Monday, June 26, 2006

Bargins are just a few words away...

Yesterday was my wife’s birthday. She have procured for me a set of gifts that she knew I would like, and that I actually needed them. I am not really good at this game and hence I took her shopping. I actually asked her to buy whatever she feels she needs, so that the gifts are really things that she likes and needs.

After buying her a new dress and some accessories, we had a quick bite and then happened to cross a particular shop that sells eyewear. I remembered she likes wearing sun glasses and the moment she said her sister-in-law had got one from that shop, I dragged her in. We narrowed down to a pair from Titan FastTrack worth Rs. 1395. I just took a shot and asked the store owner for a discount. He said it’s a branded item and there is no scope for one. He also mentioned that the Titan store in the same mall did not give any discounts. I know that the retailers always have some margin and so I persisted. I also mentioned that we are a repeat customer (a lie, but not a white lie. My wife had been to that store earlier and had made a purchase that time.). This time also he bulged, but then I casually said "Jo kam kar sakte ho aap kar do" (“Do the best you can on the discounts front”). He relented and gave the product to us for Rs. 1250. A discount of Rs. 150 or an 11% discount.

My lesson from this episode is that one should at least ask for what one wants in a negotiation. You may not get it, or, if you are lucky, you may get it and maybe even more. But unless you do ask, you would never know if you could get what you want.

I'll try to extend this theory to B-Schools when I go asking for scholarships. I hope I'm as luck as I was with the sun glasses :)


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