Maybe it's hubris. Maybe it's a male thing. But I find that many men tend to see themselves as being much more handy, athletic, and ____________________ than they actually are. At least, this is true in my case when it comes to haggling or bargaining over prices.
I can't say I'm a good haggler. I usually manage to pay less than the asking price, but nearly always also end up with the nagging sensation that I didn't quite get the super deal that I thought I did. Still, having to haggle or bargain doesn't fill me with discomfort or anxiety as I've discovered it does some people.
Most recently, I haggled when we bought a computer at the Causeway Bay Fortress, where I went into haggling mode right away and put the salesman to work before discussing prices. (**The psychology of haggling requires that the buyer get the seller to invest a lot of time and effort to make the sale. This way, there is more incentive and reason for the seller to lower the price rather than have all that time and effort lead to nothing. eg. "I showed this #@%**# every feature on this damn computer. This better lead to a sale.")
Maybe it's a cultural thing. In the U.S., people are supposed to haggle for big-ticket items such as cars, but usually not for other things and especially not in chain or mall stores. Consequently, haggling isn't something most Americans get to practice that often. (**How does bargaining work in other countries? Anyone? Anyone?)**
Still, it often startles me how uncomfortable some people are with haggling. Some even say that having to make a low offer after being presented with an asking price (even at blatant tourist traps) makes them feel like they're being rude somehow.
I can see the reasoning behind such a view, but I just can't imagine always paying the asking price. Moreover, I don't think haggling is rude at all. It's just two parties talking things over to come to an agreement. After all, most haggling leads to a sale. In fact, I wouldn't bother to haggle over something that I wasn't seriously interested in buying. Haggling is work, after all.
Anyway, since having more opportunities to haggle is another perk of HK life, I hope that our stay here will help me become a better bargainer. After all, it is a life skill that comes in quite handy.
And as the old saying goes, if you can't be handsome, you better be handy.
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1 week ago