Do some people haggle just to haggle?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by tzhu07, Apr 21, 2015.

  1. tzhu07 macrumors regular

    tzhu07

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    #1
    I recently sold a phone on Swappa for $250, which is one of the better prices for that phone and condition.

    What's strange is that a guy tried to haggle it down to $240 only one hour after it was listed. I didn't respond, and three hours later, it was sold for $250, my original listed price.

    I can't read his mind, but it seems to me like he missed out on a great deal over $10 on a $250 item.
     
  2. Apple fanboy macrumors Core

    Apple fanboy

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    #2
    Yes they do. Some people have to think they have one over on you. I've seen people haggle over far less.
     
  3. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

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    #3
    Yes. I once witnessed someone haggle mercilessly down to some very low price. Once everyone was happy, the person in question canceled the agreement saying that they never intended to buy in the first place and walked out. It wasn't a tactic.
     
  4. D.T. macrumors 603

    D.T.

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    #4
    https://youtu.be/3n3LL338aGA

    :D

    Clearly there are some folks that feel like they got a deal if they're able to negotiate a lower price - even when the original price is a good deal, or the price difference is insignificant.
     
  5. heehee macrumors 68020

    heehee

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    #5
    My wife and I was at a Tesla showroom few months ago and I told her there is no negotiation, price is as is. She was not happy. :D
     
  6. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

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    #6
    That person needs a hobby (or rather, a better hobby)
     
  7. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #7
    Yes, they do.

    For some, it is a mental game, a challenge, a competition, where they have to be seen to 'win', or - as AFB says - to get one over, on you.

    For others, it is about money, and parsimony, stinginess in other words, and the fact that they are resistant to spending anything - any money - without registering their dissent and disagreement.

    And, for yet others, it is about control: They resist the terms of an exchange being set by anyone else, and seek to assert themselves by haggling.
     
  8. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #8
    It might be a personal thing, or a regional thing, but I rarely see any haggling, nor do I go into a transaction with an expectation to haggle. Prices are set and I either pay that price or I find a better buy elsewhere.

    Used products (such as in the OP) sold personally seem to be an exception. And cars and homes are notoriously haggled. But I'm hard-pressed to think of other purchases that one haggles over.
     
  9. tzhu07 thread starter macrumors regular

    tzhu07

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    #9
    I can see haggling as a strategy when the item is not very desired, and when it's offline person-to-person.

    But with the cellphone, it was a recent model and in top condition, AND it was listed in a very public place.

    How do these idiots think they can get away with haggling in this environment, and on top of that try to do it one hour after the listing goes live.
     
  10. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #10
    I haggle on here sometime. Usually I give the item a few days to be listed, and it's not moving I will toss out an offer to the seller. I try to not lowball them(although I've inadvertantly done that before when the seller asked for an offer without giving me a price, and we had drastically different ideas about the value of the item), but do go a fair bit lower than the asking price with the expectation of a counter. Even on relatively recent listings, I'll often make a slightly reduced offer when buying multiple items if they're things that the seller can probably ship together. If the seller shoots me a counter I can live with, I'll go ahead an take it.

    About a year ago, I was at a watch show and was having a really horrible day in terms of selling-I'd sold about $40 the whole day(not too good when you consider that I'm in the hole about $60 just to get in the door and get a table). I had a watch on my table priced at $150. That was a high price, but not out of line-I always price things high with the expectation that I will come down on the price, as many folks just won't buy unless you give them a "break" on the price.

    In any case, it was about 3:30 in the afternoon(the show was dead as is typical) and I had a nice old National Watch Company(pre-Elgin) watch with a low serial number priced at $150. Realistically, I was expecting to get about $125 out of it.

    Finally, at the end of the day one fellow came up to me asked me for my best price. I said something like "I'm going to tell you what I paid for it, and will sell it for that but not a penny less" and offered to him for $100(honest to goodness truth about what I paid for it). He countered with $80, and finally about 15 minutes later we were stuck with him at $95 and me at $100. Out of stubborness, I refused to budge-as I said, I was already offering it to him for a very fair price that was what I'd paid.

    Finally, he walked away from the table, and I asked my table partner to "buy" the watch from me. He did a good acting job of talking about how nice it was, and handed me a nice crisp C-note that I tucked under my display case(we traded back after the show).

    About a half an hour later the same fellow came back to the table to try and beat me down on the price again, and I told him with a smile on my face that I'd sold it for $100. He was mad, but all I can say is that he made his own nest by making me mad over pestering me over the $5.
     
  11. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #11
    I think it also may be a culturally regionally specific activity - some cultures expect haggling as part of the negotiation process prior to purchase, others see a contract between vendor and purchaser as set in stone.


    I also think it comes down to what people actually value more, time or money.

