Friday, December 11, 2009
Can We Talk about Garage Sale Haggling?
A few weeks ago I stopped at a local garage sale. It had an odd assortment of stuff and was clearly a man's house. Frankly, I didn't know what half the stuff there was. Car parts maybe? Nothing was priced which I don't really like.
There was this one grungy copy box with the lid closed and I happened to peek. It was full of fabric. I riffled through the fabric and thought of offering him a couple of bucks for the pieces I liked. Seeing as I didn't need more fabric, I walked on. But because fabric has a hold on me, I had to ask the price. "$20 for the box of fabric." Twenty bucks! Frankly, if I had $20 for fabric on that day, I would go to Michael Levines and get either 10 pounds of fabric in the Loft or a few really choice yards of fabric that I loved. So I said, "No thanks."
A moment went by and his friend chided him saying, "So what time are we going to start loading all this over priced stuff back into your garage." He came over to me and asked me what I would pay for the box. I said, "Seven dollars. It's what I have, and frankly, I can get fabric for a $1 a yard downtown.Plus I only want about half the stuff in the box. The rest I will just give to Goodwill."
His friend made the deal and I got the fabric, but not before the homeowner made some kind of remark about how people want you to give everything away for free. He commented that "people" nickle and dime until "they practically think he should be paying them to take his stuff."
I was a bit turned off. Yes, I haggled, but I was honest. I can get cheap fabric downtown. I don't need any of it and I only had $7 cash in my pocket. Besides, it's a garage sale! If I wanted to pay full price- well, I am not sure where I would go. Every place has sales now days.
Turns out, I got a fantastic deal. There was a lot of crap in the box, but underneath there were some gems as pictured above.
So do you haggle? How do you feel about hagglers?