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Secondhand Score: Bazaar Bargain

November 2, 2009

As today’s all about being thrifty with some sweet secondhand scores, let me tell you about my best bargaining feat to date.

Scene:  Virginia Bazaar on a quiet Sunday afternoon.

We wandered through the halls of the flea market, not too impressed with the vendors or their offerings.  The Bazaar has clearly seen better days.  And the economy isn’t helping.

Suddenly I spot a mini-treasure-trove of mid-century modern goodness.  There’s an entire bedroom suite, which I don’t need, and then one extra little night stand that does not go with the set. Like the Bazaar, this nightstand has seen better days, but it’s still standing.  And it’s got the cutest little drawer pull on its angled drawer fronts.  I’ve never seen anything like it.  It’s priced at $45, which is not bad. 

Mid-century modern nightstand

The object of my affection, and bargaining: "My" nightstand stood on top of another nightstand.

But I feel a challenge coming on.

Me to bf: “She wants $45 for it. I’m going to ask if she’ll take $25.”

I knew that was a long shot.  I didn’t even need the nightstand.  But someday, I told myself, I’ll have more than 900 sq feet.  I’ll find a use for it.  It’s got a great shape.  And it would be fun to take on a bargaining challenge.

Me to seller:  “You’ve got a little nightstand back there.  How low can you go?”

(Again, insert my facial expression which tries to look nonchalant.  I do not give one hoot that this is a mid-century-type piece with any collectible value what-so-ever.)

Seller:  “What did you have in mind?”

Me:  “I don’t know.  Could you possibly do $25? It’s cute and it would be just the right size.”

(I always aim for the impression that I just like something but have no understanding design styles.)

Seller:  “No, I could probably do $40.”

(I convey impression that that’s not low enough and perhaps insinuate that it needs work.)

Seller:  “I can do $35, but that’s it.”

Me:  “Oh, ok.  Well, thanks.”  I turn and start to walk away, saying something to the boyfriend about let’s keep looking, it’s too high for me, etc.

Seller: “I can give it to you for $30.”

(Insert me breaking into victory dance in my mind.)

Me:  “Really?  Wonderful. Thanks so much.  It’s just the cutest thing and I have just the spot for it.”

We exchange money, scoop up the piece, and round the corner before I break into a huuuge grin. 

Me:  “How awesome was I?  I totally just rocked that negotiation.”

Boyfriend:  “I’m impressed. I really thought you’d go for $35.  I couldn’t believe it when you started to walk away.”

Me:  “Hell yeah, I was on a mission. I knew I could walk away from it.  And it worked! Ha!”

The wording may not be quite verbatim, but you get the idea.  I impressed the boyfriend (and myself) with my tenacity.  I was victorious.

But enough babbling.  Here’s another shot of that night stand.  It’s hard to tell, but the bottom drawer is angled in.  It’s supposed to be that way, and it’s part of what charmed me into bargaining.

Mid-century night stand

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