Bargaining Power.

February 10, 2011

Bargain Hard. Walk Away. Make them sweat. Dont give in. Stand your ground. Name your price. Decide what its worth….Such is the advice that is given to readers of guide books and ‘how to’ manuals when it comes to the art of bargaining in third world countries. And you know what?? It’s all true. I love bargaining, and being Italian and used to the bargaining scene, I am very good at it. I have no problem walking away–having the article is not a matter of life or death to me, so walking away is not difficult. Not that I have ever HAD to walk away, it just hardly ever gets to that point. Most of the time, the seller is all to happy to have me purchase the article, albeit at a reduced price.
However, I have never bargained so much as I did for the purchase of school equipment and blankets.
When you are buying in mass quantities, a little bit of a discount goes a very long way. You have to forget that things in India are cheap anyway–you have to look at the facts.
For example.
A quality wool blanket was 375 rupees. I had over 35000 rupess to spend. That meant, that at that price, I could buy 93 blankets. I wanted more blankets. Each rupee became very very important. Sure, individually having ONE blanket cost 325 rupess is not a huge savings…but it makes a big difference when you are buying en masse!
At 325 rupees, I could now buy 107 blankets. Thats 14 more blankets! Thats 14 more homes. Thats often, over 30 kids. Thats STAGGERING!! for the difference of just 50 rupees…which is about…1.10$, we could cause over 30 kids to keep warm at night!!! Suddenly, bargaining took on a whole new meaning!!
I became like a crazy woman. I fretted, I fussed, I cajoled, I walked away, I got angry, I got flirtatious, I got mean, I got soft….I WANTED A DEAL DAGNABBIT!!!!!!
In the end, I was just annoying.
I got my deal though–and was smug in the knowledge that I had done the best I could. In the end, I bought 96 blankets, 15 soccer balls, 5 cricket sets and 1 badminton set. I did good.

Bargaining for Soccer Balls

The Blanket Shop--let the bargaining begin!!

The Deal is Done.

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