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I thought I would put this out there because, a while back, there
was a discussion on “haggling” or customers trying to bargain for
lower prices.

We were in Nantucket, RI this weekend for a family vacation and I
took a couple of hours to tour the local jewelers’ places. One store
was filled with work mainly made by the 2 owners. The conversation
behind me went like this…

"Well, I can’t decide…this one is 6600 and this one is 9900.
Husband says “can you do any better on the price?” Salesperson “no,
I’m sorry. All work is made here, by hand, and those are already our
best prices” Wife “Dear, don’t ask her that, she’s just the
salesgirl, she can’t do anything” Salesperson “Excuse me, but I’m a
jeweler and also a gemologist” They ignore her, head of to the back
to negotiate with the owner.

Second store… Customer asks what the charge will be for custom
item Salesperson replies “it will come to 1100” Customer “Can you go
any lower than that?” Salesperson “I cannot, but if you would like to
come back in the morning, when the owner is here, she may be able to
help you”

I’m not making any observations really. These are just data points
for the person who originally asked if haggling was common and what
the response to it should be.

Kim Starbard

Years ago, when I used to do shows, whatever was for sale was
clearly marked, and I had a sign:" All prices as marked." But that
was years ago, before the enormous influx of people from countries
where haggling is the norm. Not just immigrants, but students,
tourists and businesspeople) What called the cultural change to my
attention was a popular street fair I attended as a customer, not a
vendor. I asked the price of a sweater, and the dealer quoted a price
that was out of my range. I thanked him, and said it was a beautiful
sweater, but it was a little more than I could spend (I thought I was
being honest and polite) As I turned to leave the booth, he got me by
the cuff and hissed "I’ll give it to you for ".(and here he named a
price 25% off his original quote.) All I wanted to do was get out of
that booth, and he kept lowering the price and hanging on to my
sleeve. It was very intimidating. Just to get away, I ended up buying
the damn sweater at a 40% discount. But I never heard of reverse
haggling till that moment.