Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Buying ...and selling

The season for bargains, or so the papers tell us. 'Tis the season to givegivegive!

Papers are full of full page color adds. Don't you wish they would take the price of the add off the price of the item they advertise in color with some ditsy female smiling like she made it?

We're potters. We do art/craft shows. The old, apply for the show, pay a jury fee, pay your booth fee, set up a tent and take your chances craft show circuit.We do not do this for a living. We engage in such frivolity as few times as possible during the year, but Christmas is an exception. The fear of starvation in January and February make it mandatory that we participate in the age old Christmas profiteering. According to NPR " Every nation deserves great Art". They should add a caveat: Don't try to make a living at it.

People love to LOOK at art. They just don't want to PAY for art.

When I see a paper mache' poodle, painted pink with black polka dots for $300.00 dollars, or a 10'X10' match book collage for $890.00. My first reaction is to stomp it flat, but to be catty, I politely ask the artist to explain it. "I LOVE poodles, don't you"? and "I  had to collect the match books, iron 'em flat, and glue them on this piece of plywood that I stained myself, and sprayed with clear lacquer. Truth is, I'm trying to figure how these people intellectualize "ART".  No wonder the National Endowment for the Arts is in funding trouble, constantly.

Anyway, in a conversation with one vendor, we got into how the world buys, and sells things. Everybody else in the world haggles, except Americans. Americans think that if it's theirs, it's worth a fortune. If it belongs to you, there's something wrong with it, or you wouldn't be selling it.

One vendor gave me this story.

"How much is that?...oh, 5.00? You work with me on price?

Yes, you buy five, get them for $4.50.

I take this one.

That'll be five dollars, please.

I thought you said you work with me on price?

You buy five, you get 5 for 4.50 cents each. Buy one. it's $5.00.

You say you work with me on price?

I did work with you on price...One for $5.00 5 for $4.50. End of Story. Or so it would seem.

Ten minutes later they're back. The water torture method of beating you down.They won't go away...they'll demand it for $4.50 'cause it came out of you mouth... in a different context. brought on by a conversation THEY initiated.

 You work with me on price? JUST SAY NO! Save yourself some grief

 Go into a store and tell them you'll give 'em thus and so for that and watch how fast they laugh at you. Most of the world would haggle until it came to blows to save a dime.

The only people who have the persistence and arrogance to beat you to death are new car salesmen. Where did they learn the "beat you down" skills. They were all born in bazaars and street markets in the middle east...and immigrated, telepathically, to the auto dealerships. Law of the Universe. Don't ever kick a tire on a car lot, a car rat can hear it through a lead line concrete wall!

A weekend at a Christmas show makes me not want to every buy anything from anyone again. Just stick the card in the gas pump, pump the gas, get a receipt and drive on. Don't turn the car radio on...someone will be trying to sell you something, at a predetermined price, set in stone at the Great Pyramid of Santa Clause. until the day after Kringle has Krawled down you chimley.

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