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Do You Want to Haggle?

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Man: Would you sleep with me for a million dollars?
Woman: Ummm... I guess so, yeah.
Man: Would you sleep with me for a dollar?
Woman: What!? What kind of a woman do you think I am!?
Man: We've established what kind of woman you are; now we're just haggling over price.
Old Joke, reportedly used by Oscar Wilde

Haggling: Where two characters, a buyer and seller, attempt to strike a bargain, and keep working towards a value that costs neither their opponent or themselves too much. Usually at breakneck Motor Mouth pace.

A common variation is when a character, frequently The Ditz or a Cloudcuckoolander, drives the price up when buying, or drives it down when selling. Another has the party that holds all the power responding to any attempt to haggle by keeping her offer exactly the same, or even worsening it.

See also Accidental Bargaining Skills.


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  • Thoroughly spoofed in a series of adverts for a comparison website by Omid Djalili.

    Anime & Manga 
  • In Hunter × Hunter, Leorio is an expert haggler and provides a couple of examples, including one where he is so successful that the crowd bursts into applause when the deal is sealed.
  • Ranma ½: To get back at Ranma for accidentally destroying an expensive concert ticket, Nabiki dedicates an entire day to making him miserable. At the end of the chapter, Nabiki manipulates him into thinking she took off all her clothes. Her family happens to come home at the same time and they both know he'll get in trouble if they're caught in such a situation. After he urges her to put some clothes on, they start haggling over her price for getting dressed.
    Nabiki: Fifty dollars.
    Ranma: Too much! Twenty dollars!
    Nabiki: Forty-five dollars.
    Ranma: Robber! Thirty dollars!
    Nabiki: Done! A pleasure doing business with you.
  • Near the end of the second episode of the first season of K-On!, Mugi politely asks the music store clerk if she could haggle over the price of a 250,000-yen Les Paul guitar, way beyond the 50,000-yen budget Yui had. She succeeds once the clerk sees Mugi's Big Ol' Eyebrows and recognizes her as the daughter of the president of the conglomerate that owns the store.
    Mugi: [upon seeing the clerk's initial offer] Lower!

    Comic Books 
  • Tintin haggles for the price of a model ship for Captain Haddock in The Secret of the Unicorn. The price eventually paid is one the street vendor reluctantly agrees to, saying that he's robbing himself by selling it for that.

  • In Weekend at Hisao's, Shizune haggles over the price of a pair of pants to buy her younger brother Hideaki. It helps that she's a Spirited Competitor who takes everything seriously. Slightly different in that Hisao has to translate everything between the shopkeeper and Shizune due to her deafness and the shopkeeper not understanding sign language.
    Shizune: [Shopping is War. Take no Prisoners.]
  • This Bites!:
    • Arguing with Nami over what share of the Skypiea gold the rest of the crew gets, Luffy jumps in and starts increasing the amount the crew gets each round. This annoys Nami so much that she doesn't pay attention and jumps at Vivi's offer of 50% (phrased as double five squared percent). Exactly as Vivi planned.
    • Vivi negotiates with Franky over his payment for building the Thousand Sunny. They reach an impasse until Cross introduces Franky to Boss, who is just as manly as he is.
  • In The Ghost of Ochs, Constance tries to buy a rare magic tome from Anna, who is selling it at a 20% markup due to her normal supplier being stymied by bandits. After receiving some monetary assistance from Monica, Constance tries to talk Anna into lowering her markup to 5%, but Anna won't budge any further than 10%, stating she needs to make some kind of profit out of the deal.
  • A Thing of Vikings: When Stoick refuses to trade any dragons to Brittany, Sir Henry is so desperate that he winds up offering 500 cattle for just one dragon. He becomes so annoying that Stoick has him kicked off of the island.
  • In When Reason Fails, Izuku and Mei try to negotiate the value of his Cabal doing a mail run for Mei before Katsuki derails it and tells them to meet in the middle to save time.

