October 24, 2021 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm #2020287
When is it okay to bargain with a merchant or service provider or any other person or company you’re seeking something from, in order to try to negotiate a lower price than their asking or listed price? And when is it not okay?October 24, 2021 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm #2020328
“Jews don’t buy retail”?
we have a 1/6 measure for overcharging. Both sides of the deal are in symmetry here. That is, a buyer also can not press or use ignorance of the seller to give him too low a price. It does not matter whether you are dealing with a billionaire or a corporation. Of course, when dealing with a professional or corporation, they are usually informed and not desperate for a deal, they most likely have a lowest number that they can agree to. They may also be paid on commission. Maybe a criterion similar to returning lost objects might help – if a sum is small enough not to matter to you, you should let it go. Longer term – it is better to establish a “fair price” that works for both sides than press your advantage. I found this works well with some school financiers.
Not sure with non-Jews: you don’t want to give them extra funds for trick-and-treating, but it does not mean you should not let him earn a living also. Again, a fair price for both sides may make him into an ohev Isroel.October 24, 2021 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm #2020330Yserbius123Participant
October 25, 2021 12:45 am at 12:45 am #2020355
- Almost always
- When the vendor is just a salesman contracted to sell the product and cannot make decisions as to the price
Yseribus: Is it perfectly okay and normal for me to try to bargain a discount from my local grocer or local hardware store (non-chain/owner operated)? What about from my handyman, tailor or barber?October 25, 2021 6:02 am at 6:02 am #2020417RebeliParticipant
This is how Israel worksOctober 25, 2021 9:21 am at 9:21 am #2020482
Ninty percent of the time, you will know when its ok and when not. Generally, such haggling is ok when you are dealing with the sale of high margin goods/services where the seller has sufficiient headroom to offer a discount and still make a profit. In some venues, bargaining is expected and the initial price quoted is deliberately excessive with the intent of eliciting a counteroffer. At the other extreme are low margin products in local food markets where the margins are extremely low (a few percent in grocery markets) so there really is no room to haggle except in special situations (defects, overly-ripe, near the pull date etc). where its perfectly ok to ask if the merchant will take a lower price. Likewise, as someone noted, its unfair to ask an employee of a service provider who comes out to fix your freezer or HVAC for a discount from the price you were quoted since most of the time they have fixed prices per job established by their company. Its ok to ask if they offer discounts for seniors, military veterans or some other affinity group but otherwise, we don’t bargain over the price to fix the A/C on a 100 degree day. Do your price shopping on line or when you call potential service providers, not after they arrive.October 25, 2021 4:49 pm at 4:49 pm #2020643akupermaParticipant
It depends on context. In a situation where bargaining over price is the norm, failing to do so is foolish and the person selling the item will be pleased to rip you off. In a situation where prices are fixed, if you attempt to bargain you will be perceived very negatively and in some cases, you may be violating criminal laws (e.g. trying to bargain with a transit driver over fares, or trying to cut a deal with a policeman giving you a ticket).October 25, 2021 6:50 pm at 6:50 pm #2020684KuvultParticipant
I was going around with an old Yid who tried to negotiate the price on a Slurpee.October 25, 2021 6:50 pm at 6:50 pm #2020682yaakov doeParticipant
Among our own, I see no problem but unless it’s with someone who expects some bargaining like a car salesman, it could result in a chillul Hashem.October 25, 2021 7:39 pm at 7:39 pm #2020690
Yaakov Doe: So its assur to insult a goyeshe doctor by asking him to cut the price on your colonoscopy or asking a goyeshe plumber to discount the replacement of your hot water heater but somehow OK to do so when the service provider is a Yid? Where do chazal bring down the inyan of insulting yidden but not goyim?October 25, 2021 8:45 pm at 8:45 pm #2020697yaakov doeParticipant
Gadolha, Where did I say it was assur? Why would you use a goyeshe doctor or plumber. There are heimish doctors, plumbers and sewer cleaners. You could ask your goyeshe doctor if he’ll accept the amount he would get from insurance as full payment.October 26, 2021 10:26 am at 10:26 am #2020843
Very good point as to asking about capping your cost exposure on medical to insurance reimbursement but in some cases you have to go out of network to find the best doctor for your specific procedure. Also, while some may prefer to find a “heimesh proctologist” or “plumber” (preferably not in the same practice group) not all of us live in yid-centric urban areas where there are multiple options. A “heimish” doctor may not be the best choice for your particular situation.October 26, 2021 10:27 am at 10:27 am #2020841akupermaParticipant
Fixed or negotiable prices are matters of commercial custom, and that has always been the case. If you answer the question with a “yes” or “no” answer, you are in error.October 26, 2021 11:36 am at 11:36 am #2020865
What’s the commercial custom for a computer technician or for a plumber?October 26, 2021 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm #2020872
What’s the commercial custom for a computer technician or for a plumber
Minhag hamokom as well as the size of the business. You can probably “negotiate” with a solo practitioner to assist in setting up your home wifi network or replacing screen on your iphone (perhaps by bundling several other repairs) but if you call the Geek Squad from Best Buy, there is a fixed price and no negotiating.October 26, 2021 4:26 pm at 4:26 pm #2021003
> Why would you use a goyeshe doctor or plumber. There are heimish doctors, plumbers and sewer cleaners.
I think halakha is that you select the best doctor, and if they are about the same, go ahead select the heimeshe. There is often huge difference between good and average doctors. Also, if you patronize heimishe doctors without concern about their abilities, you will reduce competition and in the long term these doctors will have no incentive to become better doctors.October 26, 2021 5:04 pm at 5:04 pm #2021035
AAQ: Well said. All other factors equal, which is rarely the case, we obviously would go with the Jewish physician. In today’s world, we unfortunately have to arbitrage between a physician’s expertise and whether he/she accepts your insurance and real world stuff like that.October 26, 2021 7:06 pm at 7:06 pm #2021071
Financial advisors recommend to always try to negotiate a better price than offered, proposed or listed.October 26, 2021 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm #2021112
GH, IIRC, this is from Rambam. Note that doctors are involved in the mitzvaq of bikur cholim. R Schachter discussing the mitzva brings example of R Akiva cleaning his sick student’s house, then says – our days doctors and nurses do most of bikur cholim, we are left only with an option of cheering them up. Probably, medicine at the time of Gemora did not lead to a lot of respect for doctors, but now it is (hopefully) different.
So, from this analysis, your job of selecting a doctor is part of bikur cholim.October 26, 2021 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm #2021118
“Financial advisors recommend to always try to negotiate a better price than offered, proposed or listed”
Except, of course, when dealing with the financial advisor managing your investment portfolio, where virtually all certified financial advisors and planners charge a FIXED percentage fee based on the size of your portfolio. They don’t typically “negotiate” a fee with each new client based on their haggling skills.October 27, 2021 12:16 am at 12:16 am #2021200
they do. We got new advisors for the retirement fund who undercut fees from the previous ones. I still think I you can’t press them into something that is not profitable for them. for example, an advisor can get demoted for losing your account and you are using that to give you a profit-less fee.
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