Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Time out with Shopper-Mama: Bargaining skills!

Hi hi everyone

Today I shall touch on something, most women do, while out shopping, that is BARGAIN!  Its something either we love or loathe!

How good are you at bargaining / tawar-menawar?

As for me, I’d give myself a rating of 7 / 10, if not for the fact that I always look desperate for wanting that thing or that, I always have a soft spot for the salesgirl!

Don’t be surprised that between FM and I, let me admit, he is the better one and really a tough one to deal with, I tell ya!  If I am the seller, I would be afraid to have him as a customer (hehehe....I hope he is not reading this!)

Most times I am out shopping for stuff on my own while he reads and does his things somewhere nearby but there are times I prefer he tag along coz I need him to do the bargaining  part for me  - I will pick and choose the stuff, he will do the haggling with the seller.  But, the rule is, I have to walk out of the shop and leave them alone, kalau tak, at one point, I yg tak sampai hati and will nudge FM to show some kesian-ness lah to the salesgirls.  But his mantra is ‘If we don’t try (to bargain as low), we wont know (maybe we can get)’!  However, do it in a respectful way coz these people pun nak carik makan.  So usually, FM will bargain in a light jokingly manner but stand firm on the price he wants.  I know he is doing it for the fun and thrilling factor as to who will surrender kain putih first!

Judging from our very own statistics, more often than not, the seller yang kecundang di tangan or should I say, his mulut 'manis' despite his serious face! But tengoklah, its a case-by-case basis.  Sometimes, we got a real bargain, but that’s becoz the salesgirl yg dah tak sanggup nak layan lagi.  Muka my FM dah lah 'serious garang' (like I said, I also cant take it when he bargains).  And in the end, we decided to pay a little more than we have agreed on and that really makes their day!

Generally, for my FM, I’ll give him a 9.5/10 for a good job well done in most of our buys.

I may be the shopaholic one but he is the better purchaser.  That’s why I don’t do the weekly marketing, as in pergi pasar beli ayam ikan etc, at all!  I know its kind of a disgrace (as a woman) but its something we both have agreed upon, as he has been doing it the last 30+ years for his family when he was still single, so he knows the knack of ‘marketing’ better than I do and thus, he always end up getting a better price from the apek ikan than me!

Just recently, while shopping for some tablecloth at the Geylang bazaar Ramadhan, I picked 3 pieces for a total cost of S$140.  After that, as usual, I stepped aside to let him do his job.  Ding-dong here and there, I know initially the owner did not agree to his price of S$70 for the 3 pieces - best price she offered was S$100.  As I started to give eye signals (meaning oklah tu the price), he didn't give up and tried one  last time and went ‘Selamat Hari Raya Kak, terima kasih Kak, tolong Kak, isteri saya nak beraya dgn alas meja baru ni’ blah blah and finally, the owner gave in and settled at S$80!   

So here are few tips that I learned: -

  • Monitor the body language of the seller - If he /she still maintain belum ‘goyang loktang’ lagi and willing to negotiate, then it means we can still bargain up to a point he /she dah refuse to budge and the situation dah tense, so that means that’s the best price already he / she can offer! 

  • Bargain-lah dengan cara berhemah and saling hormat-menghormati.  Its always a 2-way respect for each other. Don’t need to be discourteous.  Put on your sweet charm, like kawaii-kawaii-ness ke.  Then seller may just give in to you.  But for those sellers who are rude, walk off, unless they are the only ones selling that product, then you gotta swallow your pride and buy at his / her price. 

  • Afer you agreed on the price, always pay the exact amount unless you got no choice!  This is something I learned from FM.  Supposing the price is S$90 after some hard-bargaining, then pay that exact amount. Dont give S$100 coz some sellers will go back on their words and refused any change back.  Believe me, this has happened to me few times!

  • Usually these drama scenes bargain-membargain and tawar-menawar take place at bazaar, pasar malam, or some malls with stand-alone stalls kan, so don’t come dressed to the nines with yr designer bags lah.  Like me, I try to dress down and bring a normal handbag or sling bag esp during my overseas shopping trips.  But if you all dah TER-bawak designer bag tu, then pls make effort to cover your bag.   A friend who owns a shop, told me once, “I see what bag they carry.  If its an LV Gucci Dior or Fendi, then I know they can afford to pay, so why should I lower my price?” 

  • Last but not least, always believe in this mantra – If we never try, we’ll never know!

So, the question of the day is - How do you rate yourselves as a bargainer??


PearL said...

hehe, bab bargain membargain memang best...and i love it..
Especially doing it at the flee markets...
Although in the US, its not their practise and was like.."huh"..when we start bargaining....hehe
But like you said - If we never try, we never know....


rasp said...

frankly speaking, i mmg fail bab bargain...
if i buy sumthing, SH alwiz say "mesti u tak tawar kan"
hahahaha and it's true...
i tak pandai, tak sampai hati....
SH lak is like ur FM...
pandai bab2 bargain berhemah nie...
i'd give him 9/10 :)

cik syahira said...

assalamualaikum mama.

omg.. failed lah.
sy mmg tak pandai nak bargain langsung.
instead of kena buat muka kesian, finally sy yg kesian balik kat seller tu!

nasazfrog... said...

tengok jugak la barang yang nak di tawar tu,, kalau barang yang kita minat giler mmg sy tawar habis2,, i like it,, tapi tgk jugak ada part barang yang sy tak pandai nak tawar,, kengkadang kena tau gak harga semasa berapa,, tapi klau tak tahu bantai je,, janji dapat yang murah..:)
FM tu apa? hihihi

Shopaholic Mama said...

Indra - yes I love those flea markets too! I usually test the 'water' first just try bargain, coz we'll never know!

Sis Rasp - I will tawar jugak, but not as aggressive as FM :)

Syahira - Wa'ailaikumsalam. Alahai, a soft heart you have!

Nasaz - tactic you pun boleh jalan jugak. kena tgk barang apa & harga pasaran.

FM tu stands for 'Finance Minister' or Menteri Kewangan - title utk my husband. Coz kat rumah, dialah yg jagakan budget for our expenses, jgn sampai terlebih, terbocor & terburai ...hehehe

Red Mummy said...

i m very good bargain kak!

bali and beijing was my good experienced. i cut them 70% from their selling price.

i remember masa kat beijingg, i cut 7 or 8 pairs of shoes for just RM100. muncung2 nyonya tuh but since her shop dah nak tutup, she had no choice and me oso dok bertangga kat kedai dia with my family.

but stimes, kalau i takde mood nak bargain, i will just pay.

tak semua hari i rasa nak bargain, once in a blue moon.

how good is my bargain? rate ek? 8 or 9 mbe?