    Personally, the idea of wasting even a few minutes of my life to dispute $5, (or £5, or €5) strikes me as a monumental waste of my time (which is something I do value, enormously); I will rarely dispute money unless there has been a case of outrageous over-charging, or a deliberate & strikingly excessive charge to start with, or something of the sort which demands an immediate response, where the principle involved is resistance to being ripped off, rather than joy at the prospect of beating someone's price down.
     
  12. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #12
    And that, I think, is a difference in some folks' perspective.

    I've been guilty(as a buyer) of sometimes haggling over $5, but if the answer is no I'll just pay the price and go on my way.

    To others, however, "getting one over" on the seller is something they enjoy.

    The prospective buyer in the case I referenced above was someone with whom I was familiar from past dealings. He'd already "gotten one over on me" by my dropping my price from $150 to $100(or 2/3 of my original price). In all honestly, if I'd quoted him $125, he probably would have ended up paying me $110 or $115 and we both would have been happy. Instead, I just tried to be honest by giving true bottom dollar, and it ended up biting me in the butt.

    I had folks standing around to watch us argue over the whole thing(to be honest there's not a lot else going in one of these shows at 4:00 in the afternoon).
     
  13. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

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    #13
    Yeah. They do. I felt like I was watching this person execute some strange plan to reaffirm the a priori power relationship between them---as if it needed to be reaffirmed. This incident took place in a relatively poor country where, admittedly, haggling is commonplace and expected. The putative buyer was obviously quite wealthy relative to the seller, and so the exercise of extracting every last dollar out of the (ultimately fake) transaction was doubly disgusting to me.
     
  14. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #14
    I absolutely agree that it's a culturally/regionally influenced. When I was mulling over my post I thought about framing my experience as a typical American. But I realized that I don't really know how other Americans deal with these situations.

    It's interesting how haggling is considered normal—or even necessary—in some transactions. People will argue over pennies at garage sales and flea markets, and on the other end of the scale, they'll angle for the best price on cars and houses. But in between, we see a price and pay it. I've never seen anyone go up to a cash register and say, "This pair of pants is $19.95. I tell you what ... I'll give you $12.50 for them."

    Shopping would be more entertaining if we did.

    Okay. $15. But you gotta throw in a pair of socks. Deal?
     
  15. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #15
    The funny thing is there are many retail stores where you can haggle.

    It's not something for every situation, but especially if you're dealing with the last in stock/display items there's often a lot of room.

    I deal a lot with gun stores, and typically prices on new guns and other new products like ammo/components/holsters are set in stone. Used guns are a totally different matter, though, and that's true both in small mom-and-pop places(which are quite common) as well as at big box stores.

    I frequent the "gun library"(higher end used gun room) at the local Cabelas, and know most of the guys there. I'm on good enough terms with them that they keep my name in the Rolodex and call me when something interesting comes in. I recall one day I was debating over a shotgun when the manager walked out and-without saying a word to me-pulled the price tag out, went over to the computer, then handed the tag back to me and told me a price about $100 lower than the price marked. That was without me even asking. Of course, it doesn't always work that way-I bought a used gun last week that was well north of $1000, and they wouldn't budge a penny on the price. It had also been in the case for less than 24 hours(they called me to tell me it was there), and was quite literally the only one I've seen for sale in over 3 years of looking for one.
     
  16. A.Goldberg, Apr 21, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2015

    A.Goldberg macrumors 68000

    A.Goldberg

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    #16
    I have been known to haggle.

    If I'm buying something retail, then I generally won't with some exceptions where it's possible- Skis are a big one. If it's something like Craigslist, then I definitely will. If I feel like I'm already getting a ridiculous deal, as in the person isn't aware what they're selling, then I'm not going to rip them off (further? :rolleyes: ). If I see something advertised more than I value it, I rarely even inquire. I guess I figure if the price is that high the person must be way out of touch or if I can't afford it, I can't afford it.

    If it's something that's borderline on the value, I suppose I turn it into a game but I also do like to be relatively frugal. My game is how low can I go, not who has the last word. The latter effort has always been silly to me. The question I have is this person knows the fair value, how badly do they want to get rid of it? The reality is (with me as a buyer), if I'm haggling with you I more than likely would just buy it at the advertised price if the seller is firm. I won't waste the sellers time or mine negotiating forever over pennies, but I will be persistent and charming :D.

    My sister is the worst. She was haggling over some antique furniture (sticker price $3,500) at an antique fair. She was at $3,200 and he was at $3,215 within 2 minutes but they could not agree. It resulted in multiple return trips and a total of 2 hours of bickering over $15 out of $3215. In the end I handed her $20 and told just buy it as I had lost my patience. I guess I was the true loser in that situation.

    I may have mentioned somewhere I helped my buddy get a Mac Pro 1,1 Q2.66 w/Apple mouse and keyboard. The listed price was $280 and I got it down to $160. $280 was definitely high overall (but actually on the average to lower end of some of the local ads), but $160 in my mind is quite low. Acting as a consulting member, not directly negotiating, but stating my opinion to my friend added extra pressure to the seller. Product/market knowledge is also essential, especially with sellers who aren't aware.

