Archive Anecdotage

46 Negotiating skills

Wandering through the Wednesday market in Quarteira on the Algarvean coast, the lovely B said 'If you see anything you like here then I'll buy it for your Birthday.'

I had already spotted a stall of unusual leather goods, all beautifully hand tooled and each featuring some inlaid red tapestry work, so we meandered back through the shuffling crowd.

'There' I pointed at a briefcase 'that's the one.'

I was encouraged to haggle, so I stepped forward and asked the chap what he thought would be a fair price for such a fine piece of work.

'Fifty Euros, he said, without hesitation.

'How about sixty?' I countered with confidence.

'Seventy', he said with a strange look in his eye.

'Eighty five' I had him on the run...

...and then a sharp pain in my ear as it was grabbed and twisted.

The bartering came to a sudden end; I was hauled away from negotiations at the crucial stage.

I felt sure I'd have got the thing for One Hundred Euros, absolute minimum.

The lovely B later returned to the stall and acquired the briefcase for twenty five Euros.

© Ian Gillan 2009

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