    Films — Animated 
  • In Turning Red, Mei tells Tyler she will attend his birthday party for $200 (even though she only needs $100). Her reaction when he casually agrees implies that she was expecting to need to haggle it down.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Carry On Behind: A haggling scene occurs when Professors Roland Crump and Anna Vooshka rent the filthy caravan of Henry Barnes:
    Professor Vooshka: How much rent you asking?
    Barnes: Well I'm, I'm only a simple man you see, I, I don't understand figures. (Beat) Thirty quid a week. (Professor Vooshka gasps)
    Professor Crump: £30?! You must be insane.
    Barnes: All right then, all right twenty-five, take it or leave it.
    Professor Crump: We'll leave it!
    Professor Vooshka: We're taking. Fifteen quids a veek.
    Barnes: Twenty.
    Professor Crump: Now look here, the only reason we want this dilapidated mobile hovel is for somewhere to do our operations.
    Barnes: Operations? (Beat) What kind of operations?
    Professor Crump: Somewhere to examine our artifacts.
    Professor Vooshka: He will be getting them out and I shall be examining them, and then shticking labels on them.
    Barnes: You, you do what you like - it's still twenty quid a week.
    Professor Vooshka: Fifteen is last offer, da?
    Barnes: Fifteen for my lovely home?!
    Professor Vooshka: Da.
    Barnes: Right, but I'm not leavin' the beddin'!
  • Trope Namer comes from a Running Gag in Monty Python's Life of Brian, where at first, an ex-leper tries to beg Brian for money, then where he tries to buy a fake mustache from a merchant who refuses to take the high price and insists on haggling, and finally, when Brian acts as a preacher to hide from Roman guards, a commoner asks a gourd that Brian got from the aforementioned merchant, insisting on haggling for it rather than accepting it for free. All of them use the line "Do you want to haggle?"
  • Pirates of the Caribbean,
    • Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl: Captain Sparrow and Barbossa both haggle over the percentage of the booty that Jack owes Barbossa if he gets the Black Pearl back. They settle on 25%, but it's the offer of a new hat, a really big one, that seals the deal for Barbossa.
    • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest: Jack tries to do this to Davey Jones. At one point, he uses Will's situation to appeal to Jones' softer side. He also uses a variation of the page quote when Jones says two souls aren't equivalent. They settle on 99 souls in exchange for Jack's own soul. Both sides know this is an Impossible Task, but Jack had no intention of following through anyway (he needed the time to find a way out from under the deal), and Jones is content to wait because he knows Jack is doomed anyway.
  • In The Mummy, Evelyn bargained with Rick's jailer to stop Rick's execution by hanging in exchange for a portion of the artifacts or value of the artifacts found at Hamunaptra. The two argued over the deal while Rick slowly suffocated as the rope didn't break his neck, but the jailer loses track of which side of the deal he's on.
    Evelyn: If you spare his life, I'll give you ten percent.
    Jailer: Fifty percent.
    Evelyn: Twenty.
    Jailer: Forty.
    Evelyn: Thirty.
    Jailer: [with finality] Twenty five.
    Evelyn: [triumphantly] Ah! Deal.
    Jailer: [realizing his mistake] Dammit... Cut him down!
  • In the 2010 remake of True Grit, Mattie haggles with a merchant over what compensation she is owed for his inability to protect her father's horse, as well as attempting to sell back some ponies her father had bought from him before being murdered. He is so traumatized by the experience that he cuts himself short when she later tries to buy a horse from him, and we later learn from a stable hand that her name is forbidden to be spoken in his household.
    Merchant: Wait, are we trading again?
  • In Stardust, where a dealer purchases captured lightning. He haggles with the owner, who kept sticking his amount to "two hundred". They eventually come to a deal at "one nine five," with sales tax, which is two hundred.
  • In Solo, Lando Calrissian wants 50% of the take from the Kessel job in exchange for serving as the crew's pilot, but Tobias Beckett cuts in to say he only gets 25%. Lando says he respects Beckett and will graciously lower his price to just 40%. Beckett insists on 25%. Lando realizes he's getting nowhere and takes the 25%.
  • Ticket to Paradise: While at a Balinese marketplace the upper-middle class Georgia is encouraged by her daughter and the shopkeeper to haggle for a purchase of cloth. Georgia is hesitant, saying they should just give her a fair price, but they insist, saying it's part of the experience.
    Shopkeeper: Tourists like it when we haggle. Americans like make good deals. 800,000 rupiah?
    Georgia: Okay.
    Lily: No, no. You say 500,000. Just go with it, Mom.
    Georgia: Um… 500,000.
    Shopkeeper: Enough, please. You’re killing me. Seven.
    Georgia: Six. Or I’m walking away.
    Shopkeeper: We have a deal. [chuckles]

