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Haggler’s Haul

November 1, 2010

Yin and yang: wood and metal

Paul and I were in Long Beach for the fifth-Sunday Flea Market in Long Beach today. Fifth-Sunday fleas can sometimes be not as awesome as the monthly third Sunday shows, but today’s was great! There were fewer vendors than normal (which is to be expected) but those in attendance seemed like the right ones — they had terrific stuff. It’s always been a joke among my flea accomplices that haggling is not something I do with ease, and they’ve watched with amusement my too-tentative attempts at bargaining through the years. I think I’ve gotten better, but I’ve never felt like a true haggler … that is until today. My haggler breakthrough took place just a couple of stalls into the market, when I saw the wooden yin-yang table in the picture above. Checking it out, I loved its color, distressed finish and quirky multi-level shapeliness. The vendor, Mary, came over and quoted me a price of $125. Hmmm … not bad, but I wanted a better price. I hemmed-and-hawed, and said I’d think about it; Mary took the bait, asking me what I’d like to offer. Taking a deep breath, I went for it and said I’d give her $75. Mary countered with $90. I said I’d think about it, and started to walk … Mary asked if I had cash — I said yes — and she took it! That’s a full $50 less than her original price. Our friends Jan and Elena hadn’t yet arrived went the haggle went down, but they were duly impressed when I told them about it. My other purchases were priced so low already that I didn’t bother haggling for them …

The warm and the cool

The rest of the haul: A heavy metal industrial washing machine tub and a large metal sifting pan: $15. Two tall metal stands that would look delicious topped with a pear-frangipane tart and a pumpkin cheesecake: $20. An aluminum R with cool industrial sheen: $5. Total for the day: $120! Okay — it doesn’t add up. Confession: When Mary said she’d take $75 for the table I handed her 4 twenty-dollar bills … and feeling guilty for being such an aggressive haggler I told her to keep the change.  o_O

Next post: Scenes from the Long Beach Flea Market’s Fifth-Sunday sale.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. November 1, 2010 7:58 pm

    Congratulations Mr. Haggler! I’m impressed as I’ve never been very good at it either.

    • reubix1 permalink*
      November 1, 2010 10:25 pm

      lol… I still have ways to go… no self-respecting, true, haggler would give up the change!

  2. AlgaRythums permalink
    October 7, 2011 7:25 pm

    hahahaha…. you’re just too very nice a guy to be a true haggler! Sorry to admit, I do the same. I sometimes haggle them down, but then, feeling guilty, I usually slip in a little tip. Although I think it is because I live in Baja and many of these people are sooo desperate. However I also know the minute they see me the price is doubled.

    • reubix1 permalink*
      October 7, 2011 7:28 pm

      Wow, being in Baja and dealing with people in need would give me pause… I have been known to actually pay someone MORE for something, if they seem in need. I guess you’re right: I’m basically a nice guy … 😉

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  1. Flea Day: Long Beach — 5th Sunday « Rancho Reubidoux

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