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seriál :: Language corner

Have you ever considered how passive we are about the business of buying?

What do we do if we want a new PC? We do research to learn about all the available brands and models, figure out how much we can afford to spend, and then we either put in on a credit card or save up enough to buy it. But do we ever think of haggling with the clerk in the store, trying to talk him into giving us a better price? It´s generally just not done. But why not?

You can be pretty sure that the distributor that sells PC´s, home appliances, or whatever, haggles like the devil with manufacturers to get the best price possible. So why is it acceptable to haggle in some circumstances and not in others? Why are some cultures much more adept at haggling than others?

Try going into a store in Los Angeles and saying, “I have had my eye on that camera in the window. The tag is $495 – would you take $400?”

Of course some people will try and negotiate a reduce price if they are buying a lot of things from one supplier: it´s called a bulk discount. But it is curious how some cultures regard certain price tags as fixed and others as variable – think of used cars, for example. So when is a price fixed – and why? Why are most people willing to haggle over secondhand goods but less so for new ones?

The more you think about it, perhaps there is something to be said for having price fixed rather than negotiable. It certainly saves time. On my first visit to Egypt (Cairo) I saw some silver earrings I thought I have to have them! Three hours and 10 cups of tea later I emerged triumphantly from the shop, having successfully negotiated a price that was three time less that the original. This gives a new twist to the old saying “Time is money”. I may just be getting lazy, but if you tell me the price is $10, I´ll gladly pay $10!

Adept at = znalec
Afford = dovolit si
Appliances = přístroj
Available = dostupný
Brand = značka
Bulk discount = sleva na množství
Circumstance = okolnost
Clerk = prodavač
Consider = uvažovat
Emerge from = uniknout z, vyjít z, vynořit se z
Enough = dostatek
Figure out = vyčíslit, vypočítat, vyřešit, pochopit
Gladly = rád, radostně, ochotně, milerád
Goods = zboží
Haggling = dohadování, smlouvání
Negotiate = vyjednávat
Perhaps = možná, snad, asi, třeba
Regard = pohlížet na
Research = výzkum
Supplier = dodavatel
Tag = visačka
Willing = ochotný, svolný

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