Bargaining – To or not to

My first bargaining experience was when I was in my 10th standard and my school has planned a trip to Delhi…not trip, an “educational tour” they called it, and yes we learned a lot on it. 


We were in the Delhi’s famous Palika Bazaar in the Connaught Place, the underground shopping place in Delhi. 


Palika Bazar

Palika Bazar


I liked a leather purse; I thought I will buy it for my Aai (mom) as a gift from Delhi. 


I asked the price of it to the shop owner and he calmly replied 1200 rupees. 


I moved on, I was carrying 500 rupees in all with me for the entire tour, how could I afford to buy a 1200 rupee purse?


The shop owner followed me, and asked me how much am I interested to pay for it? 


I was actually embarrassed, how could I tell him that I cannot afford it. 


To my amusement he kept following me, I got irritated with it, and to get rid of him I told him I will not pay him a rupee over 100, for the purse. He smiled, and put the purse in my hand, took hundred rupees and fled away. 


I was happy for a moment, but then I was disappointed too, I thought if I would have told him 70- or 50/- or even 10/- I had a chance… 


I just loved it, the bargaining thing, and on the entire trip of Delhi-Agra-Mathura-Gwalior


I did a lot of a shopping (read bargaining) I got a T-Shirt for my dad, an eye shade for my younger brother, Agra kay mashoor pethas and still saved 100 rupees. J 


But that was it, as I grew up, I started a disliking towards bargaining, I preferred going to one good shop, select an item, pay and get out.  


I started getting embarrassed going to shop, with people who liked bargaining. 


They just go to a shop, see at least a hundred of kind, and ask the price, bargain, and get out of the shop without actually buying anything, and on top of it, they will tell the shop owner, we will buy it from the next shop, or the previous shopkeeper was selling the same stuff at half the price. 


Recently, I went out with my family to buy some furniture. 


First we went to one of the biggest furniture shop, in my city, as it was running a 50% flat discount on furniture. 


We spent at least an hour in the 6 floor shop and came out empty handed. 


Then we went to 4 small retail shops and factories, where the furniture is actually made. 


My wife and my mother bargained a lot. 


And finally we got what we wanted. Better quality furniture at an amazing price, nearly half of the price we saw at the 50% flat discount, biggest shop. J


I was irritated and was sulking when my wife and mom were bargaining at all the shops, but finally I was very happy bloke and wallet was still a heavy entity. J 


Still, I would prefer to go to a “No Bargain” shop, call it my laziness to go to, too many shops, or my embarrassment to bargain.


The biggest disadvantage of bargaining is, you are never happy with the bargain, when you come out of the shop you think you could have got it at a lesser price.


Bargaining is an art, is a skill, some people are good at it, while some stay away. 


What would you do? 


7 thoughts on “Bargaining – To or not to

  1. When it comes to petty things i dont bargain and till now i neednt need buy anything expensive.( i dont earn.)

    i feel one should know where to bargain.

    and definately, one should not buy anything when one is hungry.

  2. I totally agree with you.. I would prefer not to bargain, maybe because i am not good at this art. You rightly said.. It is an art!
    I have nothing against the people who love bargaining. Just that … i would prefer not go shopping with them. I hate to test my patience and irritation levels :D.

  3. Bargaining is really an art. my best frnd in college used to quote ridiculous price as the start of bargain and she haggled like hell.I also cant bargain much and as u said i’m left with the feeling i shld have quoted less. The key to good bargaining is start with a v low price and after the bargain feel happy with how much u saved, dont think how much more u could have saved. But bargaining is necessary too cuz shopkeepers keep a huge margin of profit.

  4. bargaining is an art..sure..
    but u see there is a disadvantage..
    consider myself an shop keeper .now i sell a product for say 1000 .. now some people come to me and bargain it ans aks for 800 .
    next i will be cautious i will price a 1000 rupee thing to 1200 so ultimately the customer would get it for 1000…
    this really happens..

  5. Thanks for commenting Reema and Arvind.

    @ Reema,Sometimes bargaining is indeed necessary, but sometimes, it embarrassing. You need to be careful, where to bargain.

    @Arvind, suppose you don’t bargain and the shop owner has already raised the price to compensate any kind of bargaining. The loss is yours in that case…

  6. Lol!…I used to be embarrassed to, seeing my mom bargain for everything from vegetables to furniture, etc. My biggest fear would be, “what if the shopkeeper says no?” But my mom won’t relent. It would be all or nothing…Needless to say, i learned a thing or too from her.
    Now, a couple of days back, i bargained with a fruit vendor over some 5Rs, and it was those rare occasions when they actually agree on the price you quote. At the end of it all, he was so upset about losing the 5Rs… and i thought, “may be i shouldn’t have fought for a mere 5Rs which some how means a lot more to him than me…”
    Now now, i should stop before this comment gets longer than your post! 😀

    Sharad: Thanks for visting the blog!! I feel we bargain at places where we should not, and not at places where we should!! Keep visting and commentng 😀

  7. Hi Sharad,

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