March 22, 2008

NOTHING COSTS MORE THAN IT USED TO...:

Even at Megastores, Hagglers Find No Price Is Set in Stone (MATT RICHTEL, 3/23/08, NY Times)

Shoppers are discovering an upside to the down economy. They are getting price breaks by reviving an age-old retail strategy: haggling.

A bargaining culture once confined largely to car showrooms and jewelry stores is taking root in major stores like Best Buy, Circuit City and Home Depot, as well as mom-and-pop operations.

Savvy consumers, empowered by the Internet and encouraged by a slowing economy, are finding that they can dicker on prices, not just on clearance items or big-ticket products like televisions but also on lower-cost goods like cameras, audio speakers, couches, rugs and even clothing.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 22, 2008 5:50 PM
Comments

Technology is a big part of it, but I was surprised that the Times article omitted the cultural influence of the New Americans. Many immigrants are from places where price negotiations are part of everyday life. What's that about importing cultures?

Posted by: Lou Gots at March 23, 2008 1:08 AM

In the last year, she said, the store [Home Depot] has adopted an “entrepreneurial spirit” campaign to give salespeople and managers more latitude on prices in order to retain customers.

These stores would retain more customers if we could find a sales person on the floor who knows or cares about selling at the regular price, never mind haggling. Making contact with the manager -- they must be kidding. Try to find one. They're either out of the building or in a meeting and the stock clerk is filling in.

It's just another attempt at trying to equate us with a third world country?

Lou, new immigrants come here in part to get away from those quaint customs where merchants set prices depending on their estimate of the means of the prospective buyer. They come here to enjoy the fact that lively competition sets prices which are clearly marked for everyone to see?

BTW - Didn't people who wrote articles in newspapers used to have some brains in their heads?

Posted by: erp at March 23, 2008 8:11 AM
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