The art of haggling

Flea markets and garage sales.

Clem Onojeghuo | Unsplash

These two are the best places to buy some cheap, antique, or vintage gadgets and trinkets. Most of the time, the prices of the wares are way lower than in general. Primarily because of overuse, damage, manufacturing fault, or other circumstances. But often, merchants are aware of how much their antique merchandise costs, and they raise the prices even more. In this case, we either open our wallets with a deep sigh or jump into the dangerous waters of haggling, which I witnessed in my hometown.

Nikola Duza | Unsplash

Let’s say you see a beautiful, old vase while rambling around the flea market. You want to buy it and place it in your living room, but it costs 13 euros, and you have only 11 euros in your pocket, so you decide on haggling. What should you do? I got some steps for you.

The first tip is to politely ask the seller if they would give you the said vase for 9 euros instead of 13. This seems a bit too easy, and probably it sounds impossible, but believe me, one kind question and a crumb of patience can reach more than half an hour of yelling over a cracked vase. And all besides that, we should keep calm and be polite during the conversation with the merchant. 

Coppers and silvers may allow you to buy your new dream decor for your home. Start playing with the numbers if they don’t let the price down after asking. Offer them 10 euros instead of 9. You can use the small change for a slow price raise in this matter. 

When even the species turns out crabs, you should move forward to the next step. Search for flaws! Look for manufacturing defects, painting flaws, cracks, broken edges, and report them to the merchant. Let’s say you found a crack at the bottom of the vase, and you show it to the seller. By this, they might let you go with it for 9 euros.

But what if they still say it costs 13 euros? Take slightly insulting comments on the vase. For example, it’s way too damaged for 13 euros! At this point, you can get into quarrels with the merchant because let’s be honest, nobody likes it when someone insults their product. But also by disparaging the item, we can make the seller think over the price of the vase, and they may finally give it to you for 9 euros. 

In summary, always make sure not to run over people’s feelings by harsh insults on their merchandise. Keep your horses, be polite and comprehending with the sellers, and don’t be afraid to haggle a little for something you want!

István Gál

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