Monday, April 4, 2011
Bartering for a Drum
I needed to get a drum this year. These things are for sale everywhere around the Old City and I really don't like the plastic and metal drum that we have at school. I had a little time to spend before going to the Jerusalem Food Festival on Wednesday.
Brian and I went to shop around a bit.
My strategy for bartering requires knowing a bit about the value of the item in the first place. So I checked at a few shops on the main street to see what they would quote me. Without even trying, one guy worked his price from 150 down to 100 sheckels. For similar drums I was quoted as much as 400 NIS (for those keeping score at home I had heard anywhere from $28 - $112.
We finally found another shop that had a few of them for sale. I started looking at what he had and found a few that I wanted to buy. When I asked for prices, he wouldn't give me one until I picked one that I wanted.
I finally decided on one and here is where the fun began.
(This isn't direct quotes, but the gist of the exchange)
Salesman: 200 sheckels, but a special price for you. 170 sheckels.
Me: Really?! This is two pieces, it's not very good. This other one is the same and is broken. I will pay you 70 sheckels.
Salesman: This is a good drum! For 70 sheckels is a small one that you bring back for kids. This is a real drum. 120 sheckels.
Me: That's way too much money. I can spend 75 sheckels.
Salesman: No, no, no! 100 sheckels.
Me: The most I can spend is 80 sheckels.
Salesman: That's not enough. 90 sheckels.
Me: 90 sheckels? Not low enough.
At this point I turned and walked out of the shop. Slowly making my out, I could hear the guy coming out of his shop telling me to wait. I said to Avner, "Tell me if he comes out of the shop after me."
Brian said that the guy was coming out. I turned around and as the salesman was waving saying, "Come back, come back, come back."
I walked back to his shop and he said, "Okay, okay."
Just to make sure we were agreeing on my price, I repeated, "80 sheckels?
Salesman: Okay. Yes. 80 sheckels.
I thought I did a pretty good job with that one, until he started cracking jokes with me as we were exchanging money. I'm pretty sure that I paid more than it was worth, but I'm happy with the price that I paid for the drum.