Monday, January 01, 2007

The Art of Haggling

I went to India a few years ago, and one of the many highlights of the trip was learning the art of haggling. We haggled for rickshaws mostly, knowing up front that the price quoted was going to be much higher than normal. One day we went to an outdoor market. While we were walking around, and man asked us if we would like to buy a small toy flute. I really didn't have need for a small toy flute, and on top of that, it was expensive. I believe he wanted 300 rupees for it, which is the equivalent of around $6 or $7. I politely told him that I wasn't in the market for a small toy flute at the time, but I would keep him in mind if anything changed. For the next hour, when we would come out of a shop he would be there, offering us a sweeter deal. By the end of that hour, I had come to understand two things: First, I needed a small toy flute, and second, I was learning the art of haggling. By the time it was over, he had sold it to me for 30 rupees, and 90% discount from the original price. I of course was feeling very proud of myself. (Of course, I also realize that the small toy flute was probably worth 10 rupees, but that's another story).

So...why in the world am I bringing up this story? It's because I just read this article. Now you too can learn the art of haggling. It works here in the U.S. as well.

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