Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Heaven and Hell ( almost ) ! Part 2

This is the actual Flintlock Blunderbuss which I mentioned in my previous post. To continue the story...the shopowner asked me to quote him a price. I wasn't certain how to go about it. One common mistake most buyers or shoppers make in such a situation of uncertainty is to unknowingly offer a price, that is almost always ,way above the value of the item. And finding out later, with great regret, frustration and anger that the same item costs only a fraction of the price you paid for...further down the road! At the extreme end, being "kiasu or kiasi"by offering an unfairly low price may invite a scolding from the seller or worse, being chased out of his premises altogether. It has happened before!
So, using all my wisdom....I offered him $30[ Singapore] not rupiahs. He took it all in and asked me to make a "better" offer. No scolding, no chasing off for me...phew! Meanwhile, my family were in the shop and watching this to and fro bargaining. They have much to learn's definitely an Art or Skill worth developing. Like fishing, much patience is required before you land the deal. To be sure, both sides must be a little flexible. Some humour and understanding can go a long way in coming to terms.
I upped my offer to $ 33 then later $ 35. Still no deal but he would not give me a counter offer. I was stuck.
If continued in that pattern....I would be the "loser". So, I changed tack completely.
Thanking him for his time, I told him it was no problem to me...not something that I must have.
Before leaving, I mentioned that we will be checking out of our hotel the next day and heading back to Medan ( a long way off ) .
The next morning, after breakfast, we had 2 hours or so to spare before we leave Parapat. I decided to wait until we were almost boarding our coach before I popped into his shop again to bid the owner farewell. He was cheery and so was I. " So, how about this.?"he held up the Blunderbuss . I said , " It's too late now. All my things are already packed and I don't have the time to do the paperwork/permit part anyway". He said, " No need permit for this. I guarantee.
Only 100% antique must have permit." The tide has turned in my favour. He wanted to sell!
He was now making me various offers from $ 80 onwards. I declined. Finally he said," Last price I give you $ 40 ok? ". I grabbed it and he wrote his shop address as a reference point in case I meet with problemmatic customs at the airport.
I took the Blunderbuss and left it in my main luggage, wrapped in paper and a soft towel to protect it. We departed Parapat and headed for Medan. Stayed a night there before our flight home the next morning.
The nightmare....soon in part 3 of this story.

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