Livinghigh: Haggle me this!
Sunday, March 13, 2005
Livinghigh was here at 12:46 PM /

Haggle me this!

Haggling is an art in itself. I remember walking down Janpath (Delhi), staring up at all the great stuff hanging from the stalls, and finally noticing this pair of cream khaki drawstrings that the guy asked Rs 500 for. Well, that got my hackles up, and I bargained fast and furiously, and was very pleased when he agreed to let me have it for Rs 250. I told him to have it packed, scampered to find my friends who were milling somewhere about, and was suitably deflated when one of them managed to get me the pants for Rs 100.

I'm no good at what may be perhaps one of the most important skills in life. Damn...!

That manifested itself consummately enough on my very first transaction in Mumbai - my rented 1 BHK in Parel-Sewrie. My equally inexperienced flatmate and I were thrust from one broker to another, till we reached who we now like to remember as the Brothers Grimm version of Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, whom we now deem completely responsible for our subsequent impoverishment. It cost us seventy-two grand to wisen up.

And yet, there are other creatures who seem born to the art. Natural Picassos, they flit from one dealer to the other with all the charm and self-assuredness of an Ambani wife, and they finally get what they always wanted at a price the dealer never dreamt about in his worst nightmare. So, what's the secret - not letting them know what you want, casual disdain effected o-so-fantastically on your face, walking around in faded clothes so that the actual size of your bank balance is not clear, choosing a market where there are a number of dealers so that competition naturally favours you - or anything else?

Ideate, people!

Mirror Mirror #18: Wasn't this entire post an exercise in standing before a mirror, now?


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