Do women make better hagglers & smarter shoppers? Is it a talent ingrained in them during childhood? Or is it just part of what makes them….you know….women?
I used to dread going shopping with girls from my family. Its no fun at all. I remember when I was about 16-17 my sister Sherine & my cousin Raakhee wanted to go shopping in the city and they wanted to buy clothes, salwars in particular. Convent Junction was THE place for buying clothing for girls during those years and I think it still is. Anyway, I was accompanying them, innocent & unsuspecting lad that I was. I do not remember much of the details of that day only that we walked and entered 15 different clothing stores on that day!!
Yes 15 of them! The girls went into all these stores, walking in like they owned the place (but then every other woman was doing the same thing) and get many dresses shown to them. In the end they pretended like none of them were good enough and giving the overall feeling that the choices were very bad & limited! I would stand like a deer caught in the headlights and smile weakly to the staff. Like this we went to 15 stores and my sis & cousin repeated this practise in each store. Even the mannequins in the shops looked like they were scolding me for accompanying them on their “shopping trip”. Finally they gave up ——and walked back to the very first store and bough one measly outfit! One!! Yeah, I would quickly refuse any shopping expeditions with the two of them in future.
Well yesterday I volunteered, or was made to volunteer, to accompany a lady from HR to buy decorations & little gifts for the office. Now this was from around 7:30 pm and I said ok cause I know her well, I know her mom well and her mom is an old school mate of my aunt. So I went along to all these little wholesale shops that sell Christmas & New Year decorations and stuff and got a lesson on haggling. I was a silent spectator, merely nodding along to questions and giving a few suggestions and options. She handled the rest and I was just there to carry the bags back to the car, offer her company as it was night and make sure that she was dropped to her house which was quite far from the office. And she didn’t even go a paisa above her budget.
The poor guys at the shops didn’t know what was in store and they were suckered into lowering their rates or offering discounts & adjustments when they weren’t even aware of before she came to their shops. It was 10pm when we were done and I called for the cab to drop her home before I would be dropped home myself. I also bought us a shawarma sandwich each and some fruit juice and we quickly ate that in the cab as we headed on to Fort Kochi where she lives.