  • Chrysalis (RinoZ): Enid would really rather not negotiate terms with a brathian, because she knows that they're a Proud Merchant Race with Skills that make them unreasonably good at it. She doesn't see a way out, though. She's at the point of being taken to the cleaners, but turns the tables by pulling Anthony in and having him cheerfully stomp all over the brathian's expectations.
  • The Passage: Bit Character Walt Fisher is a Phrase Catcher for the thought "the price is never the price", as he always asks the storeroom customers for prices that are too high but that he isn't really interested in making them pay.
  • Happens several times in The Wheel of Time. Mat in particular notes that the best time to take a deal is when both parties walk away from it thinking that they came out ahead.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire claims the opposite — a good deal is one in which both parties are unsatisfied.
  • A number of times in Over the Wine-Dark Sea. As the characters are ancient merchants it is natural.
  • Several times in Ephraim Kishon's travel stories.
    Kishon: How much? Wieviel? Combien?
    Greek Ferryman: Cinquecento! note 
    Kishon: [self-conscious] Ha ha ha! Six thousand lire, not one peso more!
    Ferryman: OK.
  • In the Serpentwar Saga, Roo plays a Get-Rich-Quick Scheme which basically consists of attempting to corner the export of wheat to cities about to get hit by locusts. Then a captain from one of these cities shows up in port. Conversation paraphrased:
    Roo: I'm selling wheat, a royal a bushel.
    Captain: Two royals for three bushels.
    Roo: A royal and a common a bushel.
    Captain: Wait. You're asking for more?
    Roo: [shrug] Locusts.
  • On Gor almost all business transactions, large or small, are accomplished through haggling. Often after the haggling is over, the buyer will give twice the amount agreed upon, "because I want to pay what it's worth." Then the seller will return all the overage and a good amount of the original price "because I do not want to cheat you." Slaves, however, are usually purchased via auction.
  • Discworld:
    • Glod of Soul Music fails spectacularly at haggling; he always insists on trying it and always ends up driving the price up (and thinking he got them a bargain in the process).
    • Repeatedly averted with "Cut Me Own Throat" Dibbler, who will generally continue lowering his prices the longer you speak with him, without prompting. Given the usual nature of his wares, this is something of a necessity.
    • In Feet of Clay, a number of Golems show up in the middle of the night to sell one of their own to a businessman. He's a bit perturbed by this, as the Golem in question looks suspiciously new, he's heard lots of spooky stories about them going mad, and the other Golems keep lowering the price without prompting. Eventually it gets so low he can't resist, and buys it for $10...which the Golems drop into the bowl of a beggar as they leave, since they didn't care about the money anyway.
    • Later in the same book, another businessman tries to get rid of his golem and Carrot tells him that leaving it in the street is littering, and giving it to him is bribing a watchman, but he's prepared to buy it. As soon as he says that, the businessman starts insisting it's worth more than Carrot's offering; giving something away for free is one thing, but if he's selling it, he wants the best price possible.
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • Used in the entry on the Bimms in The Essential Guide to Alien Species. Anthropologist Mammon Hoole needs to buy some equipment and is initially stunned at the price, then remembers that the Bimms intentionally inflate their prices because they like haggling. They agree on a more reasonable price a couple of paragraphs later.
    • In Yoda: Dark Rendezvous, Yoda loves to haggle. It's very hard to get the better of a Jedi Master of Yoda's caliber, and he quite enjoys this fact. In this case, he gets a fantastic bargain on a used freighter—because it doesn't fly anymore. But that's okay, the Padawans can fix it up in no time!
      Yoda was a gleeful, cranky, relentless bargainer who thought haggling was fun. So much of bargaining is about patience, and bazaar-stand shysters on a hundred planets had learned to their sorrow that one doesn't know what patience is until one has tried to outlast an eight-hundred-plus-year-old Jedi skinflint.
    • This is one of the species hat for the Squibs. They love to make deals and use their cute, unassuming appearance to their advantage. In Squib culture, the more complex, bizarre, and outrageous the deal, the more prestigious it is.
    • In The Corellian Trilogy, Artoo and Threepio have discovered something horrible about a local woman Lando intends to marrynote  and hire a cab. Threepio starts to try to haggle down the price, but seeing as they're in somewhat of a hurry, Artoo just gives the cabbie their entire emergency fund.
  • A minor but telling plot point in Executive Orders has John Clark shopping in the Iran street market. He decides to buy a gold necklace from a merchant, who promptly haggles the price down to 700 US dollars without Clark even trying, for a necklace worth at least three thousand dollars. Clark quickly realizes that the owner put on a show of annoyance and haggled for the people following him, and he lowered the price so much to show that not everyone supports the new regime.
  • The Rihannsu bargain backwards, with the seller trying for a low price and the buyer for a higher one. A House that thinks well of its own honor will try to bargain the prices higher. The protagonist of the second book, whose job is analogous to a housekeeper, has to balance what honor requires her to pay with the amount the somewhat impoverished household can actually afford.
  • In Harry Potter, Dobby reveals that he haggled down the amount of money and free time that Dumbledore initially offered him to work at Hogwarts. He is prideful of being a free elf with his own income and leisure time, but he's still happy working (as most house elves find Happiness in Slavery) and doesn't want too much.
  • On Wings of Eagles. The American escapees are doing a Run for the Border during the Iranian Revolution, but need some petrol. Their Iranian colleague Rashid goes to buy some, but annoys them by wasting time haggling over the price when they have plenty of money. Rashid points out afterwards that the seller would be suspicious if he hadn't tried to haggle, and they're trying to remain inconspicuous.
  • Charlie Wilson's War. Wealthy congressman Charlie Wilson (who has a Screw the Rules, I Have Money! approach) is shocked over the ruthless bargaining methods CIA agent Gust Avrakotos uses in the marketplace, including a trick where after an unsuccessful haggle, he returns just as the market is closing and offers a take-it-or-leave-it price, knowing that it's regarded as bad luck to end the day with an unsuccessful sale. Such skills turn out to be useful however when Gust is bargaining for arms for the CIA's covert war in Afghanistan.
  • The Belgariad plays with this one a lot:
    • Silk is a master at bargaining, an ability that he displays many times throughout the series. It's played straight in some cases and Played for Laughs in others, and even inverted once or twice when others get the better of him in a haggling session.
    • An amusing aversion and discussion occurs in Guardians Of The West when Garion needs to purchase some horses from an Algar horse trader. Garion just tells him to get what he needs and he'll pay whatever it costs. This kind of depresses the trader, who wanted to enjoy the haggling. Garion apologizes for his haste, then promises to tell everyone who asks that the trader cheated him horrendously, to the trader's pleased amusement.
  • In Is It Wrong to Try to Pick Up Girls in a Dungeon?, Tione aggressively negotiates a sale price for a valuable item, starting with more than double the buyer's initial offer.
  • Princesses of the Pizza Parlor: Indicated by "The gnome had a haggling face on." after an initial offer of five coppers for a chest. It went up to seven before settling on six.

