13 Mar 2008

How to be a 100% dilliwalah (Suggestion No 3)

Ask for Discount.

Any place. Any time. When you are out shopping . Do not be embarrassed. Wherever you are. I have seen people ask for a discount in medical stores and also branded cosmetic stores in malls.

How does this work? Well the thumb rule is that whatever price is on the tag, you quote 50% of that. No seriously. Even if the shop attendant shakes his head or frowns at you, stick to your offer.

When you are bargaining never use namby pamby phrases like - Is that your best price? They will immediately know that you are a NRI and never reduce their offer. That kind of method is used by tourists who keep repeating it like its a mantra and are happy when the final sale is done for a few rupees less. Just stick to your Hindi.

The next step will be that the shop owner will come over to your counter. In Delhi the shop owner is a unique creature. Initially he will give his Humphery Bogart attitude and will show no interest in you, but then when he realizes that there is a deal to be made here he will join you in the wrestling pit like an excited terrier.

Now the shop owner will convince you using words like imported, guarantee and pointing to the no bargaining sign stuck behind the counter at select places around the shop. If they don't agree to your price prepare to walk away.

Now the owner will come to you and say that boney ka time hai and he wants to make a sale. Now boney ka time is another unique Delhi thing. This means that it is the first sale of the day and therefore it is bad luck to turn away the customer. However sometimes they use this logic even at five o clock in the evening too !

Your inspiration should be an aunt of mine who hardly knew a word of Hindi. Many year ago, a Kashmiri carpet seller came to her house and showed her a variety of carpets and she selected one of them The price was around 2000 rupees. But my aunt only knew the word sau (100). As the bargaining started, she kept repeating the word sau. As the carpet seller kept reducing his offer price she stuck to 100. In the end was reduced to tears and had to give away the carpet for a hundred bucks. And I do not even think it was boney time.

So go ahead. Surprise yourself . You never know where the bottom line is.

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