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Thread: Bargaining Tactics

  1. #1

    Default Bargaining Tactics

    Bro / Sis,

    Ever experienced buyer trying to bargain down on price by quoting price from some external sources or even external countries? Well, myself and some friends felt that such practices has gotten more rampant is CS. For example, typically, the buyer will say “Wah, a similar item is selling so much and so much at this place or in a particular country … so my best price is xxx…”. If I can use analogies, it is almost similar to the cases below:

    1. A guy decided to step into 7-11 to purchase a can of Coke and said to the casher “Wah, a can of coke is selling only at $1.20 in S-11 and ice cubes are provided some more … so my best price is $1.25 ok?”

    Or

    2. A gal went to purchase a pair of movie tickets in GV and argued that “Wah, the same movie cost ½ the price in JB … so my best offer is $5.50 for each ticket can?”

    Although, I understand that the internet plays a major part of bringing prices of goods and services to equilibrium, but such tactics may appear to be lacking of broader considerations, potentially spur more arguments and caused unhappiness.

    What are your views?

    Cheers!
    Last edited by CSlye; 20th June 2008 at 09:39 PM. Reason: gramma

  2. #2

    Default Re: Bargaining Tactics

    although what you say is probably true.. your examples are not really that good.. coz you are talking about first hand items(for the coke at least, the movie tix example is even more way off) compared to 2nd hand items in your very own case..

    i would think that 2nd hand goods tend to be more negotiable..

  3. #3

    Default Re: Bargaining Tactics

    want to watch movie in cinema have to pay cinema price here because hassle and price of going to jb exceeds any cost savings.

    but if the price of buying something overseas and shipping it here is still cheaper than buying it at the local price, then it does affect how you view local prices.

    e.g. i often buy books from amazon.com because it's cheaper to ship them in from the states than to buy them from bookshops here.

    you can maybe charge a little higher for your item than the overseas price cos of things like can view and inspect, easier to talk to seller if got problems, no need to ship etc. but if the gap is a lot, then not too strange if the buyer feels he's not getting a good deal
    Black lens, white Lens, can take picture is a Good lens

  4. #4

    Default Re: Bargaining Tactics

    I hate bargaining.
    if I know that people are going to bargain with me, I just jack up my asking price so that at the end of the day I still get the amount I want.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Bargaining Tactics

    people who quote you prices from other countries and claim that its cheaper from there should refrain from such comments, and purchase it overseas + shipping. at the end of the day, bargaining is just an act of desperation on the buyers part. if the person isn't keen/desperate, there would be no bargaining involved. just see how desperate you are to sell as to the person is to buy.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Bargaining Tactics

    It can work either way, but your examples are not very relevant.

    When you buy a service like a film, you don't just pay for the thing (film) itself but for the whole package: ease of accessibility, posh-ness pf the place, seats quality etc. For a person who is living in JB, it doesn't make sense to pay higher at GV at all, (and since film halls don't allow bargaining he can't bargain).

    If you are selling, say, a 2 year lens at the current brand-new price and you DON'T have any advantage over the brand new one (such as the case for 50mm 1.8 mk I, or you are a celebrity) then a sensible buyer won't buy your system; you can still wait, hoping that an ignorant buyer would come alone, something you have a perfect right to do although I won't personally do something like that. May be you are just ignorant of the current market price. (When i bought Canon 10-22mm it was 1030, now you can get it for 950ish from mass order: if I think i can sell 100$ cheaper at 930, I'm wrong.) In a case like this, if a buyer informs you of the situation and ask to consider a price drop, he is being reasonable, IMO. You get to sell rather than wondering why no one bids, he gets to buy it cheaper than the market price.

    On the other hand, I personally KNOW how you feel. When I put a WTS for my same 10-22mm for 840$+ (10/10, with few months warranty left), someone SMSed me "xxxx sells this at 950. I bid for your one 640". I politely declined -- I'm too old to lose hair for such people -- and later sold the lens for 850.
    Last edited by estel; 21st June 2008 at 09:45 AM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Bargaining Tactics

    what unhappiness?? you not happy because people try to bargain?

    If price too low, just say you are not selling. that's it. What is there to be unhappy about?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Bargaining Tactics

    Aiyah... you think if they can get a cheaper price elsewhere they will still buy from you meh?

    Bottom line, you still have the upper hand...

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Bargaining Tactics

    try bargaining when boarding public buses or trains. S'pore phase out 1cent coins liao, but not so for the fares. i'll personally like to see wad happen, if i happen to witness such a person!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Bargaining Tactics

    Quote Originally Posted by pisduck View Post
    what unhappiness?? you not happy because people try to bargain?

