How do you bargain with street vendors ?

Feb 8th, 2008, 01:47 PM
  #21  
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Join Date: Jul 2007
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Hello Ourjetboat,
I smiled to myself when you write this. Your wife is not the only one long gone before you finish your bargain and I agreed that sometimes they feel embarrased.

I seldom bargain well and I leave this bargaining business to my DH and when he bargains, he bargains hard. Like you said, I stand a quite few feet away.
GoPlanB is offline  
Feb 8th, 2008, 02:44 PM
  #22  
 
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A good way is to say, what is your best price for this? and go from there, sometimes it is fun, goplanB.
SeaUrchin is offline  
Feb 8th, 2008, 02:53 PM
  #23  
 
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I know a woman who is such an inveterate haggler that she has bargained herself out of some great deals. If the first named price is a good one, she will work on it until the seller tells her to go fly a kite!

Of course, other times she gets a good price. On the average, who knows?

The fact is that we all are capable of bargaining if we actually know the worth of the thing. (or its value to us, which is a different matter)

I've haggled a bit at the Marche Puces in Clingancourt, and you really must. Antiques are always subject to a little leeway, even in the best of places. But that doesn't mean you'll get it - you have to choose your battles.

My policy, like others above, is to pay the price readily if I really like it. If I have my doubts I ask "Can you do any better on this?" Or like others, I may say, "A little rich for my blood" or ""Just a little too much for me, but it's beautiful" etc. Sellers like their goods to be appreciated, and I never put down the product - I've been a seller myself, and when somebody disses the goods, I say to myself, "You ignoramus, go ......."

Of course if the goods have flaws you might have to repair, but you still like the item, by all means point it out. Be ready for the seller to explain that "the flaw is the reason the price is not double what I'm asking."

Back to my earlier point, the more you know, the better you'll be at striking a price you like. So in a piazza where many artists are selling, visit several, ask prices, get an idea. Do this in places where you don't even expect to buy. Educate yourself. It's all part of the pleasure of appreciating art anyway.

The truth is that even experts make mistakes and occasionally pay too much. It's part of learning. But it can really be great to have that item when you get home.

RE: artists - when in any town it's worth asking where the local artists work, etc. In Todi, I believe, we came upon an artist's collective in a wonderful old building, where many artists lived and worked, and also offered work for sale. Found a painter/printmaker with really beautiful things - we were able to get his prints for just $40, a real bargain in my mind, and also saw much of his work, met him and his wife, talked about NYC (my town, where he had recently had a show) - and we merely stumbled upon the place. Keep an eye out!

tomassocroccante is offline  
Feb 8th, 2008, 04:22 PM
  #25  
 
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In Italy, those street vendors are on the lookout for two things: suckers and cops. They feed off one. They close up shop immediately when the other appears. They have lookouts who alert them to approaching police. They seem to specialize in knock-off bags, fake stuff of all kinds -- sunglasses, watches, etc.

I differentiate them from itinerant artists, both the good and the bad.

That said, if you really are interested, offer them 40 per cent off. Don't budge. Walk away.
USNR is offline  
Feb 8th, 2008, 06:33 PM
  #26  
 
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This reminds me of the time in Mexico City when the Indians come into the square to sell their handicrafts. I was well into bargaining with one for a necklace and all of a sudden he got a perplexed look on his face. Then my laughing son stepped forward and told me I had begun to bargain upwards! Numbers in foreign languages are not my speciality.
SeaUrchin is offline  
Feb 9th, 2008, 12:06 PM
  #27  
 
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Urchin, I've also found myself asking for "less" when I wanted "more" in a food market or shop.
tomassocroccante is offline  
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