Bowie Apostolic Church
Proverbs Day 24
Posted on January 27th, 2013

Negotiating Your "Merchandise"

Prov 20:14 "Bad, bad," says the buyer,
But when he goes his way, then he boasts.

Although, the point of this post is not at all about negotiation, I will start there. 

Honest negotiation involves finding common ground and mutual benefit. It can only happen when both people agree to strive for those two key points. Of course, each side is to express their values, their risks and their goals to a certain degree, but no one typically tells all of their intentions. To use a metaphor from a card game, they don’t “show all of their cards,” but keep their “hand” to themselves. Therefore, the negotiation is based on the deal as communicated by each side even though each side doesn’t always tell their full intent or desire. This is a commonly accepted way of doing things and it is not going to change.

However, this is not what the scripture is referring to. Bartering is still a very common practice that takes place all over the world. In the United States, we don’t see it as commonly as other countries; with the exception of car salesmen and the yard sale, of course. For the most part, we are used to paying what is on the price tag, shopping around and if we want things cheaper we will join a discount club, clip coupons or wait for a sale.

Having done bartering overseas, I will give you a demonstration of how it works. You ask the price and whatever the answer, you look offended with the price and then offer them 50%. They then counter with 75-85% of the original price and now you’ve just got at least a 15-25% price break and you’re not even finished yet. You counter with…. meh… say 60% and if they say no, and if you really don’t want to pay the money, you turn around and walk away. If they respond with an offer, they really want the sale. If not, they are waiting for someone else. Usually, they respond. That is bartering. The thing about it, you can actually afford to pay the money, but you are seeing how much of a discount they are willing to give.

If I were to respond “2,500 Pesos for this junk?!!!,” I can run the risk of offending them, but others my realize that their price is unfair and come down off the price. Just by adding a little drama to the negotiation, I (as the buyer) have influenced (some would even say, manipulated) the seller. The seller cannot continue to do this for everyone and make a living. For this reason, they have to be willing to look past the drama and see test the intent of the buyer.

How many times, have we been manipulated by someone else’s drama when they were making it difficult to agree with them? Many times if we look past the drama, we can see the real price of our time, energy and peace of mind. This is our “merchandise.” Many may not actually have an appreciation for what you have, but don’t let them make you feel your time and resources are not worthy of respect.

Don’t let people talk you into something that you will regret just because they added a little bit of drama in the negotiation.


Posted in Bible 2013, Proverbs    Tagged with negotiation, buyer, seller


1 Comments

Sis. Mae - July 24th, 2013 at 9:20 PM
Perhaps this is a "false memory", but my first exposure to negotiations was to get the upper hand and win. Whether the other side won, loss, or broke even was irrelevant.

Then I was introduced to the concept of "win-win". What an altruistic approach to business negotiations, customer service situations and interpersonal relationships.

Because of the Blood of Jesus, from our posture it's win, win, win! To live is Christ; to die is gain (Phil. 1:21).
Song: We win! We win! Hallelujah we win! I read the back of the book and we win!

COMPLETE: Prov. 24:__; For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again:...
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