    Live Action TV 
  • Several episodes of Our Miss Brooks:
    • In Game At Clay City, Miss Brooks haggles with a mechanic.
    • In Stretch Is In Love Again Miss Brooks haggles with Mr. Conklin.
    • Fischer's Pawn Shop sees Miss Brooks, Mr. Boynton, Mr. Conklin and Walter Denton haggle with Fischer to raise money for baseball uniforms.
    • Indian Burial Ground has Mr. Conklin haggle with a prospective buyer for his vacant lot.
    • Bartering With Chief Thundercloud features a bartering session with the eponymous chief.
  • One episode of That '70s Show had Leo and Kelso haggling over the sale price of an El Camino. In a rare flash of intelligence (you know, compared to usual) Kelso realizes that he's driving the price the wrong way. Then as Kelso asks for $500, Leo says no. Then asks for $500. They agree, shake hands, and both walk away thinking that the other man is a sucker.
  • In the backwards episode of Seinfeld, Kramer and Newman haggle about... birthday wishes.
  • In Last of the Summer Wine woe betide anyone that tries to haggle with Auntie Wainwright, the price (and number of items bought) can only increase.
    • Pretty much the same thing happens in Open All Hours with Arkwright.
  • Firefly:
    • Before stealing or smuggling something, the crew almost always has a fence and a price lined up. Unfortunately, the fence generally decides to renegotiate, which causes Jayne or Zoë to draw their guns, only for Mal to stand them down and put on his haggling smirk. In the episode Serenity, originally planned as the pilot, they realize a fence is preparing to betray them when she declines to haggle and just accepts the initial offer.
      Mal: I do believe that woman is planning to shoot me again...
      Jayne: If she meant to pay you, she'd have haggled you down some.
    • In the episode "Safe" the haggling session appears to be pre-arranged from both sides, given that Mal already knows the price they eventually settled on and the buyer apparently having pre-prepared a purse with the appropriate amount.
      Book: [seeing Mal and the buyers disagree on 20 vs. 30 a head] Is this a problem?
      Mal: Nah, a few minutes from now we'll agree on twenty-five.
      [a few minutes later]
      Buyer: We can go as high as twenty-five.
      Mal: Well, we'll be taking a loss, but you seem like good honest folk.
  • In the Friends episode "The One with the Ring", Phoebe tries this when she helps Chandler to pick out an engagement ring for Monica.
    Chandler: Oh my God that's it, that's the ring! How much is it?
    Phoebe: Chandler, I-I will handle this! [to the jeweler] How much is it?
    Jeweler: Eighty-six hundred.
    Phoebe: We will give you ten dollars.
    Jeweler: Are you interested in this ring?!
    Chandler: Yes! Yes, but I can only pay eight thousand.
    Jeweler: Okay, I can let it go at eight.
    Phoebe: We stand firm at ten dollars.
    Jeweler: [to Chandler] How would you like to pay?
    Chandler: Uh, credit card. Oh no! No-no, but I left my credit card with Joey. [to Phoebe] Okay, I'll go get it. You guard the ring.
    Phoebe: Okay. [to the jeweler] Listen, I'm sorry about before. Do you have anything here for ten dollars?
    Jeweler: Uh yes, I have these two—rather beautiful—five dollar bills.
    Phoebe: ...I'll give you one dollar for them.
  • On 30 Rock, Jack likes to haggle so much that he does it for fun. When Josh wants to negotiate his contract, he asks for a 15 percent raise. Jack counters with a dollar. When Josh makes some more demands, Jack counters with 75 cents. In the same episode, high on negotiating, he also ends up setting a meeting time with TGS's producer Pete for the middle of the night. Not because that was at all convenient for him, but just because he wanted the rush of winning a negotiation by getting the other guy to agree to something he didn't want.
    • It gets more intense than that in a later season episode when Liz's contract is up for renovation. She finds an old learn-to-negotiate self-help videotape which Jack recorded and marketed when he was younger and starts using his own tricks against him. He quickly realizes what's happened and begins correcting her application of his techniques and soon he's literally negotiating against himself on both sides. Much to his surprise, Jack-as-Liz-as-Jack wins, because he uses Jack-as-himself's affection for Liz as leverage.
