products like televisions and high end electronics but now you can crunch a deal on lower-cost goods like cameras, audio speakers, couches, rugs and even clothing. To elucidate read this story, David Achee of Maplewood, N.J., who said he went to a Polo Ralph Lauren store in the SoHo neighborhood of Manhattan last month and became interested in a pair of pants on the clearance rack for $75. He told the salesperson that he had seen a similar pair on the Internet for $65, adding that he thought the pair on the rack looked worn (even though he did not really think so). He got the pants for around $50, he said. Calling it the e-Bay phenomenon, many big stores are aware that a better deal is always available somewhere on the internet; it’s just a matter of time till the buyer discovers it. “We want to work with the customer, and if that happens to mean negotiating a price, then we’re willing to look at that,” said Kathryn Gallagher, a spokeswoman for Home Depot.
Haggling was once common before department stores began setting fixed prices in the 1850s. Here’s another story that intrigues me, Michael Roskell and his friend try the “Good Cop Bad Cop” routine wherein he expresses his desire over a product and his friend expresses his displeasure over the price. With this routine they were able to get $20 off a pair of $250 speakers at 6th Avenue Electronics in the New York area. He even managed to buy two 46-inch high-definition Sony televisions at P. C. Richard & Son, a New York-area electronics chain. The list price was $4,300 but after negotiation he managed to pick them up for $3,305.50.
It’s never too late to learn this art, but it would do you good to try out some practice sessions! I heading to Bangkok, what about you?