    If price too low, just say you are not selling. that's it. What is there to be unhappy about?
    Exactly. Bargaining is a big part of Singapore's sales culture. The fact of the matter is that if you go to many places, like Sim Lim or Lucky Plaza, if you don't bargain you are going to get ripped off. PARTICULARLY if you are a westerner. I have been in too many shops to count where the price was insane.

    To give a very specific example. I went to Funan to get the IR remote for a Nikon camera. Cathay gave me a quotation of $16 (not far off the $15 online price). In funan I went to "Pixels" first. The guy had the remote (which was mostly out of stock at the moment due to supply issues) and then wanted $80 for it!!! I laughed in his face! I went next door, and the guy wanted $170 for it. I couldn't believe it. I was furious. He says "How much you want?", I said "$16, and not a single cent more." and guy had the nerve to tell me that that is impossible, and "If $16 then no warranty, cannot, cannot." He was clearly shopping for a smack in the face, so I just left and went to Alan photo and bought a third party one for $15.

    Don't get me wrong, I am not a great fan of bargaining because I don't enjoy the stress. But I have to say, that if you don't bargain the will rip you off like there is no tomorrow. That is all there is to it.
    Cameras: Rollei 35, Rolleiflex-T, FinePix F700, Nikon D60, D300
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  11. #11

    Default Re: Bargaining Tactics

    I have to agree that bargaining seems to be a very universal thing, not just in Asia or SEA and it's definitely not a 'Singaporean' thing. SLS ... I'm sure the streets of neighboring Thailand or Hong Kong is waaay more aggressive where price hiking and bargaining is concerned.

    For goods alone (no services or after-sales service), the internet has opened up an international market to both sellers and buyers. What was once only available in certain areas is now available to anyone anywhere in the world (almost) so it can and has happened that some inet saavy sellers or buyers tend to compare a locally purchased item with prices from elsewhere. For example, unless I urgently need a certain flash which routinely sells here used for around S$400 or more, I can easily obtain the same exact item from overseas in 9+ or 10 cond from reputable sellers between S$200 - S$300. If you were in the same position as a potential buyer, a potential S$100 - S$200 savings can be a huge draw.

    Even on CS, MOs are usually conducted from foreign sources for the much better prices to be gotten 'outside'.

    So, if can get cheaper outside SG, why bargain locally? Simply: convenience and perhaps an added 'reassurance' element that can check the item on the spot, but even then, it only goes so far, which is why you hear about 'the lens or flash seemed fine when I inspected it but two week later bla bla bla' incidences.

    It's a free market. No one forces anyone, hence the term, bargaining, or negotiating. If all parties are OK, trade; if not, don't trade.

    If you wanted a used item that re-sells for say $400 locally, and you can get it from a reputable dealer in HK for S$250-$300 with a return guarantee or policy in case of defective goods, which would you choose?

    On the bright side, sellers can also be at a huge advantage if they have a desirable item that is priced much higher elsewhere, or is generally in low or no supply 'over there', and they bought it for much less here. Sell it over there to get a much higher return or even make a tidy profit!

    What's a real bummer is if I have a not-too-common or expensive item (here), kept it in fantastic condition, and wanted to sell it later on (here) only to find out that potential buyers (here) can get it for much less elsewhere where the item is more common and thus cheaper, and they know it too because of the internet and the increased amount of traveling people tend to do these days.

    But that's just the 'new' reality I guess.

    Gone are the days of advertising in the ST or SUT Classifieds and spending an entire day waiting for endless phone calls and for potential buyers to come to one's house.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Bargaining Tactics

    It's like So if Im from the other country selling, Can I say, oh singapore selling higher, I pay you more ok?

    getting it here save all the hassle of having to ship the thing over, you risk losing the item in mail, or take longer time to arrive. and of cos Insurance. and even getting cheated of your money.

    Its a bad bargaining chip to refer to cheaper items overseas and try to cut price. Usually I won't entertain too much. If they feel they can get cheaper, Good for them

  13. #13

    Default Re: Bargaining Tactics

    A lot of traders have good experiences with international deals. It's just a matter of exercising caution and discernment.

    True, getting it local is a lot more convenient. At the end of the day, it's up to individual preferences. I know of some folks willing to pay that extra hundred or two hundred dollars because it gives them that sense of 'peace of mind'.

