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.