I didn’t like haggling when I was young. When my mother did it with me, it embarrassed me. I thought that it allowed people a view into our family’s finances. I knew that my mom could afford whatever it was she was haggling for, so it made no sense to me at that time why she haggled like crazy. I believe my mom used that “view” to her advantage. When people thought she was poor, they were more inclined to give her a deal. That was back when she had 3 kids at school at the same time. As soon as people noticed that she wasn’t really poor, they started complaining what a chintz she was. 😛
A little over three years ago, I started becoming involved in personal finance. It was an accident while in preparation for parenthood. Looking closely at spending, attitudes toward spending, goals, and consideration of another person joining the family, I became more aware and proactive about money. This started a level of comfort with money that I thought I would never have. I’m still not comfortable about telling people what my annual pay is, but my reason now is that I could be earning more than they do and I don’t want them to know that. 🙂
I also haggle now. I haggled down real estate commission when our house was sold (saved us an extra $500 on top of lowering the rate for repeat business because she sold the house to us). I haggle when I can but I also choose the place where to do it. A recent visit to a vintage shop cost me a $28 step stool/seat for my toddler. I had wanted a wooden stool for $8.50 but he didn’t want it. He sat on the $28 stool and said he “loved” it. We don’t even use the word LOVE for affections on things, so I wonder where he picked that up. I went up to the counter and haggled it down to $20. The lady said she couldn’t engage in haggling. Ok, sure.
As soon as we got home, I told my husband that I tried to haggle but he and a friend said that it’s not normal in America to haggle.
YOU’RE KIDDING ME!!! You’re kidding me???
I don’t know how much truth there is in their opinions but I would like to know for sure. I just don’t understand why haggling would not be used to get better deals. I don’t see anything wrong in doing that if used in appropriate places. I don’t haggle at farmers markets because I support and value them. I will haggle one-off or rare transactions, such as property sale commission, buying cars or big-ticket items, and going to vintage shops.