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Do You Haggle?

This weekend I ArtsFest 2011 at Georgia Southern University.  It's one of my favorite shows for several reasons one of them being the students.  Besides the fact that a huge number of students volunteer to help artist unload, set up and pack up but many of them also come by the booth and ask meaningful questions and then they listen to the answer.  Often the questions are about process but this weekend someone asked me if I was one of those merchants that haggles.  I asked him if he would haggle with his doctor.
I find it most interesting that people are fine with asking the local, small business person to lower the price of an item just because they wish to pay less money.  I wonder if they try to haggle at Wal-mart. 
Small Biz vs Bigmart Emergence Mug
In all honesty I have asked for a reduced price, and got it at Lowes because the package I wanted was open and it was the last one.  They were willing to give me a discount, they most likely assumed that anything that was missing would be replaced with another purchase in that store anyway - it's what I assumed.  But most people think that it's ok to haggle with the owner of a small business which is simply self defeating.  By shopping small local businesses and keeping the money in the area we are reaping the benefits.  Per the Small Business Chronicle, A study done in 2003 in Austin, Texas, by the American Independence Business Alliance found that out of every $100 spent at a nationwide chain store, only about $13 stayed in the local economy. However, out of every $100 spent at a locally owned and operated business, about $45 stayed in the local economy. This provides a huge boost to other local businesses, workers and families in the local area.
My policy is usually that I will only give a discount to a good customer, someone who buys multiple pots from me.  Often they will get this discount without even asking for it, I simply wish to show my appreciation.  What is your policy on haggling?  Do you haggle?
Check out the gallery page - Future Relics Gallery


  1. I discount for multiple purchases, repeat customers, or reduce the price on certain seconds if I sell them (most I smash). I'm wondering if folks who ask or try to haggle are thinking craft/artist folks are doing their work for fun and not to make a living. When I had my lavender farm, two women visitors once said to me, "you're retired, right" I said no I'm just tired working this farm by myself, but I'm not retirement age. I think they were assuming I had a retirement income and I was running my gift shop and the farm "just for fun".

  2. Very intereseting article - I was pondering this in the context of whether or not it is ok to haggle when travelling. Came to the conclusion that it all about respect. Didn't think about it in a local context - but I think the same thing applies - no?

  3. Very good and interesting article Nimmity, thanks for posting it here.


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