Etiquette question

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KungFuMaster
8/17/12 1:19:05AM
I went grocery shopping and this guy was selling key chains in the parking lot. He was Mexican. From his speech, I would assume he barely came to the United States and there's a reason I chose to tell you that.. I picked out the one I liked and asked, "How much?"

He said, "5 dollars."

"Ah - that's too much," I said as I proceeded to leave.

"OK, 4 dollars."

I smirked at him and began walking again.

"OK, my friend. For you, 3 dollars."

I came back and looked some more and when I was sure of which one I wanted to buy, I asked him or should I say demanded, "2 dollars."

He looks at me like I'm a crook and counters, "2.50."

I giggled because now we're negotiating cents here and he couldn't help but giggled too. After the giggles, he surrendered and offered the key chain for 2 dollars.

I told my wife everything I have told you and she said, "That was wrong. You should have given him at least 3 dollars."

I'm not very happy with my decision to haggle him because I'm sure he has a family to feed and selling stuff on the streets is probably his only livelihood. I feel like I cheated him even-though he was trying to cheat me in the first place by trying to sell it to me for 5 dollars.

My question is - do you think I was too selfish in my bargaining and what would you have paid for the key chain?

It was one of these but without the buckle.

KungFuMaster
8/17/12 1:23:58AM
I just want to add, it is not exactly that kind or brand either. It is of cheaper material than the one in the picture. The ones in the picture are top of the line I believe.
lohmann
8/17/12 1:34:39AM
It is simple trade. If he felt that the price did not match the object's value (as well as the time it took for him to sell it), he could have declined your final offer.

Something making you feel guilty, KFM?
Chael_Sonnen
8/17/12 1:41:31AM
Why feel guilty, I would have gotten that joker to take it for $1.00

Ya gotta do what ya gotta do.....wouldn't lose any sleep over it.
KungFuMaster
8/17/12 1:53:53AM

Posted by lohmann

It is simple trade. If he felt that the price did not match the object's value (as well as the time it took for him to sell it), he could have declined your final offer.

Something making you feel guilty, KFM?



I feel guilty because I'm sure he has a family to feed and selling stuff on the streets is probably his only livelihood. Furthermore, we are in a bad economy right now and I felt I took some profit away from him. I do know the things he was selling were probably acquired from Mexico and he would have still profited from me if he sold it to me for a dollar. I just feel bad because I could have helped him out a little bit by not haggling. I tend to negotiate whenever I can and probably this was not the best time to do so.
infestructure
8/17/12 1:59:07AM

Posted by KungFuMaster



My question is - do you think I was too selfish in my bargaining and what would you have paid for the key chain?






He was the one who started haggling, so it's well within your rights to haggle back. To have offered him a lower price initially would have been rude, but as the saying goes... he started it

In my jewellery shop, I can get quite offended when people ask for a discount. It's like they think my jewellery is not worth it. I usually say well, "if you can't AFFORD it, we have some cheaper items over here in the POOR SECTION!" (i'm joking about the last part)

Oh and you couldn't GIVE me that shitty keychain
KungFuMaster
8/17/12 2:05:54AM

Posted by Chael_Sonnen

Why feel guilty, I would have gotten that joker to take it for $1.00

Ya gotta do what ya gotta do.....wouldn't lose any sleep over it.



Now I know you're not the real Chael Sonnen. The real Chael Sonnen would have grabbed the key chain and started walking away with it.

"Hey man, you haven't paid for that."

Sonnen would have pulled the thousand yard stare and said, "Your life or the key chain."

The amigo would have been, "Oh it's cool esse. Muchas gracias. Buenos dias senor."


lohmann
8/17/12 2:07:06AM

Posted by KungFuMaster

I feel guilty because I'm sure he has a family to feed and selling stuff on the streets is probably his only livelihood. Furthermore, we are in a bad economy right now and I felt I took some profit away from him. I do know the things he was selling were probably acquired from Mexico and he would have still profited from me if he sold it to me for a dollar. I just feel bad because I could have helped him out a little bit by not haggling. I tend to negotiate whenever I can and probably this was not the best time to do so.



