“I’ll give you 3000”
“No sir – Give me more, 6500 Baht”
“3500 is my final price”
“4000 is my best price”
“3500 or I walk away”
I spent a number of hours joining hundreds of tourists as they explored the various markets of Bangkok. It is amazing to watch stalls appear from nowhere and a street market emerge where only an hour before was a traffic filled street.
Mostly the markets were filled with clothes, watches, pirated DVDs, belts and little odds and ends…but occasionally there was something that I could imagine one of the members of my family really enjoying.
The stall owners were very motivated to make a sale and if you showed the slightest interest or hesitation they would immediately jump into their sales pitch. For the most part they were good humoured and happy to enjoy the banter of the barter…but they always started well over the price that they would finally settle upon.
Their hope was that tourists would agree to the inflated price they originally set (or somewhere close to it) but they treated you with greater respect when you demonstrated that you truly knew what things were worth and would stick to your guns until they finally agreed with your more reasonable price.
I really enjoy getting a good bargain at the markets and I have a lot of fun playing the game but occasionally I found myself hesitant to argue.
There were two reasons for this: firstly I realised that often I was arguing over 50 cents and it really didn’t matter that much to me; secondly if I was buying something special for my wife or the kids I didn’t want to fight over the price because it made it feel like it was not as valuable as I would hope.
The amount someone is willing to pay demonstrates both the sense of value they have for the object and the depth of their relationship with the recipient.
The Bible speaks of Jesus as a ‘merchant seeking beautiful pearls’, when He found one of great value He gave up everything He possessed to purchase it for Himself.
You are that ‘Priceless Pearl’ you are not a bargain priced market trinket. Jesus was willing to pay the most so He could possess the best.