Bargaining is something that is at the core of many societies. When I was growing up, my friend’s dad was certainly an advocate. I’d often hear of how he would go to the Reedman car dealership in Pennsylvania to negotiate a good price on a car. I’ve sometimes wondered if he just went there for fun — whether he needed a car or not!
Famed Hungarian Psychology professor Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi wrote in one of his books about a man for whom he’d once worked. That man owned a shop and his greatest pleasure seemed to come from haggling over the price with prospective customers. In fact, if a customer didn’t argue, then the shop owner wouldn’t sell to them.
I’ve known other people who have an avid distaste for bargainers. A good number of farmers I’ve known couldn’t stand attending certain markets because the culture of many in those communities was to bargain prior to purchase. Farmers would set the price and customers would disregard any signs and ask, “How much?” If the farmer didn’t drop the price of the item, the customer would pound the table at the farmer’s stand and say, “Too much!” and walk away. In a few minutes, the same shopper would return, ask how much and then pay that price and leave with their item.
Many people don’t understand and/or welcome the drama, while others can’t do without it. To each his own.
While I have never haggled over the price of a car or produce at a farmers’ market, getting a discount is something that I’ve welcomed. It’s my belief that saving money is the same as making money. Armed with that mantra I’ve always been a big fan of getting a good deal.
The East Village is still a place where deals can be found if you know where to look. Most visitors don’t know where to find these deals, but technology today makes it much easier for even the novice to find good deals.
Some of those Web sites and mobile apps are as follows:
Scoutmob is a part of the “tech-savvy” coupon trend that has emerged. Studies have stated that coupons have become increasingly popular “among a nontraditional population — those who are urban, well-to-do and tech-savvy”. Scoutmob provides location-aware coupons to users on their mobile phone. Deals offered on Scoutmob are free, so users can decide to get the deal on the platform but will only pay when they redeem it at the venue.
Groupon is a deal-of-the-day Web site that features discounted gift certificates usable at local or national companies. The company offers one “Groupon” per day in each of the markets it serves. The Groupon is activated if a certain number of people sign up for the offer, then the deal becomes available to all. Groupons include everything from discounts on neighborhood restaurants to massages to products and services.
Amazon Local offers customers deals so they can enjoy deep discounts not only from local businesses, but also from national chains and online merchants. They deliver savings of up to 75 percent on restaurants, spas, events, travel getaways, hotels and more so you can enjoy familiar favorites and new experiences in NYC’s East Village.
Seamless is an online food ordering service that allows users to order food for delivery and takeout from restaurants through their web site. Seamless does not prepare or deliver any food. Once a user submits an order, it is automatically sent to the chosen restaurant. The restaurant confirms the order with Seamless and then prepares and delivers the order. At many restaurants, users also have the option to pick up their meals from the restaurant.
Goldstar sells half-price tickets to leisure activities such as live entertainment, theatre, concerts, dance, film screenings, sporting events, and spa services. The company serves markets in the metro areas like New York and focuses on young people who may not ordinarily choose to go to live events other than movies and creates preference profiles for its members based on post-event surveys.
Unfortunately for some, you won’t get the pleasure that you may find when you bargain on your own. But for shop owners, the large majority likely will appreciate that you don’t.