Monday, January 24, 2011

Let's Haggle!

            My interest in the entertainment business is food! Food always brings people together. When people celebrate an achievement it is mainly done over a delicious meal. To gain further knowledge in the food industry I want to learn about foods around the world-how it is prepared, how it is eaten, and what it tastes like. Everyone has a different palate and I want to understand how to appeal to people from around the world.
            Just recently, I sat down with Luo Yuan Gu, a native born in Shanghai, China. He recently accompanied me to China and was my interpreter. Without Luo Yuan I would have never made it in China. In China, people negotiate on a daily basis. You can haggle over the price of a snack to a piece of clothing. This takes place on the streets and even in well-known department stores. I was able to haggle of the price of pearls and even receive more for a lower price.
            What I wanted to know from Luo Yuan was how do your use leverage and power to get the item down to the price you want to pay for it. My problem in China was not being able to speak the native language fluently. With that barrier in mind, I would be taken advantage of and the price would be higher for me than it would normally be for a native Chinese person. Luo Yuan explained in China you have to look over the items carefully before you chose what you want. After telling the seller you are interested in the item you have now entered in the negotiation stage. From here, you have to explain you could get that item at a lower price or you really don’t need it that bad. The buyer must have a good poker face even if you really want the item you cannot show it. Luckily, for me Luo Yuan did explain this tactic to me while on our trip in China. I even learned some Mandarin. Being able to speak the language will give you a bigger advantage. With Americans the prices will automatically triple. With the will power to walk away from the seller you will show you could get the product elsewhere and prices will begin to drop.
            Learning to haggle in China was an experience I will never forget. In Beijing I was able to haggle of a piece of fruit from a street market. This experience will be something I will take with me. Next time I return to China I will prepared to use my leverage and power by speaking the native language.