Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Now, are you telling me that's not worth twenty shekels?

Josh writes:

Having begun to dip my toes in Auckland's bloated property market, I am forced to come to terms with the fact that this is one situation where I will not be able to avoid one of my biggest pet hates: bargaining.

I like things simple -- you give a fair price; I pay it. Not for me the spirited back and forth of offer and counter-offer -- I can't fucking stand it. Now, I know people who are good at it; I know people who actively enjoy it; I know it's the norm in many cultures, but that doesn't change the fact that for me, there's just something off about it.

That "something" is this: bargaining is lying. I say "this is all I will pay." This is a lie -- I can and will pay more; I'm deliberately starting low. They say "this is the least I will accept." This is also a lie -- they'll take less; they're deliberately starting high. So I reply "OK, I can afford a bit more," immediately proving that I was lying a moment ago, and they counter "OK, I'll take a bit less," doing exactly the same. And we continue, lying to each other's faces, admitting as much, and continuing to do so over and over again until we meet somewhere in the middle, but presumably closer to the starting point of whoever was the best liar.

And that's the other thing I don't like: the competitive aspect. I'm not comfortable with the idea that I can "lose" what should be a straight-forward transaction. You might say I'm being too serious -- bargaining's not serious competition, it's a game. Not when were talking about hundreds of thousands of dollars for a bloody house, it's not. And even then, I'm not a great liar, so it's a game I'm shit at -- no-one likes playing a game they're no good at.

In conclusion: Waaah!

1 comment:

RSJS said...

Negotiation is only fun when you have nothing to lose - either bargaining for something you don't want, or using other people's money. Otherwise it sucks balls - and proves that we are all selfish cads at heart.

At least in my job, someone lies to me, they don't get to go "ooh, I was just trying it on, I'm a bit of a lad, me" and keep lying. They get one shot at the truth then lawyers, coppers, debt collectors and sundry red-clawed fiends are sicced on the perpetrator to devour their liver.

THAT'S job satisfaction. But I digress -the point is, sucks to be you.