Whenever I’m in China walking throughout a mall filled with vendors selling knockoffs and third party goods and see something I like, I stop and negotiate the price.
She glances at me, looks me up and down and punches in a few numbers into a calculator she conjures out of nowhere.
I glance at the calculator, shake my head and turn around, pretending to leave, hoping she’ll tell me to wait.
She doesn’t disappoint. As I’m about to step away from her wares, she latches onto my arm and pulls me back. “Ok, you give me best price.”
So I do. I quote a number twenty, thirty percent lower than what was on the calculator.
We haggle back and forth, rapidly firing numbers at each other until we reach a consensus. The whole transaction takes just several minutes and each of us secretly gloat, convinced that we got the better end of the deal.
People ask me why I negotiate. Can’t you afford it? Why haggle over a few dollars?
Why not? If we can spend hours at the dealership haggling down the price of a car, and days haggling down a price of a house, what’s a minute or two to haggle for something you like? We drive across town for the cheapest gas, traverse the city for cheaper groceries, so what’s a moment or two to haggle for something you like?
And because I know I can afford it at full price, anything negotiated off is a bonus, so I can only stand to gain.