Wednesday, May 28, 2008

#37 Bargaining

Korean Mom's believe everything can be bargained down to a better price...everything. At the grocers, department store, dentist, a blood bank, to child labor...everything. A Korean Mom will boldly walk into Barney's and try to negotiate a pair of Prada pumps from 800 to 8 dollars by complaining, "is no good!". You meanwhile, are standing nearby like a deer frozen in headlights, willing the floor to open up and swallow you whole. Not only do they bargain, they do so like they are about to punch you in the face. They are gangster. They put The Mob to shame. Their strategy has three operatives: 1) Scare the sales person into lowering the price 2) Belittle the merchandise so much that it looks like she is doing them a favor by purchasing it 3) Do it loud and proud. If crying ensues from the sales person it is a sign of a battle waged and a war won. Once my grandmother saw a kid outside the grocery store selling candy bars for two bucks a pop. Even though it was for Veterans or Cancer, or something like that, she insisted that a Hershey bar was not worth two bucks. She kept saying "In store cheaper! Only 50 cents! I give you one dollar for two!". I wanted to die. I don't know what scared the kid more, the fact that she was talking in Korean the whole time, or that her dollar smelled like it took a bath in mothballs.

18 comments:

dreams2ashes said...

lol!!

yeah, and my mom actually gave back our 'large fries' and told the person at mcdonlds that she ordered a 'large' and this was not large and made them fill it up more... same with the salad

dreams2ashes said...

p.s After reading this post I realized that this is how my mom got our cars for so cheap. Supposedly she's well respected in the korean community b/c she bought all of her cars for really cheap w/ little interest

must have been the death stare, korean frustration, and the loudness... very gangster

Anonymous said...

My mom's chinese but she's also the same haha..

Anonymous said...

omg you are too funny. why are all korean moms the same???

Anonymous said...

omg you are too funny. why are all korean moms the same???

parksalot said...

my mom is great at negotiating car prices. i've been with her many times when i was a kid, and she always uses her broken english to her advantage... i think sales people just end up breaking, and if they don't sell the damn car for under invoice, they may end jumping off a cliff.

secondly... my mom barters for samples at the doctors office, usually for prescription drugs no less.

Anonymous said...

omfg...your blog is super funny. i'm laughing so hard my stomach aches... i'm not korean but my mum also damn 'good' at bargaining, if only i'm not there with her...

Janet said...

OMG the mothballs! everywhere! all over the house!!

you are so funny. What do you do for a living? Oh yea...doctor or lawyer. .. of course. Also married before 25, went to Harvard and bought your mom a house and a car and produced a son. Right?

Mc Bon said...

lol my mom is Vietnamese but she's also very fond of bargaining >.< and the part about "standing nearby like a deer frozen in headlights" is soooo true!! But sometimes I almost got stunned when the dealer agreed to her bargained price @.@ (and after leaving the place, she would say to me "Gosh, I should have called for a lower price")

Crystal said...

My mom is a champion car bargainer too! Parksalot, like you said, my mom uses her broken english and pathetic little old asian lady schtick to her advantage.

In high school, my parents dragged me to the car dealership with them. Our salesman was Pakistani. Right then and there, you know it's not going to go well b/c we all know how racist Koreans are towards Middle Easterners. Well, he asked us where we're from and my dad tells him disdainingly, "Korea." At one point, my parents and him got into a heated argument, and the salesman says, "Why are we fighting? Pakistan and Korea don't want to fight." My dad shoots back with, "Why you talking about Korea?"

Well, after HOURS, I mean HOURS of being there, my parents finally made a deal they liked. The car was being washed and getting ready to be driven to the front when my decided she didn't like this whole experience, she didn't like the Pakistani man and called off the deal. THE CAR WAS BEING WASHED FOR US!

I wanted to die.

Annie said...

This post was AMAZING. My mom's tried to bargain at Bloomingdale's. BLOOMINGDALE'S. A standard store! And to my complete chagrin, she actually got them to give her a lowered price!

You know, I feel like a related post to this could be complaining about goods/food purchased. We were at a theme park once for my birthday, and we bought burgers and fries for lunch (my mom complained because I had insisted we not bring our own lunch because I was bringing a non-Korean friend). The fries were cold. *GASP* She marched up to the clerk in the little window. She handed her the fries. And she said, "I can't eat this. You eat." And bam. She had fries made fresh for her.

Heather *IsaBella and Harrison's Mommy* said...

My mom has also tried bargaining at Macys! She thinks that everything can be bargained down... Of course, after the lowest possible price, she swoops in with "I'll give you $x cash" and that is about 50% off the lowest price! Cold hard cash is something to be reckoned with!

Love always,
Heather

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I just read through your blog (love it and reminds me of my KM) and noticed that you didn't have a blog up for Korean panties. I know you know what I'm talking about...the ones that come up over your navel, that is 100% cotton (for comfort) and that have Hello Kitty like designs on them. Like the Korean socks, Korean Moms love to give the 3 pack of Korean panties from Korean as gifts to friends and family. In fact, whenever they travel to Korea, they like to buy it in bulk, just so they have it on hand, just in case...like the gift closet. Only the closet isn't filled with scented candles or lavender body lotion. It is filled with 3 pack Korean socks or 3 pack Korean panties.

sandra said...

my mom tried to bargain on a sub at subway. to save like, a mere ten cents.

dennis said...

LOL OMG this is hilarious :D
cuz it reminds me of events of my mom really doin the stuff that is said ROFL

tellos said...

LOL, After they inspect the receipt with a magnifying glass

Anonymous said...

haha i agree with the korean panties thing... when i moved back to korea, she took all my old ones from the states, threw them away, and replaced them with korean panties. the ones with ribbons and flowery patterns all over them. apparently they are softer and better quality...?

well anyway i'm going to h&m in myeongdong tomorrow to get new ones, hah.

Dori Dori! said...

omg why is it that all 할머니 smell like mothballs !