The art of Bargaining

Indians are experts at bargaining. They usually demonstrate phenomenal skills of articulation during bargaining with shopkeepers and roadside vendors.

They are very serious about this art. They are not willing to pay even a rupee more than the actual selling price and Indian housewives who are more stubborn in this regard are always in the spotlight.

Bargaining is an art for Indians. And shopkeepers are aware of the intelligence we possess. Both of them are cunning and very competitive in framing their strategies.

I have learnt the art of bargaining from my father and later practiced it along with my friends. Sometimes, it is fun and in few occasions, it will be embarrassing when the shopkeeper scolds us if we try to bargain for an unreasonable price. Even though some of us degrade ourselves to bottom most levels, that triumphant feeling in our heart when we finally buy a product for the price we wanted is something that I cannot explain right now, because I don’t have an adjective for it.

But in my view, bargaining with people who strive hard to earn small amounts of money for their livelihood should be avoided. It should not be done with few persons. There are selected categories with whom we should and go ahead.

And I wonder how the art of bargaining suddenly vanishes from Indians when they enter shopping malls? How can they accept the price calculated by a computer? Don’t they give a thought about it? Where does their prowess in obstinate articulation go? Does it gets succumbed to status and pride in the society.

When we go to areas like T Nagar and Parrys in Chennai, the magnitude of bargaining with road side vendors becomes even powerful than an election canvass by a politician. Some would succeed in getting the right price and some attempts would go in vain and they leave the place not buying anything.

The most successful strategy in this truly Indian art is to start leaving the shop immediately when the bargain seems to become futile and then the shopkeeper would call us back to further the negotiation after which both parties finally settle to an agreeable price.

Even if people hate or get irritated by the act of bargain, finally money matters. Everything we do there is related to money in one way or other. At the end of the day only concern is what did I get and what did he get???

Feature image by meenakshi madhavan by CC BY 2.0

One response to “The art of Bargaining”

  1. An excellent article!!! The other side of the truth is that we bargain with the poor roadside vendor for 10-100 rupees…but in a big shop..saw a hotel or jewellery, even without thinking twice we pay the bill… sad but true… Good you brought out both sides of the same coin.. Good bargain 😛


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