Haggling: You’re Doing It Wrong

“Do you see this watch?”

Haggling and negotiating is to be expected when striking a deal.

Of course, like anything, there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it.

What constitutes appropriate negotiations is, naturally, dependent on context.

How you go about getting a good deal on a new car is different from how you negotiate the price of real estate. Both of those are different from how you buy a stereo or, for that matter, produce at a Farmer’s Market.

Last week I shared a piece on social media from humor site McSweeny’s, entitled “A Small-Scale Organic Farmer Wants You To Know A Few Things”

It generated a lively discussion, mostly because I have lively friends.

The excerpt that really spoke to me was this one:

I refuse to give you a discount on principle because I know those shoes cost $200 and because anyone carrying a Vera Bradley handbag can afford to pay full price. I own a barn, lady—I wasn’t born in one.

I’ve had my own run-ins over the years with customers like that.

My old standby when someone asked me “What’s your best price?” was to quote 3x what the regular price was.

“What?” they’d say.

“Oh” I’d reply “You meant my *lowest* price? 3x is my *best* price. If I get that out of you I’m taking the rest of the day off.”

As it happens, one of my friends just happens to actually be a small-scale organic farmer. Her response was priceless, and to the point:

When someone pulls that on me I double their price.