Far better to get some discount than none

A few weekends ago, we went to a community yard sale at the YMCA.  One of the tables there had a number of children’s books from the 19th century that were in excellent shape.

Our nine-year-old daughter likes little things — little baskets and boxes with lots of little compartments, little figurines, etc.  These books were little, and cute.

She found one that she liked — Shakespeare, of all things! — and the price was marked $5.  The book was in superb shape, and it was an antique.

I told my daughter: “Ok, make her an offer.”  I was really curious what she was going to offer.

She offered $3.  The lady countered with $4, and my daughter accepted.

Don’t be greedy when asking for a discount!

I did an imaginary happy dance when she offered $3.

It was a good offer to make for a $5 item, especially one in good shape.  It wasn’t so low that it was offensive.

I didn’t get the impression that this lady would have refused to sell to her had she offered a quarter for the book.  She might have laughed at the offer and said something more reasonable, and perhaps used it as a “teachable moment” kind of thing.

But if I had offered a quarter for it, I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t have sold to me.  Heck — I wouldn’t have sold to me!  Money Beagle wrote about this recently regarding dos and don’ts of asking for a discount.  Cut too deeply at the beginning, and the other party could just walk away.  Or, at least, refuse to bargain on the price.

Bargaining is an art form.  It’s not for pigs.  Pigs get slaughtered.

John Wedding

Husband. Father. Web publisher. Musician. John has blogged at Mighty Bargain Hunter since 2005, helping people to recognize life's good deals.

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  1. says

    I used to be a horrible haggler. It really is a craft to know the value you place on an item and find that sweet spot. I am not ashamed of asking for a discount. I recently went to a mini-golf with my friend and his son. I quickly asked if there was any available discount and the guy said yes and knocked out $2 on each of our ticket.

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