Is haggling worth the effort?

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Mindful Mimi turns her thoughts to haggling, and explains her aversion to the art - or embarrassment - of bargaining.

If you don't get what you want, it's a sign either that you did not seriously want it, or that you tried to bargain over the price – Rudyard Kipling

Have you ever been put into an uncomfortable or embarrassing situation by someone?

My dad, also mildly and lovingly referred to as Stingyman, has put us through many such moments when we were kids.

The good thing when you're a kid though is that you think your parents are superheroes and thus any action is always awesome.

But as soon as you hit puberty (pre-puberty really) the heroic actions get an 'I'm forming my own opinion now and anything my parents do is just sooo uncool' tinge.

Girl blushing

So when you have a dad who used to share hand-me-downs with his 13 siblings, you get a lot of money related speeches and 'when we were young' stories.

We didn't have a lot of money when we were little and every penny was always turned around at least ten times before it even exited the pocket.

Though we never lacked anything, we worked for our first stereo and Dad made sure we understood the value of money, or at least HIS value of money.

I am not sure whether it is a common trait in stingy people or whether it had to do with his upbringing, but my dad likes to haggle. Anywhere, with anyone, for anything.

When you're in let's say Morocco visiting a local market, haggling seems to be the everyday currency there.

But when you're 13 and standing in C&A to buy a shirt and some socks, it's not a behaviour you would expect. Admittedly there was a stain on the blouse. But even so...

Of course the lady behind the counter could not take such a decision and had to get the manager. In the meantime, a queue is forming behind us.

The manager looks at the stain, my dad explains, I am blushing.

He did get a rebate in the end and that is always his point: if you don't ask, you don't get.

Haggling at a Chicago market
Haggling at the market

Nowadays, I am often more amazed at his daring behaviour and what he achieves with it than I am annoyed or embarrassed.

I simply don't haggle. Maybe because of my dad, maybe not. I just hate it. Like clutter, it eats my energy. I don't see the point.

Don't get me wrong: I work in sales and I like a good negotiation, based on respect, trust and a win-win outcome.

But haggling for the sake of haggling? Or to get a few dollars off? Is that worth the energy?

Beats me.

For my dad I think it's like a little competition. To show that he CAN get it and can get the BEST deal. It doesn't matter if he often ends up with things he doesn't really need or that were just simply crap.

Do you haggle? Have you been in such embarrassing or energy draining situations before?


Mindful Mimi


Mimi is a working mother of two little boys, who likes to out her creativity through writing, painting and photography. She blogs about self-improvement, creativity, her hobbies and much more at Mindful Mimi.



Photo credit: Haggling at a Chicago market by TheeErin (Flickr.com)

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