Dear Customer, I'm sorry the term tax included is so confusing for you.

but explaining it 8 times is my limit. Here’'s the price , buy it or don’t.
A customer has been in several days looking at a guitar. The guitar is $899.

The salesman offers him 10% off , we’re at $810. Next day he brings in a guitar to trade. Normally the trade comes off the tagged price, not the offer of 10% off cash price, but the sales man agrees to take it off the previous offer of $810. The trade is valued at $350 so now we’re down to $460. So it’s $460 plus tax , {9.25% here} or around $503. The customer still asks for a little better deal, and the salesman offers to take care of the sales tax. Here’s where the confusion started.

So instead of $460 plus tax , the deal is now $460 tax included. The customer pays $460, total and takes the guitar. The customer still wants to think about it. Comes back 2 days later when the original salesman is not there and now wants to know if we will deduct anything if he doesn’t need the case that comes with the guitar. Used case, I tell him I’ll take $30 off for the case.

“So I would pay, $420 minus $30, he asks?”

No, you would pay $460 minus $30 which is $430.

“But the other sales man already offered it to me for $420”

“That $420, plus tax which is $460” that’s what $460 tax included means, so now it will be , $430 tax included, you pay $430 instead of $460"

“But the other guy offered it to me for $420, the $30 should come off of that”

“Right, and then when you ad the sales tax , it’s $430, tax included”

“No, when he said he’d take care of the tax , that means I only pay $420”

“No it doesn’t, I’m sorry for the confusion, but it means instead of $460 plus tax , it means you pay $420 plus tax. Here , I’ll show you on this calculator. It was $810, minus your $350 trade, which is $460. At this point the price is $460, plus tax , or $503. When he said he’d take care of the tax he meant instead of $503, you’d pay $460. Now I’m offereing you another $30 off. $430 , tax included”

“No he said he’d take care of the tax after he said $460, so that means I only pay $420”

“I’m sorry that’s not right. I know tax included can be confusing”

Hey, I had my own business so I know all about sales tax"

Well the price is $430, tax included, that’s the absolute best I can do"

“But he already offered it to me for less, can’t you call hin”

So I called the salesman on his day off to discover I was right on. The offer was $460 tax included, customer pays $460. total.

So I tell the customer I verified with the salesman.
So he says, “So we’re only $10 apart then. $420 and $430” a

"Well no because it was $420 plus tax…

“But $420 and $430 is only $10 apart”

“Okay right, they are”

“So you’ll take $30 off and it will be $400”

:rolleyes: " Nooo , I already took $30 off, to go from $460 tax included, to $430 tax included."

“But he offered it to me for $420”

No he didn’t offer it to you for $420, tax included. He offered it for $460 tax included , which is $420 plus tax"

"Well when he says , I’ll take care of the tax that means, "
at this point I stopped listening.

“Look sir, let me out it another way. I’m not selling this gutar for $390, or $400 . That’s not going to happen. The offer is $430 tax included with your trade and we keep the case. That’s it. The final offer”

“Well, I’m sure I’m right because…
Do you want the guitar for $430?”

“And you keep the case?”


“No I’m not paying that”

“Ok , have a nice day then.”

I’ve got $20, tax included, that says he comes back to argue with the salesman over the same thing.

Man, it is way too early on a Monday morning for that much math. But I’m seeing a nine hundred dollar item being sold for $430 and the customer is STILL haggling? Dang.

Shouldn’t the $30 come off the pre-tax amount?

It sounds to me like you’re cheating the poor customer, heartless corporate bastard.

Dude. You shattered his dream of having a 420 guitar.

To the extent that I can follow this chat log that I only read half of, you’re both wrong and the proper price is $425.

This is why we need a flat tax.

Ditto, I got halfway though that and would have told him to take a hike. That or said “$___ is your out the door price, take it or leave it.”

At some point, the two hours of going back and forth costs money to you (or the shop owner). If the sales person costs $10 and hour, that’s $20 and this guy is throwing a fit over $10 or $20. Give him a number (all said and done) and let him think about it at home for 24 hours.

It doesn’t sound like he’s confused, it sounds like he’s trying to wear you down into giving him a lower price. After a minute of that shit, I’d have told him to to talk to the original salesman and kindly get the fuck out of our shop.

Exactly. The OP had a lot more patience with the situation than I would have had.

This has less (if anything) to do with tax and more to do with a certain type of customer. I’ve had situations where I’ve gotten into a bit of compromise about my service prices and have come down to a level where it’s, based on my calculations, even slightly below my business interest to offer that price. But sometimes you just get into that “bird in hand is worth two in bush mentality.” When I get to that price, we agree on it, and then the customer wants another piddly two percent off. At that point, my services become unavailable. Pretty much nothing grinds my gears like that type of customer. Thankfully, this happens very, very rarely.

Yes, but $460, tax included is actually a little bit more than $420 plus tax. It is approx $421.05 plus tax. Personally, I would say you would have to deduct the $30 from the actual price ($421.05), for an actually price of $391.05, then add the tax back on. That gives me a grand total of $427.22. Otherwise you have collected tax on the sale of the case without selling the case. But that’s just me.

That is techically true. But, to me, the deal was $460 tax included, with the case. The guy wants it a little cheaper. Now we have a new deal being made. So the store says take $30 off our last offer for the case. The offer is now $430 tax included for the guitar without the case. It doesn’t matter that technically the $30 should come off the pretax price and the “correct” post-tax price is $427.22. To me, the offer went from $460 tax included to $430 tax included. If you’re haggling about the $2.78, just get out of the store (IMHO, of course.)

Are the margins on guitars so tight that selling one for $714 instead of $711 makes a difference?

and how much would it be if you keep the strings?

Look, if you really want it cheaper, I could sell it to you without the hole, but I’d have to ask your original salesman if that’s less or more, 'cause on the other hand, you would be getting more material …

Well, it seems to me that the buyer wants to go out the door $400 even (tax included), but the offer is $430, so there’s a real difference of $30 here. The buyer is clearly not asking for $400+sales tax, because that would total to $437, more than the seller is offering.

It almost sounds like you are pitting yourself for wasting so much time on the guy.

He wasn’t wearing a plaid hunter’s hat by chance? And prefaced his counter offer with “Good lord, that’s a lot of money!?”

Pretty much THIS. If you’re going to be a jerk about it, Offer Withdrawn, please leave now.

Don’t fret about picky customers.