What Bargain Shopping Can Teach You About Relationships

I got to thinking about bargaining. We do it all the time…even when we don’t think its happening.

Having spent the summer in New York, living only about a twenty minute walk from the ever tempting hustle and bustle of Canal Street, I couldn’t help myself. The smells of cheap bargains and the endless shouts of “Please come in” or “I have Gucci, Chanel, Prada” surround you as you are trying to pry your way through a crowd of people as packed as sardines on a fishing boat, all eager to find a bargain on a bag or a perfume that others would shell out hundreds for.

The key, of course, is knowing the market and knowing how to bargain.

I thought I didn’t have it in me, but after one round on the block, I decided to try it out.

I have had a thing for Givenchy perfume ever since I had received it as a birthday gift several years ago. The smell has become a bit of a signature for me and I was just about done with my bottle.

– “How much for the Givenchy?”
– “Twenty-five”
– “How about twenty?”
– “No give you less than twenty-five. Very expensive. Usually forteee-five.”

Well that’s just a bummer. Obviously this bargaining thing is not for me. Maybe I should just give up and head home. I slipped out of the tight closet-like space trying as much as possible not to make scene.

Passing by two more shops with the same perfume, my courage somehow caught up with me and I decided perhaps it was time to give it another go.

– “How much for the Givenchy?”
– “Twenty-five”
Lie Olga…lie. You can do it.
– “I saw it for twenty at another place. Maybe I’ll go back there.”
– “No. no! Stay. I will give you now for twenty.”
– How about fifteen?
Okay, maybe now I’ve gone too far.

– “No give you less than twenty. Very expensive. Designer. At least forteee-five in store.”
Shit. Not this schpiel again. I am walking away. Walk away…just do it.

– It’s okay. I will just go. I only have fifteen dollars with me anyways.

I started to walk away, once again squeezing my way through the mess of people staring at fake designer bags with utter amazement. All of a sudden, I felt an arm grab me.

– “Okay. I give you for fifteen. No less.”
Resssult… I win I win I win. Victory dance in my head.

So perhaps I might be better at sales than I might think. Interesting. Very interesting.

So why in the world am I telling you this? Well, I got to thinking about relationships. Dealings with the other kind. Whatever you want to call them. We all play a clever game in relationships and it is eerily familiar. We bargain…or as we call it, play hard to get. Whoever said love is not a war was very wrong.

We, or at least the stubborn ones among us (I happen to fall into this sad sad category), are all fighting to see who will end up giving in first. Who will let his or her guard down first? We play stupid mindless and childish games. We walk away. We pretend to ignore each other. We pretend we don’t care. Why? Because neither one of us wants to give in. We want the highest bidder or the lowest price and we won’t compromise. We live in a world of salespeople and whether we choose it as a profession or not, we somehow get sucked into this world.

I surely hope that my perfume buying skills will soon apply here, because so far, I am a bit too often tempted to bid earlier than I should.

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