In my little vintage business I occasionally receive offers on items I have for sale. For example, I may have an item listed for $75 and someone may offer me $50. At that point I can accept, make a counter offer or politely decline. Usually I decline. My prices reflect a lot of research and reflection. I don’t make them lightly.
But every once in a while I receive a sob story. I received this one yesterday.
Now, it could be 100% true as she’s written. Or it could be an inventive piece of fiction from a woman driving a Lexus who wants a bargain. Who’s to know?
For argument’s sake, let’s say it’s true. I wasn’t sure how low she expected me to drop prices for her so I thought about it overnight. When I woke up today, rather than feeling sympathetic towards her, I realized I felt manipulated. She said she wasn’t trying to give me a “boo hoo woe is me story” but that’s precisely what her whole message is about! It includes death, theft, police, disability and low income (to the penny). And even if it’s all true (and bless her if it is), her life situation really can have no bearing on my jewelry prices.
This may be hard ass but my thinking is either you can afford something or you can’t. Period. Don’t ask (or expect) a small business owner to take a huge cut/loss on something so you can get it. [Stepping down from soapbox now!]
In the end, I offered her a 10% discount, though I don’t think it was the deal she was hoping for.
How would you have responded to her??