    • He almost suffers a complete Heroic BSoD when his nanny demolishes him in negotiating her contract (sitting back and peeling an orange while he makes one classic negotiating mistake after another. When he realizes the power she had stemmed from her caretaker role for his infant daughter he regains his confidence and uses the same technique against his new bosses (with the newly purchased NBC standing in as their "baby")
  • Bottom: Eddie tries to sell a hand-carved wooden leg to a pawnshop for money to place on a betting horse, he tries to haggle with Harry the pawn broker with mixed results:
    Harry: Must be worth at least two and a half grand, I'll give you one pound fifty for it.
    Eddie: Um, let's haggle.
    Harry: Alright, a quid.
    Eddie: No, let`s haggle upwards.
    Harry: ALRIGHT, Fifty pence.
    Eddie: Blimey, they don`t call you "Harry the Bastard" for nothing, do they?
  • The Wire:
    • Proposition Joe gets his nickname from his catchphrase "I got a proposition for you," which basically always translates to "Do You Want to Haggle?"
    • Omar does this with Proposition Joe when Omar attempts to sell drugs to Proposition Joe that Omar stole from Prop Joe in the first place. When Omar asks for 20 cents on the dollar, Prop Joe offers 10 cents on the dollar, prompting Omar to counter with 30 cents on the dollar if Prop Joe tries to haggle any more.
    • And then, of course, there are repeated scenes where the cops and district attorneys haggle for information or plea bargains.
    • In Season 2, perennial screw up Ziggy Sobotka tries to get involved in the world of selling drugs, but he screws up the drugs he buys from a gangster called Cheese, and then has the gangsters coming after him for the money he's supposed to be kicking back to them from his sales. In desperation, Ziggy gives them his beloved car to take as collateral, but Cheese destroys the car for the lolz and keeps coming after Ziggy to get the money. Ziggy's cousin Nick goes to Proposition Joe (who is both Cheese's boss and uncle) and haggles Joe into getting Cheese to not only cancel his cousin's debt but also to make Cheese pay Ziggy the difference in Blue Book price of the destroyed Camaro, since the car was worth more than the money Ziggy owed Cheese. Nick only gets away with it all because he knows some important people from the international syndicate that supplies Prop Joe with drugs.
      Joe: Fool, if it wasn't for Sergei here, you and your cuz both would be cadaverous motherfuckers.
  • Green Acres: In one episode, Mr. Haney asks Lisa to haggle down the price of an item. She misunderstands the concept, and instead of starting at a low price and moving up, Lisa starts low and goes lower until Haney agrees.
  • Contestants in Reality Shows like The Apprentice show wildly differing skill at this. One technique they all seem to try is "I really need this, and I can't find it anywhere else, and I have to have it in the next 30 minutes!" - oddly enough, this never seems to lead to the seller going "Really? Well, in THAT case... the price just doubled."
  • The History Channel has several of these:
    • The very popular show about a Las Vegas pawn shop, Pawn Stars, operates on the basis of lots of haggling. "Never accept the seller's first offer" is a semi-official rule. In some cases with the seller or the buyer sticking to a close price, the other party is shown agonizing whether to give in over the difference.
    • Its sister shows, American Restoration and Counting Cars also feature lots of haggling but this for the cost of services instead of merchandise.
    • American Pickers - shows characters coming to agreements with the people they meet and has a Summation style segment which showcases how much they saved in doing so.
  • Cheers: Episode "Relief Bartender" has Sam trying to hire Woody back after ill-advisedly firing him. Woody demands an extra $100 per month. They haggle, and Sam finally gets Woody to accept an extra...$30/week.
  • Karen and Davis in Corner Gas haggle over how much of a raise to give Karen in one episode.
  • In Farscape this is the main reason Moya's crew keeps Rygel around, he's an annoying arrogant gasbag but he does know how to get a good deal. And they're on a shoestring budget most of the time.
    • Scorpius once used the not budging technique. Some goods of his had been sold off when he was thought to be dead. He insists on triple their value. His opponent offers double. He again suggests triple. They settle on triple.
