Yesterday I headed over to the local Dive ‘n Surf shop and walked out 583 dollars poorer. They were hosting their annual February yard sale, with some huge discounts for the slow season.
I walked in and told the sales guy, Fernando, what I wanted: a long soft top surfboard (used or new), new wetsuit, and removable soft roof rack for my car. They didn’t have much selection of soft boards, but I really liked what they had, as you can see. It’s a 9′ board, making it buoyant and easy for beginners.
Now that I’m in sales, I like to be ‘sold’ to. I like to see peoples’ styles and incorporate anything I like into my repertoire. Or better yet, get to use all the annoying objections that I have to hear on a daily basis. However, surfer culture is very laid back, and Fernando had absolutely no sales push. While you might like that, I actually came away disappointed.
I also like to practice negotiating lately. Let’s take a look at the breakdown:
- Surboard: Retail = $579, Normal Dive N’ Surf Price = $479, Yardsale special = $379 (already below the $400 I was willing to spend)
- Body Glove 3/2 Wetsuit: Normal Dive N’ Surf Price = $219, Yardsale special = $149
- Soft Car Roof Rack: $41
Total after 8.25% sales tax = $615.94
Good prices, but more than I wanted to spend. I asked for discounts. He wouldn’t budge on the board, but took another twenty off the wetsuit and ten off the rack. I offered to go get a money order and pay cash if he’d knock more off. He declined.
So the price was $583, but I just wasn’t 100% happy. He gave me some time to think. That’s when I realized that he left out the $20 leash that connects the board to your ankle.
“Fernando, you forgot the leash. If you throw that in I’ll do it all for $583.” Deal.
I’m sure I could have done better (you always can), but at that point I was happy. With the leash, I got 9% off of already-discounted prices. I’m not out to dominate, I just wanna spend less than Joe Sixpack.
Negotiating makes me uncomfortable as hell. Perhaps that’s why it’s fun; it brings us out of our comfort zone and makes us elevate our game.
So anyway, I went surfing today. Or tried to. The tide at Redondo Beach was low, so the water was all deep. Waves weren’t breaking until they were literally on the beach, which means that you’re going to fall straight into sand and get clobbered.
The guys out there were bummed out. They didn’t have time to drive around the city and find a good spot. When there’s no surf, there’s depression. Imagine a group of Harley riders planning a huge weekend of riding, only to have thunderstorms ruin their plans. For us working folk, we only have two days open to surf, so we hope it’s great on those days. The sport is reliant on so many variables.
Either way, I decided to jump in and get some exercise. My board was very comfortable. I have fun just chilling on it and paddling around. One other guy was really good but only caught two waves in over an hour. I struck up conversation — his wife only gave him 2 hours away from the newborn baby, so he was frustrated. The only wave I caught (I guess you could say it caught me) destroyed me in shallow water. It was scary and next time I’ll need to learn to eject.
So guess who joins us to surf – two dolphins and a seal! I was about 20 feet away from these two fins, and quickly got alarmed. I asked the guy “Were those dolphins?” and he jokes “Let’s hope so!” Not surprisingly, the dolphins put us to shame and rode some deep waves.
Fun stuff. And for the first and definitely not the last time, I heard the age old dreaded line, “You should have been here yesterday”.
By Jordan February 18, 2007 - 5:12 pm
This may sound strange coming from a semite, but I also hate the awkwardness of haggling for a price.
On that topic. .after a night of destroyal in the Flats, TJ attempted to negotiate the price of a gyro w/one of the late-night vendors. The vendor was adamant that it was a set price of $4, to which TJ replied, “How about $2?”–while handing him a $5 bill. Classic.
Also, while in NYC Wes would haggle w/people selling knockoff whatevers. He would get the price so low and then back out w/a “ehh nevermind” and walk away. It was as though he was toying w/these people. I thought for sure we’d be beaten to a pulp in some back alley.