Driving a hard bargain

Shopping Tips

Driving a hard bargain

Ranu, an interior designer says, “It depends on the place you shop. I can approximately make out the price by looking at the goods. If the shopkeepers price them higher than I bargain with them. I bargain for half the actual price. When they don’t consent, I just walk away. Then they come running behind me and sell it at my price.”

Women have an innate tendency to bargain. “Men don’t have patience to shop itself, leave alone bargaining. Of course, my husband is an exception. He is very patient by nature. I don't believe in bargaining with the roadside vendors as I feel they make a tough living. I bargain for clothes, footwear, accessories and electronic gadgets. I tell the shopkeepers that I am making a first purchase with them and they can expect me again only if I get the goods at reasonable price and of good quality. Most of the time bargaining goes my way,” says Rajani Chakravarthy, who works as a coordinator in a school.

Padmini, a housewife says, “I bargain with the autorickshaw drivers a lot. They don't put the meter on and charge  exorbitantly. I also bargain with the roadside vendors when I’m shopping on Commercial Street. Some of the shopkeepers take a look at you, and then quote the price. If they refuse to sell it at my price I just leave the place. There are so many other shops.”

Syed Munawar Pasha, a footwear shopowner, who often has many women customers walk into his shop with a penchant for bargaining, says: “There are some women who bargain for each and every item in the shop as if they are going to make a big purchase. But when the negotiation doesn't please them they leave the shop saying they didn't like what they saw. If they bargain reasonably I don't mind. I try to make up for the loss with some other purchase by the same customer.”

Other shopkeepers too had same kind of experiences to narrate. “Everyday we have to deal with women who bargain. Even if we tell them the right price they don’t trust. They presume that we are trying to make 100 per cent profit and ask for discount of 50 per cent of what we quote. There are days when we don't make good sales, so on those days we give into their demands,” says Guru, a clothes shopkeeper.

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