‘Hey girl, wake up, it’s six already,
get out of your bed and please get ready.’
To market, to market, to the market we go,
with all of the rubbish that I need to throw.
Be more generous it said on the ticket.
NO! 3 euros was the price
so do not pick it
I will give you one,
hey! just for fun
and I smiled
no way, it can’t be done
So I said it was ten and you are offering three
do you think I am crazy and I cannot be,
that daft to let you have my old plate
so nine is not fine – ok I’ll take eight
Well, what about five? are you having a laugh?
You can also give two for this tatty old scarf.
Now it’s starting to rain and I am in a whirl
go on give me seven, I’m a generous girl.
Just a fun little poem.
I wrote this following a day of selling my old stuff at a boot fair. I was exhausted by the amount of people de-valuing my pre-loved items often feeling insulted. It really is just a game.
It made me smile about my time in India when I found myself bartering with a tuk tuk driver over 100 rupees which is only about 1 euro. In India, bargaining is seen as a way to establish a connection and build a relationship with the person you are dealing with. It’s not just about getting the best price, but also about having a conversation and understanding each other’s perspective. I am not sure I agree but this is what I am told by my Indian friends. It’s considered perfectly acceptable to haggle over prices, especially in informal settings like street markets and small shops. It seems to be in our nature to haggle and more of us do it these days.
Some of us feel uncomfortable with negotiating whereas in some countries it is expected. I remember being told to put up my prices by 10% before entering a negotiation with a certain buyer I used to deal with. I was told that his bargaining made him feel good. However, I always felt annoyed that I was being pulled into a tiresome game.
The buyer always thought he had won the game when we would finally agree on a price that would suit both of us. It was always the price I wanted from the start but we had to go through the motions of haggling over the price.
Winning in a negotiation can trigger a release of serotonin in the brain.
Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is associated with feelings of pleasure and well-being. When we succeed in a negotiation, whether it’s getting a better deal on a purchase or achieving our desired outcome in a business deal, our brain releases serotonin, which can make us feel good and boost our confidence. I do feel negotiation is not always about winning or getting the best possible outcome. Sometimes, it’s about finding a mutually beneficial solution that meets everyone’s needs and interests. My tuk tuk driver still needs to feed his family and pay for petrol, so while it’s certainly satisfying to win in a negotiation and experience the rush of serotonin, it’s also important to approach negotiations with an open mind and a willingness to compromise and find common ground. This can lead to more successful and positive outcomes in the long run.
There are other ways of getting your serotonin rush. Every time I see that someone has donated to a fundraiser I have organised, I know I get it. I feel we are winning. It is not a huge amount of money that we are looking for but it will have an effect that will make a difference in the lives of some children born into poverty. I prefer that any day.