Haitian people love to haggle. Haitian people will haggle over just about anything from food, clothes, jewelry, cab fare, carrying your luggage, you name it. Any and everything is negotiable. They believe this to be true, even here in the States.
There are rules to the process. Be careful not to insult someone with a low ball offering or an already intense negotiation process could escalate into something physical. Be prepared to walk away; only to be called back if they really want the sale. Show interest, but not so much that you seem desperate. The end goal is to make sure that both parties are satisfied and feel like they got the better end of the bargain than the other person.
My mother is a master haggler. She will haggle with anyone, anywhere, anytime, selling her anything. My mother thinks every store is a flea market or garage sale and therefore prices are negotiable. She knows she is not in Haiti so what else could it be? As a kid, I used to be so embarrassed because I felt like it made us look poor. In my head I am thinking, ” You have the money, just pay the people so we can get outta here”. To add insult to injury she was loud too. She would stand there holding up the line, speaking with an accent, as I stood there mortified. If you need background knowledge please see my previous blog, ” I’m not Haitian, I’m French” so you can feel some level of sympathy for me.
I used to tell myself over and over that I would never, ever, ever put my kids through that type of humiliation.
Well, with age comes clarity, and I see that growing up she had to make ends meet as best she could. She grew up in country where this what she knew. Growing up for me, things were tight, and it so it made perfect sense that would always look for ways to cut costs. Of course, I didn’t see it that way at the time.
These days, I am proud to say I am your resident frugal, couponing, negotiating, discount asking for queen..Remember..time..clarity…exactly!
Just recently, I was in the mall with my mother looking for a new set of pots and pans. I found a set but the box was opened and asked a salesperson for assistance in making sure all the pieces were in the box because I wanted to buy them. The box indicated that it was a complete 25 piece set, however we were only able to locate 23 pieces.
Me: How much is the complete set with no pieces missing?
Saleslady: I believe it’s 179.99 but I would have to ring it up to check.
Me: Well, since pieces are missing, is there a discount for that?
Mom: ” We tek it for addee-five”
Saleslady: Let me call a manager over to help you.
The lesson I hope my 8 yr old takes away from this and anyone else who feels “negotiating” is a waste of time is : You can’t be afraid to ask for something, because you just might be surprised by the outcome. You will never know, until you ask.
Have you ever had to deal with the bartering, negotiating, haggling, refuse to pay full price type of parent? Were you embarrassed like me? Has it effected the way you approach financial decisions? Are you the same or take the opposite approach?