Saturday, August 02, 2008

My Husband Was Upset That I Bargained at a Retail Store

C has a fairly expensive watch ($300) that he needed repaired. The battery had gone out and the strap needed to be replaced. The watch was one of the few nice gifts I had given to C. I got it for him during our first or second year of dating. We have now been together for about 6 years - 3 years of dating and 3 years of marriage.

The watch hadn't been operational for about a year and a half since the strap broke. It was very hard to find a replacement strap. We ended up buying a replacement strap about 4 months ago when we were on vacation in NYC when we went to the retail store of the watch manufacturer. The store in NYC was the only retail store the watch manufacturer has anywhere. Unfortunately since we were on vacation, we didn't get a chance to actually get the strap replaced at the store since the watch was a home. The replacement strap was pretty pricey. We can't remember exactly how much it cost. I think it was about $50 while C thinks it was about $100. I'm not sure when the battery broke.

Bargaining at the Store
Last night we went to this fancy watch store since we know that they do repairs. We had went there before to see if they could repair C's watch, but they would need to order the strap which we didn't want them to do. We ask the serviceman how much it costs to replace the strap and get the battery replaced. The battery was $21.70 and the installation of the band was $15, so the total was going to be about $37.

Both my husband and I were hesitating, so I asked the watch serviceman if he could do it for $30 total. He first said that he didn't set the prices, then I frowned. He then said that he would go and check. While the serviceman was gone C told me that he didn't like bargaining for services that he would rather pay the extra $7 since he thinks people don't do as good of a job with a service when you don't pay as much. I completely disagreed since I thought it was pretty clear cut what he was going to do. Well the serviceman came back and told us that he could do it for $30!

It probably took an extra 2 minutes to save $7. Upon examining his returned watch, there was a minor scratch on the face that C didn't remember seeing. C thinks that the serviceman might have scratched the watch. I told C that I thought it was probably already there. Since we hadn't examined the watch before bringing it in, we couldn't be sure. I just don't think someone at a fancy watch store would purposely or accidentally scratch a watch. Since most of the watches in the store are $1000+, I know that those guys have a lot of experience dealing with nice watches.

I have realized the C and I have very different ideas when it comes to spending money. I always knew that we had different philosophies, but I couldn't believe that he disagreed with bargaining in this case. I think he is just uncomfortable with asking people to give him special treatment, whereas I am a big believer in asking for what you want. We agreed to disagree in this case, but I will definitely try bargaining in the future.


Anonymous said...

I ALWAYS bargain when possible. Learned to to that from a great personal finance resource: InvestTalk (it's a podcast and a blog: When in doubt: haggle! Tell your husband to examine why he really opposes it, is it because you were more powerful than he in that situation?

Adventures In Money Making said...

i always ask for a discount.

I even got 34% discount on my Omega watch (which was a complete waste of money anyway) so it def. pays to ask.