White Horse Beach, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

White Horse Beach, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA
White Horse Beach, Manomet, Plymouth, Massachusetts, USA

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Art of the Deal, Cancun, Quintana Roo, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

Why a picture of these pretty earrings, the color of the turquoise sea? 

Well, Amy was feeling the urge for a new pair of earrings.  But not just any retail earrings.  They must be a good deal - no - not just a good deal but, a really good deal - no, it must be a great deal.  

So we traveled by bus and foot to a place in Cancun Centro known as Mercado 28.  It is a multi-block roundish shaped warren of handicraft shops, clothing shops, jewelry shops, and restaurants. And each and every shop has at least one or more owners/employees who assertively attempt to get your attention as you walk by.  They are not shy - they do not wait patiently for you to walk in as would  shopkeepers in the U.S.  They are in-your-face verbal trying to entice you in. Some even touch your arm or shoulder to try to steer you in.

So in we went to one of the jewelry shops, it was perhaps a dozen feet long and five feet deep.  The mirrored walls were lined with shelves of jewelry.  Amy was clear that she wanted earrings with silver and a stone the color of the turquoise sea.  And the beautiful pair above caught her eye and fancy.

The shopkeeper, sensing he had a live one, moved in for the sale, calculator in hand to translate the pesos into dollars.  He did the computation and proudly stated, "$185 USD."  Not immediately reading a positive reaction in Amy's eyes, he quickly said, "but today I will give you 25% discount - only $138 USD."

Well, I know that a 25% discount on jewelry in this situation is nowhere near enough to interest Amy but of course, he didn't know that.  He didn't know that no matter what the item, Amy never wants to own it more than the seller wants to sell it - that's her secret. That's how she always gets good bargains - she can walk away every or any time and often does.

Amy shook her head "no" and made a movement towards the door.  His eyes widened, he sensed the sale was getting away from him. He said, "okay, for you today only, $60 USD."  At that point, I was starting to reach for my wallet.  Sounded good to me, in fact, it sounded great to me, that's almost a 70% discount.  

That's when Amy said, "nope, I really only planned to spend $20 USD."  I'm thinking, are you kidding? This guy has already come down almost 70% from $185 to $60 and you say you only want to spend $20?  Of course Amy is doing all this haggling in fluent Spanish so the seller knows he's not just dealing with another common gringo.  He knows he's losing her, too, so he offers, "okay, my best offer is $40 USD."

By now I'm dumbstruck stunned but Amy's piercing look at me has clearly been received - keep my hands off my wallet - so I just keep watching and listening to them.

She tells him what a beautiful piece it is and how she knows it really is worth $185 but, she really planned on spending only $20 today.  He shakes his head "no" and says, "okay, just for you, today only,  I'll take $25 USD."  And Amy says "thank you, that's a great offer, but no," and she takes my arm, turns, and starts for the door.  The deal is off.

And that's when it happened, that's when he said, "okay I'll take $20 USD."  And that is when I got out my wallet. 

So there's the story of how I was able to take a picture of these pretty earrings, the color of the turquoise sea, sitting on the nice soft cloth bag he put them in for us to take home. 


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