I don't want to bargain. I just want your best price.

This is a rant about Home Hardware, a chain of Home depot-style stores in Canada but smaller, but first I need to explain why I hate car salesmen, furniture salespeople, and fitness club salespeople.

I hate, hate, hate having to bargain to get the best price on something. I can do it; it’s not that I’m one of those people too embarassed to bargain. My wife and I have become a pretty good bargaining team. But I hate doing it; it’s exhausting, a waste of my valuable time, breeds mistrust, and leave everyone wondering if they got ripped.

I hate shopping for cars at the dealership because it’s impossible to tell precisely what the price of the car REALLY is, and of course they do everything in their power to hide the real numbers. I hate signing up at fitness clubs (it doesn’t help that we keep moving and so I have to keep doing this) because no gym has any real price at all; it’s purely a contest of wills between you and the salesperson as to what you’ll end up paying. And many furniture stores are almost as bad as car dealers. I even get this shit from my goddamned bank. We just bought a new house and first the bank offered rate X, and then suddenly it was rate Y, and when I said I wasn’t paying a penalty to extend my mortgage with the same bank well, all of a sudden the incentives come out of the woodwork. So you would have robbed me of $2000 if I hadn’t said I was shopping around? Fucking thieves.

What I want is your best price, period. Tell me what you want to sell it for and I’ll decide if I want to buy it. If your price isn’t good enough, well, that’s okay, we won’t do business today. If it is, we will.

So my parents give us a $50 gift certificate to Home Hardware for some occasion - it was so long ago I can’t remember what it was for. I had asked for Home Depot, but oh well. We need a small compound saw for doing trim and such in our new house. Yesterday I went to my fourth Home Hardware in an effort to find one that sold compound saws; because they’re all owner-operated, they have completely random inventory choices and the Web site doesn’t tell you who stocks what.

Well, wonder of fucking wonders, the Waterdown Home Hardware has compound saws. But the cheapie one I wanted was not in stock.

So the salesperson offers me one for $179.99. I did not want to spend $179.99, I explain to him, and he says well, it’s not really $179.99. It’s actually $139.99. But maybe he can sell it for $134.99 iif he “has one in a box out back.” (What else would it come in.) And this $139 model is probably $129, and the $209 one might be $169 but maybe if I wanted that I should instead buy the $189 model, which doesn’t bevel both ways but he can give it to me for $149 if he’s got one in a box out back, but really I should buy this sliding saw for $229, although really it’s $179 and they’ll take Barbados currency for 30% of the cost as long as it was printed after 2004.

This is a RETAIL STORE. I’m not even buying a big ticket item; I want a little saw. I want to see items on the shelves with price stickers, compare their merits, pick one up, and have a cashier charge me the price. I do not want to engage in a complicated, spaghetti-like conversation where I’m whittling away $20 or maybe it’s $30 in a negotiation for every single fucking one of 15 options. If the price tags aren’t relevant, why did you bother printing them? Had I walked in while he was “Helping” someone else and just picked up a box and gone to the cahier does that mean I’d have been ripped off to the tune of $30?

Give me your best price.

Fuck, now I have to go to Home Depot.

So, what you’re saying is, your parents fucked you? :slight_smile:

I HATE buying a car, for all the reasons you outline above.

“Ah, for special friends of Rick we have a special discount. One hundred francs!”


Are the prices NOT clearly posted? If not, then I would never shop there. It’s pretty much the law here and I assumed as much in Canuckistan too, but maybe I’m wrong.

As for cars, it always sucks donkey balls. Thankfully these days you can go to something like Vehix or one of the other sites and work out the Dealer Invoice amount, but you’re still stuck with the idiotic dealer game of negotiation. “I have to go talk to my manager” over and over, leaving you sitting there staring into space. Fuck you, either make the deal or tell me ‘No’ and stop wasting my time.

Problem is, someone is always willing to beat it by a dollar.

In my biz (computers) I hear this type of thing all the time. I’m one of the cheaper shops in town. Someone comes in, has me build an estimate, I give it to them, they go to another shop who will happily do it for $20 less, they buy it. Fast forward 6 months, the shop they went to goes out of business, won’t honor a warranty, something. Customer comes to me for a repair on something that I would have considered a warranty fix and ends up paying me another $150 to fix it from saving $20-$50 on the initial purchase.

IME the “best price” bites you in the ass almost every time.
Heck I would probably sell parts for 5% markup if I didn’t have to back them/RMA them.

That’s kind of a different issue - you have a firm price for which you offer your product and associated services; they went somewhere else. That’s all fair.

When you go to buy a car, regardless of where you go, you know they are trying to scam you. They’re trying to make you a sucker and rip you off, if you don’t fight tooth and nail to stop them. I’m glad I haven’t had occasion to buy a car from a dealer; I’d probably get so pissed at their dishonest approach I’d probably do something that’d wind me up in jail.

I don 't think you’re quite grasping my point about “Give me your best price.”

I want YOUR best price, not necessarily someone else’s best price. I’m willing to pay a few more dollars for a computer if it’s a good shop and I have confidence they’ll be around to support me in a year.

As a matter of fact, that is exactly what happened to me the last time I bought a computer. I TRIED to buy a computer for an advertised sweetheart deal at MDG, only to find that

A) They were assholes, and
B) Their advertised specials were like gym membership specials - oh gosh, that special just expired and anyone it didn 't apply here and please choose from 17 other different configurations and let’s dicker about price.

I walked out, went to a place that seemed like it was run by professionals, and got their best price on the system I wanted. Maybe I paid a few bucks more than if I’d gone through another two hours of anguish and negotiation waltz with MDG, but it was worth every penny. I got the computer I wanted, at a price I was willing to pay, from someone who was not a total cockknocker and is still around today.

