Shoe Stores

Bargaining In Shoe Stores

Finally it was Friday; the long tiresome week had come to an end. But this was not the usual weekend where I had to spend the night at the club with my buddies; I needed to change my closet profile. I searched online for sneaker prices from various department stores in town. I needed to make the best out of the little cash I had, I needed a discount. First, I began by looking at the flash sales on offer, made some baseline analysis and comparison on the different store prices. The prices seemed slightly different probably because of the difference in the qualities displayed. I also looked at the offers presented on other items, that is, after sale services, warranties, packaging and branding. One store caught my attention because of their offers, mode of presentation, services and quality of items they offered. I finally decided to check the customer response area on their website only to see the same response to different clients, no negotiation. I needed to visit the store and try my luck, had nothing to lose.

The next morning, I picked my credit card and rushed to the nearest ATM machine which was just a few blocks away from the hostels. I needed to check my balance and know if my cash could suit my budget. I needed at least five pairs, $50 each. Surprisingly I only had $160, not enough to swipe and get my five pairs; I really needed a miracle. As planned, I physically got to the department store and dismissed the choice of making an online transaction. I decided to check the items displayed on the shelves to get a peep at the price tags attached just to get a clear picture of what I could work with. The prices matched my online analysis. The quality also matched my preferences. The only conflicting factors were the sales offers going with the items was a strictly no negotiation rule on the items for discounts and no credit sales. The only offers were free shipping for items exceeding $1000. After a few window shopping rounds in the store, I needed to try out my charm. The place was full of clients despite the high prices involved. I decided to queue on the customer service line just to clear my curiosity. I needed first-hand information from the store sales representative on discounts and negotiation despite their stringent policy.

After a few minutes of waiting, I got my chance with the sales representative. I communicated my need for a discount and negotiation on the sneakers, but the representative was still fixed on the no discount and negotiation policy. After a few minutes of trying my luck to get my shoes through compliments and sweet talk, the lady dismissed me. The clients behind me were getting impatient and tired. I really looked naïve and funny in front of all these people in a no negotiation policy store. The lady too was now disturbed, she threatened me to leave or call security on me.

I walked out of the store disappointed; hoping no one I knew saw me or took a video. Despite the shameful ordeal, I needed to complete my mission and get the shoes. I took out my phone and searched the closest store next to where I reside. I got to the store and decided to repeat my window shopping exercise. After a few minutes of price and quality analysis, I discovered the quality was similar to the first store but the price was slightly lower. I felt at ease but still the price was slightly higher to suit my budget.  One pair was going for $40, meaning five pairs would be $200. Luckily during my walk in the store I had not encountered any fixed price policy display. I knew I had a chance. The store was not quite busy and I knew the seller could give me all his attention. I had a trick up my sleeve, negotiate for one pair. After a few minutes with the seller, he brought down the price to $35. He was really fixed on that figure; I had to do something to make the transaction a success. “Sir, what if I take five pairs, would that lower the price?” That drove the seller straight into a dilemma. Now he seemed quite interested in my proposal.

He agreed to lower the price further to $32 meaning the price would instantaneously match with my budget. It had taken almost two hours of bargain, store price comparison, quality overlook, accessibility and quality discussion to come to that price. Something flickered in my mind and now I knew I could get the sneakers at a price much lower. This period luckily to my advantage was the end of the month depicting that the seller was eager to make a sale before harmonizing his accounts. Mentioning the five pairs had triggered his attention and by the looks of our conversation, we were heading to a successful deal. I notified him all I had to spare in my credit balance was $150 for the five pairs. This slightly stunned him because he had reduced the price significantly for a single pair but the deal for five was too good to let go. Before I could make my final move, some few customers flocked in and his attention slightly diverted. This bought me a few minutes break and I decided to take another walk around the store. I spotted a fluffy scarf, one warm and tiny enough to enlighten my baby sister back at home.

After a few minutes, I was back at the table for the negotiation. He didn’t agree with my price and wanted me to take it a bit higher; he needed the $32 originally agreed. If I agreed to the deal, I would in turn get an extra item lower than $5 to take home. Two and a half hours had now passed, had to finalize the deal. Everyone seemed a little restless and tired; a choice had to be made.” I agree Sir; I will take the five pairs at that price plus the fluffy scarf”. He immediately rushed to the counter, swiped my card, picked my pairs of shoes together with the scarf and packaged them. Coming out of the store felt like winning a battle. I had really made something out of the savings. Despite the challenge and obstacles in the first store, I had completed my mission. Finally, I had my five pairs and a fluffy scarf together with added experience at handling a negotiation.

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