    Everything has it's pros and cons. It's not like buying locally doesn't have it's own set of unique problems either.
    Last edited by Dream Merchant; 24th June 2008 at 03:52 PM.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Bargaining Tactics

    When I meet someone who obviously prices unfairly, I look poorly upon that person.
    If you meet a seller who's looking to rip people off, that just reflects very poorly upon that person.
    I don't believe in stooping to their level and entertaining their style of selling by bargaining.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Bargaining Tactics

    Quote Originally Posted by CSlye View Post
    Bro / Sis,

    Ever experienced buyer trying to bargain down on price by quoting price from some external sources or even external countries? Well, myself and some friends felt that such practices has gotten more rampant is CS. For example, typically, the buyer will say “Wah, a similar item is selling so much and so much at this place or in a particular country … so my best price is xxx…”. If I can use analogies, it is almost similar to the cases below:

    1. A guy decided to step into 7-11 to purchase a can of Coke and said to the casher “Wah, a can of coke is selling only at $1.20 in S-11 and ice cubes are provided some more … so my best price is $1.25 ok?”

    Or

    2. A gal went to purchase a pair of movie tickets in GV and argued that “Wah, the same movie cost ½ the price in JB … so my best offer is $5.50 for each ticket can?”

    Although, I understand that the internet plays a major part of bringing prices of goods and services to equilibrium, but such tactics may appear to be lacking of broader considerations, potentially spur more arguments and caused unhappiness.

    What are your views?

    Cheers!

    I think that competition is healthy. However, the examples that u give are very bad. Firstly, those people in the cinema and at 7-11 have no power to negotiate the prices. They are all employees. As far as they are concerned, u dun want to buy, u think the employee care??? This is just one aspect of the broader and deeper issues involved. And u dun even need to go internet. Just go next door to the mama shop or provision shop to get better price! Or wanna save more, go to supermarket!
    I have a near-mint Olympus E-620 Underwater Case for Sale. PM me for a great deal!

  16. #16

    Default Re: Bargaining Tactics

    Quote Originally Posted by Churchwolf View Post
    Exactly. Bargaining is a big part of Singapore's sales culture. The fact of the matter is that if you go to many places, like Sim Lim or Lucky Plaza, if you don't bargain you are going to get ripped off. PARTICULARLY if you are a westerner. I have been in too many shops to count where the price was insane.

    To give a very specific example. I went to Funan to get the IR remote for a Nikon camera. Cathay gave me a quotation of $16 (not far off the $15 online price). In funan I went to "Pixels" first. The guy had the remote (which was mostly out of stock at the moment due to supply issues) and then wanted $80 for it!!! I laughed in his face! I went next door, and the guy wanted $170 for it. I couldn't believe it. I was furious. He says "How much you want?", I said "$16, and not a single cent more." and guy had the nerve to tell me that that is impossible, and "If $16 then no warranty, cannot, cannot." He was clearly shopping for a smack in the face, so I just left and went to Alan photo and bought a third party one for $15.

    Don't get me wrong, I am not a great fan of bargaining because I don't enjoy the stress. But I have to say, that if you don't bargain the will rip you off like there is no tomorrow. That is all there is to it.

    Wah....very extreme circumstances. I am not sure of the quality of the 3rd party remote...maybe it is better. But for $1 more, I would buy the original and from CP whom are "more" reputable.
    I have a near-mint Olympus E-620 Underwater Case for Sale. PM me for a great deal!

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Bargaining Tactics

    Quote Originally Posted by Oly5050 View Post
    Wah....very extreme circumstances. I am not sure of the quality of the 3rd party remote...maybe it is better. But for $1 more, I would buy the original and from CP whom are "more" reputable.
    I was in urgent need of it because I had a night shoot that evening and I didn't want to constantly use the timer. That being said, yes, for $1 more I would also buy the Nikon one. However, a remote is a remote. There isn't really anything that can go wrong with a button and an IR diode! The 3rd party one works like charm.
    Cameras: Rollei 35, Rolleiflex-T, FinePix F700, Nikon D60, D300
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  18. #18

    Default Re: Bargaining Tactics

    Thanks for all your comments and views. It is indeed interesting to hear views from both sides (buyers and sellers) when comes to a trade.

    From the contributions, it appears that there are definitely many broader considerations to be taken e.g. supply & demand structure, pricing/tax/other costs structure, product nature, buyers' / sellers' real intentions or motivation, risk appetites and convenience factors etc.

    Cheers!
    Last edited by CSlye; 1st July 2008 at 03:32 PM.

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