As a small business owner, I field these – or similar – questions every day:

“Is that your best price?”

“What’s my price?”

“If I buy two (insert any item here) what’s your best price?”

“How much is the discount for cash?” – and my favorite,

“If I pay in full now can you forget the tax?”

The answers to those questions are, yes, the price on the tag, two times the price on the tag, there is no discount but cash is always appreciated and I do not sell tax so I can not “forget” it.

It FRIES me when someone assumes that, because I am a small business, I am so “desperate for a sale” that I will take less-than-asking price for an item. It makes me want to have a giant sign like this one installed on our front door:

haggle_crop The bottom line is, we are a small business that prices as competitively as possible so please – do NOT insult me (and embarrass yourself) by asking any of the questions listed above.

What’s that? You saw the same product on the internet for less? Then go buy it on the internet – and when you need a gift certificate donation for your pre-school’s annual fundraiser, good luck with getting one from http://www.flybynitestore.com.

Did I know that there is no tax if you order from a catalog? Wow, really? That’s great – good luck returning something you don’t like, or looked like a different color or, I don’t know – maybe you should factor in that $11.95 S/H charge for the order, too. Makes sense if you are saving almost $8.00 in sales tax, right?

You know such-and-such a store gives a discount for cash? Great – go buy there. After your discount, I bet our price is STILL lower…

I am full of piss and vinegar today because, while we were busy, I had THREE of the five questions listed above asked. I certainly understand the desire to “get the best deal” but – of those three customers, all seemingly well-educated, all well-dressed and one with a “Dr.” before his name on his charge card – I seriously doubt if any of them would go into a Saks or Nordstrom and ask one of their clerks any of those questions. No, instead they will use their “Point Rewards” credit card (at probably 21.99% APR, or greater) so they can get a $10 gift certificate for every $1000 they spend.

That is a 1% return on every dollar spent, via a credit card at 20x’s that rate of interest. Good deal, am I right?

Please – don’t haggle me for the “best price.” Please. Thanks in advance…

3 responses to “Haggling

  1. I have been thinking about this post a lot lately because we have been getting all these questions so frequently at the independently owned store where I work. Over the past month, at least once a day somebody tries to get a discount FOR NO EFFING REASON!

    “We drove a long way to get here.”
    “I don’t think it’s worth this much.”
    “How often do people spend the kind of money I’m spending right now?”
    “Hey, I have to at least try to haggle with you!”
    “Do you wheel and deal?”
    “I shop here all the time.”

    These people make me so angry. One guy tried scamming me by saying he only had $25 to buy the $33 in merchandise. When I told him we don’t do price adjustments, he tried looking all sad about it, then suddenly said he had $31 but not enough for the tax. I told him that I have to charge tax, and he shrugged and walked away. Then he came back with almost $50 in other merchandise and pulled out a stack of twenty dollar bills to pay for it!

    Dear customers, you are going to pay what the price tag says. Period.

    • I have never understood why indie businesses are so disrespected – like, NO ONE would walk in Nordstrom’s and say, “Since I bought a pair of shoes, I should get a pair of socks for free,” but BS like that happened ALL THE TIME at the store I co-owned. Thank The Universe it is closed now…

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