Would you have bought the item at a store? Or was the entire trade made because you felt like you were helping someone that needed help?
KungFuMaster
8/17/12 2:09:43AM

Posted by infestructure


Posted by KungFuMaster



My question is - do you think I was too selfish in my bargaining and what would you have paid for the key chain?






He was the one who started haggling, so it's well within your rights to haggle back. To have offered him a lower price initially would have been rude, but as the saying goes... he started it

In my jewellery shop, I can get quite offended when people ask for a discount. It's like they think my jewellery is not worth it. I usually say well, "if you can't AFFORD it, we have some cheaper items over here in the POOR SECTION!" (i'm joking about the last part)

Oh and you couldn't GIVE me that shitty keychain



If you're a private owner, you'll hate me as a customer. I will negotiate whenever I can. I believe most things are negotiable.
KungFuMaster
8/17/12 2:13:16AM

Posted by lohmann


Posted by KungFuMaster

I feel guilty because I'm sure he has a family to feed and selling stuff on the streets is probably his only livelihood. Furthermore, we are in a bad economy right now and I felt I took some profit away from him. I do know the things he was selling were probably acquired from Mexico and he would have still profited from me if he sold it to me for a dollar. I just feel bad because I could have helped him out a little bit by not haggling. I tend to negotiate whenever I can and probably this was not the best time to do so.



Would you have bought the item at a store? Or was the entire trade made because you felt like you were helping someone that needed help?



I would have bought it at the store. In-fact, I looked for it at Walmart but they did not have the one I wanted. The next place I was going to try was a sporting good store.

I feel bad because I haggled someone who was probably in need of help.
lohmann
8/17/12 2:20:01AM

Posted by KungFuMaster

I would have bought it at the store. In-fact, I looked for it at Walmart but they did not have the one I wanted. The next place I was going to try was a sporting good store.

I feel bad because I haggled someone who was probably in need of help.



In that case, everything beyond the price agreed upon would be charity or gratuity. (Both of which are not bad things, by the way.) Maybe you should have overpaid if you dislike those concepts though.
KungFuMaster
8/17/12 2:20:49AM
I just wanted to get that off my chest. Thanks guys.
KungFuMaster
8/17/12 2:26:50AM

Posted by lohmann


Posted by KungFuMaster

I would have bought it at the store. In-fact, I looked for it at Walmart but they did not have the one I wanted. The next place I was going to try was a sporting good store.

I feel bad because I haggled someone who was probably in need of help.



In that case, everything beyond the price agreed upon would be charity or gratuity. (Both of which are not bad things, by the way.) Maybe you should have overpaid if you dislike those concepts though.



You see - we live in a society where things tend to be overpriced and if you can negotiate the price, then by all means do so. This situation is different because I'm haggling someone who probably lives in an apartment with two other families. It's like me going to Africa and trying to negotiate the price of something when it's already dirt cheap. I'm not going to lose sleep over this but I just felt I was not being very humanitarian.
Poor_Franklin
8/17/12 4:53:58AM
if their is a negotiation involved in any transaction, the only person that should feel bad afterwards is the one who got ripped off.
george112
8/17/12 7:02:05AM
He accepted your offer. Nothing wrong with that. Plus I'm sure if the roles were reversed somebody else would try to get something cheaper
jjeans
8/17/12 7:20:03AM
In the UK if someones selling you stuff in a car park, we say it's from the back of a van. Meaning its been stolen literally off the back of a van.

Not sure whether this is the case in America but, $2 for a keychain that was stolen isn't a bad price given he got it free.

This is assuming though that here situation happened in the UK.
DancingDoll
8/17/12 7:22:07AM
This is just how it happens in Mexico. One time I was walking around in Cabo, and this guy just walked up to me on the street and clamped these two silver bracelets onto my wrist and started trying to pitch a sale. He went from $40 all the way down to $5... Thing is though - I was't interested in buying bracelets and they weren't my style either, so I didn't care if they were free. But yeah, it's just the standard practice in Mexico... they're proactive sales people. You'll be shocked at how little they're willing to sell something when you're just genuinely not interested in buying.

If I actually wanted to buy something, I wouldn't over-haggle, to be honest. I'd go with what I think is a fair price, especially if the person seems like they're sincere/working-hard. Like those people that are always trying to sell stuff walking up and down on the beach in the blazing sun. They deserve a fair price. That makes me feel better about the buy rather than feeling like I nickle and dimed it down to the lowest possible price for me, especially if I'm not hurting for cash like I know some of those guys are.

