Are You Haggling?

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We shipped Natalie off on an Egyptian vacation last week and though I've spent a fair portion of my life there, she only wanted to know about shopping.

So I told her, "Bargain. Almost everything costs less than half of what you're told and everything is negotiable - absolutely no exceptions."

But that's in the Khan el-Khalili, not in the West Village where according to this article in Bloomberg shoppers have actually started negotiating printed prices.

While major department stores and even mass boutiques like Scoop and Intermix can afford severe markdowns, the smaller stores carrying the same brands just can't. Which means shoppers are either bypassing them entirely, asking them to match department store prices or lying about how much the same pair of shoes cost down the block to guilt the sales team into lowering prices.

One boutique owner says a woman offered to pay $400 in cash for a $700 bag. Another salesperson says that once negotiating becomes customary no one will want to pay full price again and another is just "really amazed" that people are ballsy enough to ask in the first place.

While I'm always game to bargain at outdoor markets, whether in Cairo or Paris, I could never negotiate my way into a pair of Louboutins.

Are you trying? And more importantly, is it working?

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