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Art of Bargaining

"A memory I reminisced recently"
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Published 5 years ago
“How much?” he asked the vendor pointing at the pile of tomatoes with an authoritative tone.

“It’s 30 Rs a kilo, take it for 25 Rs” She says, as she arranges the pile of tomatoes, also luring the customer.

“Too much, let’s go son,” without turning he walks slowly away from the vendor. I was watching thinking what’s going on here. He should have bought it.

“Oh, don’t go away like that, say one more value,” she pleads with him and adds the weights into the weighing machine.

“Will give 18 Rs,” he says and pauses for her reply.

“Okay, give 20 Rs. How many Kilos you want?” she is slightly satisfied with the value and starts to add tomatoes into the weighing machine.

“NO, 18 Rs last, I will take two kilos and let me choose,” He squats and starts to choose the tomatoes and asks me to do the same. I squat beside him and start adding all the red ones which attracted me.

“Hey, not Red ones, Choose the ones which are medium ripened. Here, like this,” He shows me the one which is not so red not so green. I follow him and he hands over the basket to the vendor. She removes some from the machine, to balance.

“Let it be, we are taking 2 Kilos,” my father complains and I see her adding those back into the weighing machine and murmuring something. Must be cussing I thought the way her face looked. We moved on to the next stall.

“What you doing? You should have paid 25 Rs, it’s embarrassing you knson,” I accuse him as I walk behind him. He hears me and turns around and says,

“It’s called bargaining and you won’t understand now, just watch. Every penny has its value my son” He pats my head and goes to next stall and so on.

There on that day, walking from stall to stall I learnt bargaining strategies. My father bargained with ease, an art he mastered, later every time I accompanied him, I admired him doing that. The pause, the walking away and choosing the right amount, so that the vendor can’t deny it.

Although I felt humiliated when he asked such low price, as if we don’t have money, I was annoyed; I felt the vendors ridiculed us. But later in my life, I experienced how important it is to save money.

Oh yes, I too bargain, now if I go with him, he let me make the negotiation though I am not as cold as him and he complains later after all the shopping is over.

Happy bargaining.


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