Shawn91111
8/17/12 8:16:27AM
Way to take food out of his families mouths
MALICE
8/17/12 9:36:58AM
I have always followed the saying "You get what you pay for." The fact that he was willing to sell it for $2.50 tells me it was not worth any more than that (At least to him). But it is not the value of the item troubling you, it is the principle of the deal that was made. Aside from asking this man directly about his personal life, you will have no way of knowing if he doing everything he can to support a family, just trying to escape taxes, has seven jobs, sells stolen items, etc. What matters is...

You were happy with the deal. He was happy with the deal. You both got a laugh out of the transaction. Seems to me everyone walked away satisfied.
scoozna
8/17/12 9:40:26AM
Interesting topic...it makes me think of two different things:

1) A paving guy, at the beginning of the summer, was driving through my neighborhood sizing up the condition of people's driveways. Mine was falling apart, it was in really bad shape. Naturally, he stopped by when he saw me outside. He measured the driveway and offered $3,000 to tear up the remaining asphalt and re-pave it. While I knew I needed it done badly, I was not in a position to pay for it. Not at any reasonable price, actually, and i knew I wasn't going to accept anything, so I just said i can't afford it and let him keep talking. He came down to $2500. Then he came down to $1800. I never once offered him a price, i just kept saying I couldn't afford it. So, no shock really, there's an incredible mark up on things people try to sell you (goods and services alike). He was soliciting me, I didn't ask him to come by, so I didn't really feel bad that I turned him down in the end. He had a family to feed too, presumably.

2) There's a guy at a specific intersection every day - his cardboard sign says "please help, I'm homeless". Actually there's 3 people that rotate, but one of them is there at rush hour every day. Having gone to school in Philly, I was asked for money daily. You sort-of grow immune to it, at least I did. It bugs me that they are always (trying to) making me feel guilty enough to hand over some money. I review in my mind how much I've given to charity...I ask myself if I could spare some more, I look around and take inventory of how much change I have in the car...etc. At the end of the day, I don't know what their story is, and some days I give them some money and most days I don't.

So, in KFM's story, I believe he was wrestling with the idea of whether he should've haggled or not. But at the same time, he sort-of know that there was a charity issue that was going through his mind (has a family, has to eat). So in my (confused) mind, I think you make your mind up first that you want to help the guy out, but you don't have to play by his rules. You decide what you're willing to give (charity) him, regardless of the value of the key chain. OR you don't look at it as charity, and you say to yourself, this is a transaction, it is worth a certain amount to me and we need to agree on that value.

I respect the guy with the key chain - he's got something to offer you, he's not just "panhandling" to use an old term, not just asking for money. I respect the paving guy who's hustling, looking for jobs - it may be maddening that he wanted nearly 2X what he was willing to do the job for, but I know it's a bit of a game too. (and I used it to my advantage 2 years later when I did have it repaved)

So to end my novel...decide whether it's charity or transaction. You'll feel bad if you intermingle the two.
40ouncetofreedom
8/17/12 10:00:33AM
You can't regret,look back or put too much thought into every conscious decision you make like that..Theres times in life where we've all gotten F'd in the A at some point wether it be on homes,cars,those strippers in New Jersey who said i was cute,rack it up as a win.....Besides i'm sure no matter what you paid for it...He most likely paid a whole lot less fo it,He's probably buying them for less than a dollar anyways......Its all in the game homey.


But what is real important here....





I just saved a bunch of money on my car insurance by switching to Geico.


airkerma
8/17/12 10:33:43AM
You got ripped off if it is indeed Denver Bronco related. He should have paid you to take that nonsense away from him.
FastKnockout
8/17/12 10:47:19AM
You.. giggled?
postman
8/17/12 10:53:00AM
You feel guilty? Thats like dinner table conversation in my family. Buy low sell high best way to make money.
Chael_Sonnen
8/17/12 10:53:46AM

Posted by KungFuMaster


Posted by Chael_Sonnen

Why feel guilty, I would have gotten that joker to take it for $1.00

Ya gotta do what ya gotta do.....wouldn't lose any sleep over it.



