Saturday, January 4, 2014

Proper Haggling Etiquette

I have been known to haggle in my day and now as a shop owner I can see several issues. Some items are priced ridiculously high and the price is often negotiated to the buyer and seller's liking. "Buy it Now" or "Best Offer" are key words on-line. You can "Buy" the item at the price listed, or you can "Offer" what you would pay for the item. If you offer too low, sometimes the seller will not even respond. "There... you have offended me! Now, come back when you mean business (or not at all)!"

If the seller has a message "Hagglers Welcome" or "Make an Offer" or offers a Coupon Code with a percentage off, by all means... haggle away (or use the coupon code)! It means the shop owner is comfortable changing the price to fit the customer's needs. If, however, the price is listed "FIRM" or words like "One of a Kind" it is a no haggling zone! If you are thinking about haggling with an artist here are a few tips...

We are artisans... and we would like to be paid for our time. When you are supporting artisans, haggling is not only offensive, but devalues our skill and our creative process. To truly "support" an artisan is to pay willingly what the artist is asking for. You are paying for their time, their talent, and the cost to make the item (and the cost of shipping, shipping supplies, shop fees, listing fees, credit card fees, PayPal fees, photography... just to give you an idea of what the artist has to factor in the price for on-line items).

Art Shows can be a little different. The cost of booth fees, supplies, travel, equipment and displays really add up. If you are interested in a piece, but unsure if you are wanting to pay the high price tag... walk away. Think about it. Come back and take another look. If the artist approaches you and offers a discount, by all means negotiate away! But, just remember they are probably losing money.  If you factor in everything... artists don't really make a lot of money. But, they each have a passion, an expertise, and a pride in their work.

I know everyone is looking for a "deal" and some people pride themselves on never paying "full-price" for anything. When it comes to art and independent shop owners, please be courteous. We are all trying to make a living. Keep in mind you are paying for a one of a kind piece of art that no one else will own except you.

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