Monday, October 17, 2011

The Bottom Line

I've never been much good at dickering.  I take things at face value; if an item costs $50 I decide if it is worth it to me to pay that sum for that product, but I do not offer less.  It simply never occurs to me!

So I wasn't prepared for the amount of haggling that went on at the garage sale at Dad and Mom's last weekend.  Our prices were low, our merchandise was quality, and I figured people were getting a great deal if they plunked down exactly what we asked.  I forgot that price-negotiating is a national sport in some countries.

When a lady wanted two full sets of china dishes, one priced at $20 and the other at $25, for $30 total, we said "No."  When she raised it to $35, we said "No."  We wouldn't give it to her for $40 either, but when she found three bottles for 25 cents each and offered us $45 for both sets of dishes and the three bottles, we were glad to oblige.

Later a man stopped by with the same sporting approach.  He made offers on several items, and we were able to work out a deal that seemed to satisfy him.  He paid me for his purchases, then realized that he had missed a room.  He wouldn't leave until he'd seen everything.

His eyes fell on a figurine of the holy family.  Picking it up gently, he studied it for several seconds.  Then he brought it to my sister and pointed at Joseph.  "Yosef?" he asked, then, pointing to Mary, "Maria?"  Yes, Peach told him, it was Joseph and Mary.  As he pointed to Jesus, he loving uttered his name in his own language.  "Yes, baby Jesus," Peach replied.

The man set the figurine on the table and reached into his back pocket, pulling out a crisp $5 bill, paying us the full price.  No dickering.

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