May 20, 2010

White vs Asian: Haggling behavior

I HATE to haggle. Tell me the price, I say 'ok' if I agree, we're done. Clean, easy, no stress. When Mom K took me shopping for furniture (back when we had a house in Bawlmore), I learned the art of haggling from a master.

Sweet petite older Asian woman to young man in store, "How much for this table and that couch?" She listens to his long-winded pitch, "Hmm...but this table has a scratch. The couch cover is new, the legs look new, it's not antique. Besides, I need to come back for chairs soon. If you give it to me for [1/3 off price], I can come back later for chairs. OK?" The guy agrees and somehow ends up throwing in free delivery as well.

I found a bunch of bikes for sale via craigslist last night. I started emailing various owners. Went back and forth this morning with a guy whose name was obviously Chinese. He kept throwing in preparatory haggling statements like, "remember, it's first-come, first-serve." "The bike rides great." "It's been stored indoors. I never rode it." So I went there prepared to haggle. Somehow it felt like I couldn't just say ok to his price.

Turns out he lives up the street from my office, so I swung by today on my lunch break.

I rode the bike around. It's a Giant 870 ATX. I'd looked up some reviews and people seemed to love the bike. It's got shock absorbers on the front fork of the bike frame. The guy told me to try riding it off the curb. I've had enough bike accidents doing such things that I TOTALLY didn't want to do it, but I gave it a shot. It was like butter. I barely knew I'd gone off a 5-inch lip. Suhweet!!!

So I came back and looked closely at the bike, "The chain looks rusty." I rubbed it. "I'm going to have to get new pedals for this." I tilted my head and stared at the bike dubiously, "Would you take [$40 off]?" He looked at the bike with a frown, "I guess. But I know my Dad paid a lot more than that for this bike. Plus it comes with a rechargeable battery and headlight set." [I KNOW. Definitely part of my interest, dude.] He countered, I'll give it to you for [$30 off]. And then he helped me load it into the car.

The BEST part? I called my renters insurance this morning and had the nicest adjuster EVER. He had me send him an itemized list of all the custom elements I'd added to the bike. Even after our $500 deductible, I still get over $300 back--no receipts or photos required! And REI is having a big sale this weekend so I can get my lock, fenders, new pedals and commuter tires for cheap[er].

I'm lovin' life today!


NGS said...

Sweet deal! I know nothing will replace your lost love, but it's awesome that you're getting back on a bike!

Inkling said...

That is awesome. I should come shopping with you and learn. When you lost your bike to theft, I felt awful for you and wished I could buy you a new one. I'm glad that a replacement is happening and that all is not lost.

BTW, on a totally unrelated note, I just wanted to thank you for your comments. You always say something encouraging or wise, and I really appreciate it. I also appreciate your honesty and willingness to share. Thank you!

jooliyah said...

very very cool.

Snickollet said...

So glad you got a replacement bike, and nice job on the haggling.

I like to day that I used up all my haggling when I was in the Peace Corps. Three years of nonstop bargaining took it all out of me. I didn't like it before, during, or after, and I avoid it like the plague at this point. But your story reminds me that something can definitely be gained . . .

Rachel said...

My MIL loves to haggle too. I don't like haggling, but it sounds like you did well. I could learn a thing or two from you. I'm glad you have a new bike.

Mama Nabi said...

You totally got ripped off. You should have gone for an even $50.00.

Actually, I hate haggling. Sometimes, my mom would bluff by walking away and the shopkeeper wouldn't budge... and I'd panic if it was something I had wanted. Seriously, fingerbiting suspense!

Happy for the cool new bike!

Aimee said...

Sweet! I don't like haggling or bargaining, but this car stuff has changed my mind, somewhat. :-) Dave Ramsey dedicated an entire CD to negotiating price in the "Financial Peace University" series.

David said...

Well, haggling like it or not is a neccesary evil when dealing with many asian merchants unless you like getting ripped off. Congrat on your new bike. God bless

Anonymous said...

Haggling? Haggling?

Your very words show the problem. It's not haggling; it's negotiating.

I'm proud that you did it well.
I'm glad that you're happy.
I'm impressed by your educational achievement --
that you've learned to lock your bike.

Lil'Sis said...


Life of a Doctor's Wife said...

I'm totally impressed. I've NEVER been able to haggle. It makes me all nervous and sweaty.

Glad you got a great bike at a good price.