Do You Think This Is A Test?

Watched a report on TV a few days ago about a lady who refuses to pay full price for anything. The lesson of the report was that you should never accept the offered price, because most times, you can get a bargain. Today, I tested the theory.

On my way to Albany, I was heading to Penn Station and realized I was without an iPhone charger. Not because I forgot it, but because my charger has been acting crazy, charging sometimes, at other times I can’t get a charge if it’s plugged into the wall but I can if it’s connected to my computer, at other times, neither works. So at home, I can get creative and use any of a few other emergency type cords that I take hiking (a solar battery hook-up, etc) but I wouldn’t have access to these on the trip. 

So, I was at 34th Street and decided to try to get a cheap charger for the road. I stepped into an electronics store, one of those stores where every square inch of the display window has a sticker and they all end with 99cents. I figured if I could get a cheap charger, this might be the place.

When I asked for the price of the iPhone charger, the two men behind the counter, both of them, hesitated. They looked at me. They had already noticed the luggage that I was wheeling around, so they assessed my clothes, my coat, I guess to determine if I was a tourist or a New Yorker, and to quote me a price based on my appearance.I didn’t know if I should be grateful or offended, but the spokesperson, the seller, perhaps the more aggressive of the two, he finally said “It’s $30.”

I said, “No thanks” and started to walk away. As I was leaving, they started to reduce the price. “It’s $30 but if you want it, you can give me $25.”

What does that mean If I want it? I am here because I want to buy a charger. Do they think this is an exercise in futility, some research I am doing for a sociology paper. Regardless, I wasn’t about to pay $25 for something my friend calls a disposable charger – it charges once and then you have to throw it away. So I repeated, “No, thank you”, and opened the door to leave.”

“Okay, give me $20,” he shouted as I wheeled my bag through the door. I was already outside so he probably didn’t hear my response because I was facing the noisy traffic going down Seventh Avenue but I could hear him.

As the door was closing, I turned back to look at him, and he was hanging over the counter and shouting, “Do you have $15?”

At that point, I thought about going back to get it, but it’s the principle of the thing.

I went across the street. The man in the kiosk on that corner quoted me”$8″ for an identical item. So of course, testing my theory (didn’t I just say this was’t a test?) I asked, “Can you give me a better price?” 

He responded, “Regular price is $10 and I’m giving you for $8”

I said, “But you never said $10. You said $8. So can I get a better price?”

“Regular price, $10. If you want it, you give me $8.”( More of that “If i want it” language. What is up with these salesmen?)

I looked at him. He looked at me. I opened my wallet and gave him the $8.

While I waited to start my trip, I charged my phone. I don’t know if it will charge tomorrow. That’s the thing with these disposable chargers. No guarantees. But then there are so few guarantees in life – death, taxes and a new movie every Saturday night on HBO. But I am happier to pay $8 than $15 or $30 or anything between for the same item.

So sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But it never hurts to try. Wonder what I can get a better price on tomorrow? Maybe I can ask the hotel if they can knock a couple bucks off if I don’t drink the complimentary tea they’ve arranged so nicely in my room. Or maybe if I make up my own bed, they’ll shave off a few dollars each day. I mean, it never hurts to ask, right?

So, are you a bargain hunter? How is that working out for you?

4 Comments Add yours

  1. I look for sales but I will not ask for a price reduction at a store. Actually the few places where the salesman gave me a lower price as I was leaving without buying the item I asked about, I left even faster. Can’t stand when businesses are not transparent with their prices. I understand the concept of retail, demand, whatever, but when someone sets a price it should be the same for everyone.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Paul says:

    People need to know that they don’t always have to pay the advertised or full price for merchandise. All you have to do, is ask. We are the consumers, we have the money, hence we are in control of what we do with it.
    It also helps to do your home work to find out what things really cost so that you would know if you are getting a bargain or not. But, no matter what price the salesperson quotes you, look at them with a smile and ask for a better price.
    I recently bought a 55″ 3D tv that was advertised for $799. for $599., by simply asking.
    Hey, by the way, can I get a free giveaway from RUNWright?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. runwright says:

      I like that advice, “look at them with a smile and ask for a better price” I’ll try that for my next purchase and let you know what happens. There are no current giveaways but I’ll let you know about our next promo.


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