  • In the Supernatural episode "All Hell Breaks Loose, Part Two" (S02, Ep22), Dean wants a standard ten-year contract to have Sam brought back to life, but the crossroad demon knows she can set the terms and only gives Dean one year before the hellhounds take him.
  • In the M*A*S*H episode "Dear Mildred", Frank and Margaret are commissioning a local Korean artist to make a wooden bust of Col. Potter's head for his birthday:
    Artist: Six bucks.
    Margaret: Well, Frank?
    Frank: Huh?
    Margaret: [sotto voce, through a clenched smile] These people have no espect-ray unless you aggle-hay over the ice-pray.
    Frank: [after mentally translating] Five dollars.
    Artist: Seven-fifty.
    Frank: Sold.
    Margaret: [glaring at Frank] UMB-day!
  • In Porridge, the prisoners frequently haggle between themselves, as real prisoners do. The timid prison officer Barrowclough is given the task of bargaining with the confident Fletcher for the return of Mckay's false teeth.
    Barrowclough: I'm authorised to go up to a fiver.
    Fletcher: Well, the quicker you get up to it, the better.
    Barrowclough: Two pounds.
    Fletcher: A fiver.
    Barrowclough: Done.
    Fletcher: You certainly have been.
  • Sale of the Century, as the name implies, is based around selling people things at ridiculous prices (ie. $10 for a jukebox), so this frequently occurs whenever an Instant Bargain/Gift Shop appears; the host would frequently try to entice the player in the lead (only said player could buy the prize, unless there was a tie, in which case whoever buzzed in first would win it) with additional cash or by slashing the price to get them to buy. One infamous contestant from the syndicated Jim Perry run, Alice Conkwright, turned down every single Instant Bargain offered to her throughout her reign as champion, resulting in several hilarious moments from her refusals.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series. The scene in "The Trouble With Tribbles" where Cyrano Jones and the bartender haggle over the cost of the tribbles he's selling. Ironically the space station is soon overrun with tribbles making the entire argument superfluous.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. In "Past Prologue", the Duras sisters want to know what the Cardassians are offering for a wanted terrorist. Garak types out something on a padd and hands it to them. Their response is Spiteful Spit, declaring the offer an insult and storming out until Garak stops them.
    Garak: Ladies, ladies, please! Everything is negotiable. I am no more than what I seem to be, a merchant trying to make the best transaction. So, let us haggle.
  • Star Trek: Voyager. Although Voyager has been accused by fans (not without justification) of having Infinite Supplies, quite a few episodes show them negotiating for supplies from the various species they encounter. Usually Neelix handles it, but Captain Janeway is shown to have skills in this area too, in one case managing to successfully haggle with a telepath despite his mind-reading advantage. In fact the first time Janeway and Neelix meet, they immediately haggle for his help as a Native Guide — Janeway is surprised when the price Neelix is aiming for turns out to be water.
  • NCIS Agent Gibbs has been known to use similar tactics, getting recalcitrant people to cooperate by demanding more than he actually needs to solve a case so that they agree to what he wants.
    Gibbs: I come from a long line of horse traders. You pick the best horse in the barn and you ride the deal until it bursts. That way, when you go for the second-best horse, you get it for a song.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • In Dilbert, Dogbert became a used car salesman. One customer thought he'd done a good job talking Dogbert down to $3,500. Dogbert replied to his brag, "It's the first time someone's bought the car they came in."
  • Mark O'Hare's Citizen Dog sees Fergus running a garage sale of his old dog toys. Neighborhood cat Cuddles attempts to haggle for a 10-cent ball, saying that he can go as low as four cents; Fergus doesn't budge on the price, even when Cuddles raises to five and six. ("You're supposed to go down!") After threatening to leave without buying anything, Cuddles finally relents and pays the dime for the toy.

