To Bargain or Not

Unusually for me this a very short but on a subject dear to my heart.

Today I needed to buy a simple piece of headwear for a Midsummer party.  I knew roughly what was needed and decide that the local Thursday market would be a good place to buy.

As I walked along the near empty Kalkan Thursday market, it took a while to find a purveyor of hats.  The stall I eventually found had plenty of choice.  The proprietor was not immediately obvious.  Finding the item I wanted was relatively simple until the stall holder appeared.

His first angle was to find out where I came from.  On the mention of Scotland he immediately started to imitate, badly, various Scottish accents.  He was not winning me over to a purchase.

I asked him for a price for the hat and he stated 35tl.  That’s approximately £8.30 in UK pounds.  Back in the UK I would not expect to pay in a regular store more than £7, about 30 tl.  And here was I haggling in a Turkish market.

After a bit of to and fro, the price was reduced in stages through 30tl to 25tl to 20tl. I said at each point I was only willing to pay 15tl.

At this point I decided that if he was able to reduce his starting price by not far short of 50% then his starting point had been a complete fraud.  As I walked away he shouted that he would accept 15tl but by this time my desire to negotiate had long since deserted me.

It then only took a short walk in to town to find a regular shop selling hats.  With a little discussion about style it was a straightforward decision to choose a hat that met my requirements.  The price quoted was exactly 15tl.  There was no haggling just an agreement that the shopkeeper’s price met my expectation.  A sale was agreed.

Now it could be that I could have argued the shopkeeper down a little but there was no need.  He had met my price expectation exactly.  The market trader had got it all completely wrong.  He didn’t read me and thought I was someone who could be ripped off.

I guess that neither of these traders will read this post but, if they do, I hope that will remember that all customers have a breaking point and it would pay you to find our what that is very early in the negotiation.

 

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About Clashgour

With my wife Margaret I am spending a happy retirement divided between our flat in Richmond, London, our villa in Kalkan on the Turkish Mediterranean coast and travelling mostly in the UK, Turkey and the US. When travelling we use public transport where possible, resorting to a car when it is the only viable option. This blog is an occasional diary of our travels.
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One Response to To Bargain or Not

  1. John says:

    Have had exactly the same experience Alan. I always walk away if they don’t offer a sensible price. The line I dislike the most is “What do you want to pay?”

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