    It's actually interesting the different techniques people use.
    - I act very overly friendly and act very buddy-buddy and enthusiastic, as well using product/market knowledge.
    - My dad, a Wall Street banker, attached no emotion to negotiation. It makes him tough to read- the poker face. I've seen him negotiate expensive purchases (i.e. Cars) and while it seems most dealers like to play of the excitement of buying a car, my dad is seemingly uninterested in actually buying the item and almost annoyed that he has to go through the process. Typically he wants them to spit out the bottom line, period and has no patience for games.
    - My sister takes the pushy, confrontational approach, which doesn't seem to work well.
    - My mom takes the "ugh this is so expensive" tactic
     
  17. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

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    #17
    As with all things context is king. If I put a phone out for $250 and someone came back with $240 I'm not going to be offended. I'd suggest that if stuff like this bothers you so much that ebay would probably be the place to sell.
     
  18. roadbloc macrumors G3

    roadbloc

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    #18
    In some countries, its expected of you to haggle. I tend to do it a lot when in search of a deal.
     
  19. aaronvan Suspended

    aaronvan

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    #19
    If we're talking Craigslist, then yes I haggle over everything. Why would I pay the listed price without trying to talk it down a little? That concept is entirely foreign to me.
     
  20. Mousse macrumors 68000

    Mousse

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    #20
    Most Asian countries, it would be an insult the merchant if you didn't haggle. Some of the older generation still haggle in Asian supermarkets even in 'Murica. It's in their blood.

    My wife haggles sometimes, much to my chagrin. I just want pay the peddler and go, but she smell when a merchant is making a fat profit. The exchange is entertaining. It's amazing how the same box of mangoes can be both withered as an octogenarian's breast and as plump as an overweight chicken.:p
     
  21. lowendlinux Contributor

    lowendlinux

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    #21
    Two years ago while in Egypt my wife haggled with a lady who owned a tourist trap booth over 5 euro on a costume. They both loved doing it and had tea after the sale, I don’t think that lady expected to deal with a determined German lady.
     
  22. mscriv macrumors 601

    mscriv

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    #22
    I'm glad to see that people mentioned that haggling/negotiating on price can be a cultural characteristic. In some cultures it's considered rude not to haggle about price because the negotiation aspect of the sale is viewed as a social norm and is partially a sign of respect to the seller and the transaction process.

    I think in American culture when something is listed for sale by an individual, whether online or in person, that customers generally assume that the seller has an "asking price" and an accepted "bottom price" which they will not go below. This notion is so commonly accepted that often when people list an item at their "bottom price" they will communicate something to that effect in the listing to try and let folks know that they won't take any offers of negotiation below their stated asking price.

    Does it "offend" you that someone would want to haggle or see if there is any wiggle room on price. I don't think by any means it's personal. People generally just want to get the best deal they can when making a purchase. Now, if someone gets rude or overbearing in the negotiation process then that's a different matter.
     
  23. jdechko macrumors 68040

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    #23
    Exactly. Especially on used products where the value isn't as clearly defined. At least doing it online, it's nice that you can agree on a price beforehand. Last 3 computer related items I bought were a Magsafe Adapter, a G4 iMac and an iPad 2.

    Magsafe was $40, like-new condition. No haggling because it was half of what the regular price.

    iMac was $25. No haggling because it seemed worth it to me.

    iPad 2 listing was $150, I offered $120 because it had been on there for about a week. It was worth the $150, but it was for my mother-in-law, and she likes good deals. Since I was just the middle man and she was paying, I got her a slightly better deal.

    Several years ago, I bought a PBG4 (1.67, last model before intel) for $10.

    So it really depends on what I perceive as the value.

    My father-in-law will haggle on a 50-cent item, though just to haggle. He loves getting deals.
     
  24. BeeGood macrumors 65816

    BeeGood

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    #24
    This. It's actually pretty common and a little sad IMO.

    My wife sells household stuff on Craigslist from time to time, and someone literally wanted $5 off some piece of baby equipment she listed for $50. Sight unseen. They had no idea what the condition was...it could have been the steal of a lifetime for all she knew.


    ----------

    Because maybe the guy you're haggling with has already discounted it to move fast?

    If a person approaches me and asks for a few bucks off of something that is clearly offered at a competitive price, I dismiss them. How can you deal in good faith with someone who is more interested in a discount than a good deal?
     
  25. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #25
    The one that gets me are "best offer" Ebay listings.

    When an item is listed as "best offer" I assume that the seller is encouraging offers and I always make one(unless it's already such a good price that I don't want to risk it sitting there and being gone).

    Despite having the "best offer" option on a listing, though, I've seen sellers who won't budge off their buy it now price. I've made what I thought was a reasonable best offer(usually 5-10% off the BIN price) and had the seller counter with the BIN price. That goes all over me-Ebay gives you the option to put Best Offer on listings or not, and if you don't intend to even consider offers don't bother putting it there.
     

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