Proud Haggler

By on March 7, 2016

If you have ever made your way down to Balikudembe Market (which many people including myself still refer to as Owino Market), you are familiar with certain things. You are familiar with people screaming out strange items at ridiculously low prices you almost want to buy everything! You are also probably familiar with robbers masquerading as shoppers, sellers, beggars and even mannequins.

The one other thing you must be familiar with is the haggling culture of the people down there. Whether you have come to purchase a pair of shoes, used bras, rat poison, window curtains, sex toys or exercise books, you can be sure that haggling and bargaining will be the order of the day.

I am a proud haggler for so many reasons but mostly because I love saving.

Many people are afraid to indulge in haggling because of certain myths they have about this practice. And today, I’d like to volunteer to debunk some of these myths – at no cost whatsoever.

Myth 1 – People who bargain are broke and they are misers

Some of the richest and wealthiest people in the world started off their careers by washing this myth out of their systems. No sane wealthy person will say yes to a price unless they have asked for a lower figure. If you have worked hard to earn money, the person receiving it should equally work hard. (This theory may or may not apply to partners, church tithe, alms, children and/or relatives.)

Haggling is a sign that you value the money you have and that since it was hard for you to get the money, it should be just as hard for you to let it go.

Many wealthy people are able to maintain their wealth because they will not let a penny go unless they are sure they are getting its worth in return. Back this end at poverty central, we are all too happy to release the money we toil for simply because we do not want to be seen as poor people. Such unfortunate irony.

Take offBe prepared to take off your crown

Myth 2 – It is a waste of time

On the contrary, haggling buys you time. Sometimes you start to bargain for something unsure whether or not it is worth the money. Along the way, your guardian angel might tap you on the shoulder and remind you about one or two unpaid debts back at home, at which point you can change your mind about paying for the item – having bought yourself some time by indulging in the haggling.

It also gives you the time to look at the product or item in question to ascertain whether or not it is of the quality and/or quantity it is being priced at. If you see something in a shop and purchase it right away without haggling, you may reach home and realise that it is not from the Dolce & Gabbana collection as you had anticipated but rather from the Dolge and Cabbama collection.

You might also want to indulge in some haggling so that you can have time to look around for something else. When you are busy bargaining, your eyes are darting about like horny young men looking for easy ripe women to lay. This gives you time to scope out the collection and eventually make the choice about who/what you are taking home with you.

PRice change


Myth 3 – Haggling undermines the seller

Absolute Rubbish!

Almost every seller knows how to play on the minds and sentiments of buyers. They will tell you how the ‘little money’ they are asking for is just enough to cover operational costs. Never fall for such bollocks.

If a seller thinks the figure you are presenting is not enough to cover their costs and even give them a profit, they will not sell the item to you. It is as simple as that. No one should try to make you feel guilty for bargaining.

It is likely that there is some invisible and secret institution where all sellers take a crash course on how to play on the minds of buyers. At this institution they are trained to play even the wildest cards. They will claim anything from raising money for a child’s tuition to a sick relative’s medical bills.

Always remember that you are not the Red Cross.

As long as the seller agrees to a price you are offering, no matter how low it may seem, know that they are making a profit. Period!


Never be afraid to haggle no matter who is on the other end!

Myth 4 – Haggling makes you seem rude

This can only be true  if you are shouting at the seller – like I was, the other day when a woman attempted to sell two miserably tiny tomatoes to me at UGX 1000. I yelled at the woman and out of shame, she agreed to give me both tomatoes plus two onions at UGX 500. I was raised to never yell at anyone unless they are trying to rob me.

When you bargain, there is the general assumption that you are disrespecting the seller’s product. In my opinion, someone who is bargaining for something has shown interest in the item and therefore the issue of disrespect does not even begin to feature.

Disrespecting a product would be walking into a shop with a megaphone and shouting out to the world that a product should be disrespected. Short of that, no allegations of product disrespect must be entertained. Besides, what has the product done to deserve my respect? A high price tag should not translate to respect, until I have ascertained that it is deserving.

When bargaining, try to be as cordial as possible but also try to beat the seller at his/her game of emotional blackmail. When they mention a price that is out of this world, act surprised. For better effect, open your eyes wide and momentarily jump back. Act surprised, shocked and totally confused. If you have to, please let out a loud and dramatic laugh followed by a slowly mention of ‘s-e-r-i-o-u-s-l-y?’

This out to send the message home that you will not entertain being ripped off.

Join our Political Party and start haggling TODAY!

In the world of haggling and bargaining, there are hard-liners and soft-liners. Scholars generally refer to the hard-liners as warriors, and the soft-liners as shopkeepers. The onus is now on you to out there to adopt, practice and perfect the art of becoming a hard-line haggler. As a proud haggler, soon enough, I hope to create a political party for hagglers where admittance will depend on how well you can haggle and bargain.

For now, happy haggling.

 Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate – John F. Kennedy

a.k.a Beewol
The Talkative Rocker
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Beewol – The Talkative Rocker

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Baldie. Ailurophile. Social Media Junkie. Blogger. Pluviophile. Fixer. Sober Drunkard.
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