The Hyundai dealers in Calgary are the worst examples I can think of for this. We are driving a Toyota now, after making three separate attempts to buy a Hyundai (I know other people here have said Toyota dealerships are the worst, but in this town, it’s Hyundai). At one point they basically told us their ads for cars are lies.

This doesn’t apply much for something like a saw but I just tell rather than ask for anything major especially a car. I do my own research, figure out what is fair and just them them what I will pay. I mean it. They usually think you are playing their game when they stop you at the door and say that they are going to talk to their “sales manager”.

Uh, that is not what I just said. Then I asked them to repeat what we just talked about and tell them that is it and that I don’t want to do the sales manager charade. That tends to throw car salespeople for a loop because most people listen to their crap. I have never had a major deal refused by doing that and, again, I just drove up in a car and obviously don’t need a new one that day.

I also firmly refuse all sales pitches especially extended warranties. It is interesting at a place like Best Buy when I tell them to stop talking and let me go on my way with my purchase. I have learned that kindly warning them in the beginning what they are allowed to say tends to work well. I don’t want to abuse their lower employees at all especially when they are ordered to push such things but it needs to be done.

Bite the bullet, do business at Home Depot, and re-gift the card.

I’m currently negotiating a mortgage with 3 separate banks and, to be honest, I’m starting to get amused by all of the shifting terms, rates and incentives as they try to outdo each other. Maybe if I’d gone through all of this before, I would start to find the process tedious and frustrating (like car buying) but this is my first home purchase and I’m rather enjoying seeing just how many basis points I can screw them down.

MDG are infamous for being assholes. Franchises around here are constantly popping up and shutting down, seemingly never lasting more than a couple of years under the same owners or in the same location and all the while leaving an ever-growing trail of cheap, unreliable crap with useless warranties.

If you want a locally owned franchise that does it right, I highly recommend Summit Direct. Professional and courteous, they offer very good prices, even on custom builds. Their Hamilton location is on Barton St. East and shouldn’t be too much of a haul from Burlington.

God, I hear you. My AC’s been busted since Wednesday, and I’ve been fighting with the AC service companies trying to get a new unit installed. My mother’s helping me pay for it, and she’s more of a haggler than I am, so she insisted on making me get several quotes.

Yesterday, I was having difficulty getting people to give me quotes, and being in a 100-degree house isn’t doing much to keep me patient and alert. This, plus my attitude is like yours, caused me to honestly report, without really thinking about it, what the other companies were quoting me when the guy asked. He came back with a price about $100 less than what I’d been quoted before, and I thought I was getting a decent deal, especially since all evidence said the prior quotes were reasonable. …My mother the haggler felt otherwise, and was certain I’d just lost a really cheap bid by telling the guy what the competition was quoting. The yelling went on for some time.

I hate haggling.

Any large purchase requires 3 quotes, minimum. Face to face .

They have a store in Burlington now too.

For Canadians planning to buy a car, I heartily recommend this site: carcostcanada.com.

I know it’s a crappy-looking website, and I figured it was probably some kind of scam at first, but I decided the worst that could happen is I lose the $40 it costs to sign up, so I tried it out.

I’ve saved quite a bit of money (off the sticker price, anyway) on the last two cars I’ve bought, and I didn’t have to do any haggling whatsoever.

My dad’s rule of thumb when buying a car…He’ll go in with a price in his mind, anything above it and he walks, anything below it and he’ll purchase. He’ll go up to a sales person and say “Give me your absolute best possible lowest price in this car right here” If it’s higher then his number he walks out, and god help the sales person if they say “Wait, sir, I can do better” Now, you’re a liar and you will be chastised for it.

Have you people really never looked at how a business is run? I deal in board level electronic components. I sell the same part to different customers at hugely different prices.

It depends on things like - how many parts are they buying. How many other things are they buying. Do I want to keep their business in the future, or is this a one time sale. Is it the end of the fiscal year? I may accept numbers today, to meet yearly goals, that I won’t accept tomorrow. What is the cost of shipping things today. Has Fedex started adding on their fuel surcharge yet? Is the customer going to buy all the parts at one time, or over a year? Is this an easy customer to deal with, or should I increase my mark up, because I’m going to spend lots of time making changes to this order. Is this a high demand part, or do I have a box full of them sitting on the shelf that I can’t sell?

Cars - year end sales targets, end of the model year, that ugly orange color that they can’t unload. The hot model that they sell faster then they can get them in the door.

Repairs - Summertime? Yep, it’s going to cost more to repair the A/C, their repair people are already working full time.

On big ticket items, (cars, mortgages) what would you have the bank or dealership do? Make an offer that they consider fair, but let you walk out the door, because some other bank offered a slightly better rate? Lose the sale of a car, because you made them guess what the magic target cost you came up with is, and they guessed $500 high?

And Joey P, if your father ever tried to chastise me and called me a liar, for doing business in way that makes money for me, I’d happily chew him out right back. He’s trying to do exactly the same thing as the salespeople. Put another few dollars in his own pocket.

Yes, but that’s fine with me. Once I got a second quote that suggested the first one wasn’t stupidly inflated, I was ready to buy. It was expensive, but I can accept that; I’m asking for an emergency install. I didn’t want to haggle about it at all.

The no haggling is why I like my current line of work. (I sell small business health insurance) The price is what it is, I cannot change it. For that matter my manager cannot change it either. You either want it or you don’t.

Go nuts, he’s got thick skin. Besides, he’s a business owner as well, he knows how it goes. And you’d be wise to have his business. He’s currently on his third Chevy Tahoe, there’s a happy sales person at the chevy dealership.

I hate to say this, but as a consumer, it doesn’t matter to me if you can feed your kids, as long as I can feed mine. And as a sales person, you should feel the same way, to that end it’s all about finding a happy medium.