    Religion And Mythology 
  • In Islam, there is the story of the Israa' and Mi`raj, i.e. The Prophet Muhammad's "Night Journey", wherein he was carried to Jerusalem on a winged horse—or something—led all the Prophets in prayer, and ascended to God's throne to receive commandments. The most important of these were the instructions on the Islamic method of prayer, which—tradition further tells us—involved also the number of prayers. The story goes that God initially ordered 50 prayers each day, but that when Muhammad descended from God's throne, Moses intercepted him and convinced him that this was too much to ask and he should go back up and talk the Lord into a lower number. So he did, and came back down with 25, at which point Moses said the same thing. Rinse and repeat two more times until Muhammad got it down to five, at which point Moses tried to get Muhammad to go up one more time and get it down to three, but Muhammad thought that was pushing it, and returned to Earth with five prayers a day being the number fixed for the rest of time.
  • In the Book of Genesis in The Bible, there's a story where Abraham is in effect haggling with God over how many good people there need to be in the wicked cities of Sodom and Gomorrah in order for God to spare it from destruction. Abraham manages to bargain God down to 10 good people. Unfortunately for them, there aren't even 10.

  • Giles Wemmbley-Hogg is, given his status as a Cloudcuckoolander, an incredibly bad haggler, including paying much more for his own rucksack that had been stolen while on holiday in Thailand, on the grounds that he knew it was worth much more than the person selling it to him was asking for it.
  • In John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme (Season 9), Russ attempts to haggle his curfew with his mother. Deborah stays fast at ten o'clock, before eventually telling him "If you make me say 'ten' one more time, I'm going to say 'nine'."