Now I know you're not the real Chael Sonnen. The real Chael Sonnen would have grabbed the key chain and started walking away with it.

"Hey man, you haven't paid for that."

Sonnen would have pulled the thousand yard stare and said, "Your life or the key chain."

The amigo would have been, "Oh it's cool esse. Muchas gracias. Buenos dias senor."





This is how we do in West Linn....you knock on the wrong door trying to sell junk and this is what happens.
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KungFuMaster
8/17/12 1:17:40PM
I guess most of you are OK with how I bought my key chain. I guess I'm OK with it too. I'm almost certain he acquired those items from Mexico which means he probably paid cents for each item.

To answered Fasknockout - Yes, I giggled when he started negotiating in cents. Those cents could have helped him a lot and I know what you mean when you asked "You giggled?" I was not insulting the man. I was giggling because it seemed miscellaneous to me to be negotiating cents but to him, every cent counted - and I was too selfish and blind to see that..

Scoozna, you almost have it right. I approached the man because I thought I could help him out by buying something. When the negotiation began, my negotiating skills came into play and I forgot where I was. I was not at a car dealership or a privately owned business. I was in a parking lot with a man who was simply trying to make ends meet. Instead of giving him what I thought was a fair market price like DD said, I haggled him to lowering another dollar. I would have gladly paid 3 dollars for it and 3 is still cheap.

After I bought it and had time to reflect on the incident, I felt I could have been more humanitarian. Regardless whether the seller was still making a profit from me which I think he did, I still feel somewhat of a cheapskate because my initial plan was to help this man when I approached him in the parking lot.
BuffaloDave
8/17/12 3:11:48PM
When you have the outside store peddlers like that, chances are the merchandise is illegally obtained or is a knock off, so not really a big deal how much you talked him down.
thevoodooninja
8/17/12 3:26:25PM
when you got him down to $2 a cool move would have been to give him $3. it would have been a win/win, he would have felt like he got an extra buck off you and you wouldn't have felt bad about haggling him down. but i wouldnt feel too bad about it, he probably paid pennies for something he was selling for $5
pmoney
8/17/12 4:40:23PM
I feel where you are coming from KFM. However I think a lot of people already hit the nail on the head. If he's any kind of salesman, he wouldn't have sold it for less than cost or sold to break even. If he wasn't satisfied with the profit margin, he shouldn't have taken it.

I actually have a moral quandary, perhaps you Playgrounders can offer some insight. A few nights ago, I went to get some burritos for dinner. Let me preface by saying, I try to give everywhere I go. Panhandlers, tip jars at starbucks or the aforementioned burrito place, whatever, I try to give. If I go to a restaurant, you'd have to do a terrible job not to get a 20% tip from me.

Anyhow, I'm at the drive thru, and the total was like $18. I gave the cashier a $20. She handed me back $18 and change, which should have been like a dollar. I was going to give it back, but I noticed a line with a lot of people behind me. I drove forward, with the intent of going inside and giving back the difference. I always do when I get incorrect change.

However, as I pulled up, I recalled something: the last time this happened, I was at the same restaraunt. I was given an extra $10 back. So I notified them, said "hey you gave me too much money. My bill was x, paid with y and you gave me z." And this goddamn cunt looked at me like I stole the money from her. So I said fuck it, if she is too stupid to count or be grateful I am an honest person, why would I do her a favor again? So I left with essentially a free meal.

I had barely thought of it since that night, but this thread reminded me of it. I don't give looking for something back. I don't give to justify or say "well this is my good karma coming back to me". I just try to help. Should I have given the money back? I already tried to help this bitch by giving her the money back before...
KungFuMaster
8/17/12 5:36:04PM
I have given money back before and I have kept it as well. I think it all depends on the service. When I was a kid, I would always to go this Hindu owned liquor store around the corner. They always treated me like shit and when one of them overpaid me, I left with a smile on my face.

I was overpaid in changes a few times from Denny's. I don't know if the waiters and waitresses do it on purpose or not but I simply put it back to add to my tip. Just for clarification, I am not using the excess change to make up my tip. I give the tip amount plus the excess change.

It's all about service to me. I believe I told a story about how I stiffed a waiter from Red Lobster once for not giving my family the garlic biscuits.
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