Reflections on a Wandering Life.....

Monday, September 21, 2009

What is a fair price? 

I went back to the cell phone store today. I didn't say it when I walked in the door, of course, but this was the day. I was determined that I was going to buy that phone today. I stopped by the bank and got just enough money to pay the price I had offered.

I told the lady what her competitor had offered me. She told me that their phones were not genuine. I told her that I had examined the phone and it was exactly the same model. She told me that her competitors phones looked real, but they were actually fake. I said, "He told me yours were fake." That was the end of that game.

I took 1400 RMB out of my wallet and handed it to her. She was adamant. 1550. OK, I took out an extra 50. I told her that was my limit, and I prepared to leave. She said she needed more. I took out 10 kuai. She looked in my wallet and saw another one. What could I do? I gave it to her. Sold. One thousand four hundred seventy. Eason would probably say I paid more than I had too, and he is right. I could have bought the online version. But that is not without it's problems. For one thing, China is a cash-oriented society. Online shopping is not done with credit cards. You order, it is delivered by a courier, and you pay for it. But I am also concerned about how you might deal with any problems you might have. Not as convenient as walking into a store in my neighborhood.

So what is a fair price? Sometimes it can be hard to determine this. I don't like to be cheated, but I don't want to cheat anyone, either. In one sense, the price I paid should be more than fair, because it was close to 150 kuai more than the online price. But, of course, I don't have any idea what her commission was. After all her haggling about the price, I am convinced that the store still made a decent profit, if not a killing. But I am not sure about the sales lady. I just don't know.

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