Friday, April 23, 2010

How Much Do You Haggle for a Bargain?

A few years ago after I had Lasik eye surgery I bought my first pair of Maui Jim sunglasses. I liked the light weight and wrap around style of the glasses I chose and they provided good protection for my light blue eyes. What I didn't like was the rather cheap plastic they were made of. After a few hot months in my car the frames got a bit loose until finally last year one of the lens fell out. I know, I know, don't leave your sunglasses on the dashboard. But alas, I often forgot. Regardless of my carelessness, the sunglasses lasted a couple of years without major scratches.

One of the perks of buying a pair of Maui Jim sunglasses is the warranty. For $10 you can send your glasses back for repair, and if past your 2 year warranty, they call you will a quote for repair or replacement. Last week I dug the glasses out of the glove compartment of my car and shipped them back to Maui Jim with a check for $10. Within a few days I got a call from a guy with a quote for repair. Since the glasses were in such bad shape the quote was $120 for an entirely new pair. Not bad really considering I paid twice that for the glasses. Well I wasn't interested in paying that so I told the guy no thanks. Well that's when the pressure started. I got the "Well I'm trying to work with you here, I want you to be a satisfied customer..." and the "Well how about I make it $60, I'll charge you just for the cost of the lens replacement." Ya, still wasn't working on me and at that point, him slashing the price to half the original quote merely pissed me off. He continued for awhile about having to ship them back to me un-repaired instead of recycling them as I suggested and finally I just said goodbye and hung up. (I had already replaced them with a nice pair of sturdy Ray-Bans) That got me to thinking, do you have a limit for a bargain?

I'm a bargain shopper but I'm not a negotiator. Funny since my father's side of the family are hagglers extraordinaire. The only place I'll bargain is abroad with street or market vendors or in Little India in Chicago. If they expect you to haggle, I usually will give it a try. But I hate wheedling with a seller for a better price. Drives me crazy the people who try and get a better deal at a garage sale, like they offer 50 cents for a 75 cent piece of crap. Oh and don't even get me started on the deal makers at flea markets. Now I love a bargain, but if a glass serving bowl is $1.00 at a yard sale, I'll pay the $1.00. No negotiation needed.

What is the price of a bargain? And who pays the final price? Pride or Pocketbook?

Interested in books on bargaining? Check these out:

Bargaining for Advantage: Negotiation Strategies for Reasonable People

Bargaining with the Devil: When to Negotiate, When to Fight

Garage Sale America

The Pocket Idiot's Guide to Garage and Yard Sales

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