There we are, at one of the shopping location to buy some clothes for myself. This is the only time I am actively looking to shop and make a quick finish of shopping and get back home to spend the remaining time in a better way. But this time, it was different. I had come to this shopping with my wife and somehow wanted to show some smart bargaining tactics to her. So at the entrance of the shop, I asked her to just maintain some distance from me while I go to the counter and demonstrate my bargaining tactics. Here it goes -
I go to this fellow in the shop and as usual ask him to show few T-shirts. Then I choose the T-Shirt I like and usually I do not do a trial as i feel it is a waste of time, so the only part pending is the price negotiation. So being confident of my skills on bargaining and to show-off to my wife, I ask him the price - he says "Sir, Rs. 699". I say, "No way, I will pay you only Rs.500" (and I stealthily look towards my wife with a little smirk on my face), She is calmly watching and listening to the conversation.
Fellow - "Sir, it is not possible to give at such low price, It is surely not possible. I can give you at Rs.650"
Me - "No, cannot accept, it is still very high for this quality of shirt. Make it Rs. 550, that is my final offer."
Fellow - "No sir, we do not even get our margins for this amount. Last offer, I can make it Rs.600 sir"
Me - "Well, seems OK, but since you are a good guy, I will accept it and lets deal it for 600. done". And with this I go to billing counter get the savings of Rs.99 and with a proud face, go to my wife and show her the savings done. She acknowledges and slowly and steadily congratulates me. I ask her, if she has now learnt on how to bargain, and she gently pushes me aside. Says - "Yes, I have learnt a lot. Let me show you what I have learnt". Now she asks me to stay in her place and she goes to this fellow to buy another T-Shirt for me. And finally after the selection process, bargaining time comes -
Wife - "Rs.699 is too much. I can only give you Rs.350".
(Behind the scenes, I laugh a bit. I think starting with half price for bargaining, this will not go anywhere and I feel good that my wife will return empty handed)
Fellow - "Madam, not fair, this is too less. I can offer you for Rs.650"
(I am delighted as the fellow is consistent and I feel confident he will not go beyond 600 which is the same price that I bought for.)
Wife - "NO NO NO... for this shirt, the fellow in that other shop is giving for 350 only."
Fellow - "Cannot give madam. We get this at a higher price than this. OK final offer I can make is 600"
(I pump the fist and I hope my wife agrees to this and ends the bargaining so we can go home soon. But my wife is still adamant)
Wife - "No way, I will not give a rupee more than 350. You want to give then give, else I will go to that other shop"
Fellow - "no madam. That is very less. I can offer you 500 as final offer."
(The laugh on my face is wiped off. I get a bit serious. The fellow is offering at 500 and still looks like he can reduce further.)
Wife - "If you give it at 350, I was planning to buy another one, but 500 is too much. Ok I will go to other shop now." (and starts leaving from there. My smile comes back as she has failed to go beyond my price in bargaining and she could not buy the t-shirt as well).
Fellow - "Wait madam, if you are buying 2, then I can make it for Rs.800 for both."
(My jaws drop. I cant believe what that guy has just gave in with little more pressure. I now start wondering what would be the original cost at which this guy gets it)
Wife - "No, 750 is my last offer for both. Take it or I am leaving."
(I cant believe she is still bargaining. I would've blindly accepted it even for 500 a piece and my wife is still going on....!!!)
Fellow - "Done madam, do you have a bag. The carry bag will cost you another Rs.5"
Wife - "Bhaiyya, what 5 rs?, you can adjust it in the 750 only. Give me the carry bag."
Fellow - "OK madam. Take it" (and hands the carry bag with 2 t-shirts, all for Rs.750).
I tend to avoid the shining victorious smile on my wife's face as she comes to me and raises her eyebrow. I try to look away from her and that is when I understand that bargaining is really an art which is cultivated differently by Men and Women.
And the worst part, I had to live with listening to this story for another month or so when this was repeated to every person that visited our home during that time. I vowed never to show my bargaining skills in front of my wife again.....!!!!