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.

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