Works For Me Wednesday - Haggling

Do you haggle? I don't necessarily like haggling but, the truth be told, I'm pretty good at. Every major thing I have bought I have haggled the price down. Every car I have ever bought, haggled. Our travel trailer, haggled. Living room furniture set, haggled. But, I have to admit, I actually DO like to haggle at Flea Markets.

I never act rude or offensive. I just talk to the vendors. I really like to talk to all the folks at the big outdoor flea markets. These people are interesting to me. They come from all over and have fun stories to tell. Whether they are true stories, that is another thing. I don't care. They are generally entertaining stories so I listen.

Yesterday, I spent a few hours to myself just exploring the area around where we were camping. I came across an outdoor flea market. Most of the vendors had packed up and left since there wasn't a lot of customers. And since it was later in the day and as it turned out, at that moment, I was the ONLY customer.

The vendors were excited to see me. I could feel their hunger! LOL I went over to the first vendor and looked over all her stuff. To be honest, she had very little that interested me. However, I did see a crystal cake plate and a set of coasters I would like. The plate was marked $1.50. The coasters were $3.00. No way would I pay $3.00 for the coasters. The plate I really did want but, for a little less than the asking price. I picked up the plate and then picked up the coasters. I study the coasters trying to figure out why they were priced so high. It is still a mystery to me. The vendor approached me and started small talk. I asked if she could give me a better deal on the coasters. She said that she was selling them for a friend and couldn't drop the price. I said, "Oh". I continued looking at them and at the cake plate. Then she said to me, "I can cut you a deal on the plate. How about .75 cents?" I said that sounded fair. So, I set the coasters down and handed her the plate. She was surprised that I wasn't taking the coasters. She asked me if I wanted her to ring up the coasters as well. I said, "No thank you". I paid for the plate and went on to the next vendor.

You have to be willing to walk away if you can't get the price you think the item is worth to you. The next vendor was a little worried when I just had the one item in my hand from the other vendor. She really wanted to sell some of her stuff. She greeted me immediately and we chatted as I browsed. She had quite a few things that I wanted. Her prices were very fair. You could tell that she priced to sell. And since it was looking like I may be her only customer for the rest of the day, she was eager to entice me!

I was looking at some candle holders and was picking up quite a few of them and putting them back down. This vendor watched each and everything I looked interested in. Each of the candle holders were marked .50 and I made a comment to the vendor that she had some many to chose from and I like a lot of them among other things. I wanted her to know that I was interested in buying multiples.

After a few minutes of chatting, I stepped away from her tables and was just looking over the whole lot of items. The vendor says, "You know, you seem to have found quite a few things you like and I don't think I am going to get any more customers tonight. I hate packing all this stuff up. How about if I make you a deal. Would you been interested in buying a lot of the items you were looking at if I made you a good deal?" Smart vendor. She had seen how things went with the other vendor, who by the way had wandered over. I told her that I only had so much to spend on these kinds of fun items today. After a few back and forth talking we came to a deal of 4 items for $1.00. We were both happy with that price.

While she was boxing up my items, I continued to look. She had a set of dishes that I really like for $5.00 but, it was an incomplete set. So, I put those down and continued looking at some things she had in a case. I spotted a tie clip for my husband and asked to see it. I knew Troy would like it and the price was $3.00. not a bad price but, I was really bargain shopping. So, I set it back down in the case. The woman asked me about the dishes. I told her that I either need a complete setting for 4 people or I could only buy a setting for 2 people. She said since I was her best customer of the day and she knew she wasn't going to sell that set due to the lack of dishes. She asked if I would buy them for $1.00 for the lot. I said yes and then made a little comment about the tie clip and wishing it was only a $1.00 as well. She said that would be fine. So, I walked away from this vendor with a big box filled with treasures and 2 grocery bags of more treasures and my grand total spent was $7.00.

When people think of "haggling" they assume that means a verbal bidding war. Sometimes you can just be very subtle and let your facial reactions and your body language do a lot of your haggling for you.

Don't forget to stop by We Are That Family for more WFMW posts!

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  1. I like it! I like it a lot!

    I'm a haggler too. Mostly....cause I'm just cheap!

    But...nothing quite feels like getting a great bargain does!

  2. And it sounds like the seller made offers to releive the pressure. It helps when they are desparate to sell.

  3. Thanks for all your great ideas. I love this blog!


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