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.



About Clashgour

With my wife Margaret I am spending a happy retirement based in Richmond, London. 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 in North America, Europe and Turkey plus other places as yet unknown.
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1 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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