India’s no. 1 Pastime. Bargaining Bargaining is both a fun and serious business.

Bargaining- India's Pastime

Ask any retailer, “Bargaining” is his biggest headache. Everybody loves to bargain. Every buyer thinks that the price “quoted” is high.

We are a nation of shopkeepers and as a nation, we all love to bargain. We all want “full paisa vasool” or full value for the money we are going to pay!

So, whether we are shopping with the local street cart seller of vegetables or shopping in a shop in a mall, we all want to bargain.

Sure, the habits are changing, with the younger lot of customers, and more so in established “Brand shops”.

Here are 5 tips for the sellers (who are not into a fixed price system already)

  1. Accept that we are a nation of “bargainers”. So rather than take it as a “personal challenge, someone is testing  your “ego”, look it as a “serious but fun activity. As a seller, you have more to lose than a buyer.
  2. Identify a decent mark-up which is meant for bargaining. If you sell at this higher price, you are happy. If not, you can go down, up to that markup price
  3. At this lower end of the price also, the buyer should feel that she got a “good deal”.
  4. Identify a floor price up to which you will go. Some people have the habit of asking for a 50 % off or more. So, don’t be offended. Make your floor price offer and stick to it.
  5. Identify a set of products, at rock-bottom prices (basic products, old products) that you will not be able to sell at their earlier prices any way. For that customers, who is just looking for a deal, offer these products.

Here are 5 tips for the buyer (who are not shopping in a fixed price brand store like Shoppers Stop, Tanishq, Big Bazaar).

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  1. Shop keepers keep some extra margin/prices for “bargain hunters”. But, know that there is a limit to which they will go down the price.
  2. Bargaining is both a fun and serious game of hide and seek.
  3. Identify a product that you will buy, identify a price which you will pay and only then begin bargaining, only if you are sure of making a purchase at a particular price.
  4. Often, the seller will ask you for a price you will finally pay. If you say a price, and the seller agrees to that price, you should be willing to pay that and make a purchase. It is bad manners to quote a price and then if accepted, to decide not to buy even at that price.
  5. Remember, sellers also have a business to run. Quoting too low a price, that you know will not work, shows you are not serious. Then, don’t start a bargain itself.

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