Haggling = Win for All

Betsy sold today. I posted on Austin Craigslist, advertising the car for $600 and I got emails and phonecalls all day about the car. I love Craigslist so much. I’ve found my current living situation, my new job, my old bike, and now sold my car through it, its awesome. Wish I’d known about it back in Buffalo. But at any rate, I learned a lot about haggling today. See, I wanted $500 for Betsy, which is what I paid for her, and was ready for ppl to talk me down, and it ended up working…Sort of.

I caved early; I was intending on having ppl over tomorrow and Saturday. But I had the first guy show up right as I came home today, a latin fellow whose cousin is coming up from Mexico next week and needs a car fast. After extensively going over everything I knew that was possibly wrong with the car (which is a decent list), and asking me what’s the lowest offer I’d consider, his cousin offered $450 over the phone. First, I have to ask….I may not be a professional haggler, but does anyone else think asking "how low will you go?" is a dumb question? You’re supposed to make the offer. If you ask me my absolute lowest, then bid lower, I’m going to say no because its lower than my lowest. But it turns out it’s supposed to be the opening to a haggling debate. I made a show of considering $450 and made him wait for about 5 minutes while I paced in front of my house. So I decided I’d meet him partway since getting rid of it tonight and saving myself the trouble of washing it and dealing with ppl all day tomorrow was a pretty attractive notion. I said $475 in cash and you’ve got it. His cousin tried to keep me on $450, said he wouldn’t go any higher, that the other issues were more serious than they were but by then I was in the flow of things, and countered that he was the first person whose seen it, that it was the best listing on Craigslist, that I’ve offers for full price and I could probably get my asking price if I waited a day and he agreed to $475. That’s gonna bug me for weeks, too…Knowing what MIGHT HAVE been, if only I’d been more patient. But time is not a luxury; I’m leaving for Delaware next week and his bid was just $25 under what I wanted for the car, so I decided to call it right there instead of possibly not selling it at all. B/c if I called him back and asked if he was still interested, he would have offered a lower price.

My buddy Matt from E-Corps told me that pretty much everywhere except in the US, haggling is an accepted (and expected) norm. When he was in India, he haggled for everything, from clothes to hotel rooms…That just seems so wierd from my American perspective; when I was working retail we’d be frankly insulted when someone would make an offer for something. "The price is what it is. This isn’t a fucking bazaar, get the hell out." Well, we wouldn’t SAY that, but that was the general sentiment.  Haggling = Win for all. I’ll have to remember that in my travels.

I also learned that being too honest is a bad thing. And I don’t mean about the condition of your product…For instance, I mentioned that I was in a hurry to sell it because I was moving, and I also said something else that escapes me at the moment, and those statements weakened my bargaining position. But I also learned when to make offers and stand firm. When his cousin refused to budge from $450 but kept talking and making the same offer instead of moving on, I knew I had him. He’s gonna pick it up next week; I’ll be out of town when he’s here but we exchanged contact info, title, keys, and he paid in cash so it’s pretty much a done deal.

Well I’d asked for my very last day of E-Corps off to wash and show my car, but since it’s sold…I might go in anyways, even though I said my goodbyes and everything to earn a little more coin for ez labor, but I think I’ll use the day to sleep in, wash stuff, clean, and have a yard sale to make even more $$. Oh, and find the best health insurance plan for my trip and a ticket to San Francisco. Once I have those (and my digicam), I’ll just counting down till my plane flight. Good stuff.

Categories: Uncategorized


  1. Congrats on everything working out so well!

    We’ll be seeing you soon.

    I’ll email you tomorrow about stuff. 🙂

  2. congrats on selling betsy earl.

    i’m just so excited for you. gosh if i could only go with you, can’t wait to hear everything that happens.

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