    Stand-up Comedy 
  • Bill Maher, in one of his specials, talking about Islam's "72 Virgins in Heaven" trope:
    Maher: 72 virgins. It's very suspicious to me. It's a clue. It tells you we're dealing with people from a bartering culture. Because nobody starts with that number. Someone went, '100 virgins!' '50!' '85!' '69!' '79!' '71!' '73' '72!' 'Done!' That's how you got 72.
    • Billy Connolly told the same joke, only the number of virgins he used was 43. He cited it as proof that there was a committee involved somewhere.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In 1st edition Ironclaw Haggling was a skill. But like many other skills in 2nd its functions were folded into other skills (Negotiation, Deceit, Inquiry) and a "haggling" Gift granting a bonus d12 on those skills in that situation (and an automatic 10% discount on cheap items) was added.
  • In one of his Dragon columns, Gary Gygax describes an occasion when one of the PCs in the original Greyhawk game was negotiating for a magical item ... except the seller had attempted to cast charm person on him and it had been partly reflected by his ring of spell-turning, so they were both trying to make sure the other got the best deal possible. The effect wore off on the PC first, and he accepted the offer.

  • Ethan tries this in Black Friday when he can't afford a couple of movie tickets for himself and Hannah. The kid behind the counter exasperatedly points out that this is a chain movie theater in a shopping mall; not exactly the sort of place you can haggle. (Ethan also tries physical threats, but that doesn't work, either.)

    Video Games 
  • Angband and Trade Wars both support a back-and-forth version where the player would have to suggest a price, the merchant would counter with a higher one, and negotiations went from there. Suggesting too low of a price could get you kicked out of the shop forever. Angband has an "auto-haggle" option that simply presents the player with a final price in between those which would be obtained with no haggling and with perfect haggling.
  • Arcanum: Of Steamworks & Magick Obscura: Haggling is a skill in the game that lowers the price of items you buy from merchants and increases the price they'll pay for things you sell them. However, if your haggling skill gets too high, you'll cause merchants to become more and more hostile to you until they finally attack you because you're somehow forcing them to buy and sell things at a loss.
  • When you have Gobi run a shop in Breath of Fire I, patrons may change their offer if you refuse a sale, even a couple of times. Or they may just walk away; there's no way to predict before you try it.
  • Demon Hunter: The Return of the Wings: One quest ends in the same dialogue that starts it if you have 3 Phaladume ore. Leus offers 3500 Rand and Gun asks for 4000. When Leus says 3600, Gun picks 3500, Leus says 3700 and Gun closes right before Leus realizes he screwed up the haggle.
  • In Dragon Quest III, you can haggle in the Middle East Fantasy Counterpart Culture town. Generally, you can get items that aren't otherwise available for some time, but you'll end up paying twice the price they would otherwise be worth later. For example, the Iron Helm, usually sold for 1,000 gold, starts at 20,000 gold, and gets bargained down to 2,000 gold.
  • Dwarf Fortress has a haggling mechanic when trading items with a merchant caravan. If you offer a profitable deal, the merchant will happily accept. If you offer a deal that cuts too much into the merchant's profits, the merchant will either make a counteroffer or simply refuse the deal. If you go too long without making a deal, the merchant will run out of patience and leave your fortress. How good of a deal you can get away with depends on your broker's social skills.
  • Haggling is a gameplay mechanic in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion: when attempting to sell an item to or buy it from a vendor, he or she will first propose a base price for it, which is based on the item's intrinsic value, repair state, and the vendor's disposition to the PC. The PC can then suggest a higher or lower price (when selling and buying, respectively), which the vendor can accept, sealing the deal, or reject, letting the player try again. In Morrowind, when a vendor rejects a price, their disposition actually goes down, forcing the player to make a slightly more generous offer next time or break off the negotiation and try to sweet-talk them again.
  • The Barter skill in the Fallout series gives you better prices when trading. While the skill is passive, presumably the characters are haggling off-screen.
  • Yojimbo of Final Fantasy X will only work for Yuna if she pays him, but you get an opportunity to haggle over the price. (What an aeon needs money for is anyone's guess.) If you suddenly offer him three times what his current asking price is, he'll actually throw in some rare spheres.
  • A couple of support conversations in Fire Emblem: Three Houses bring up haggling in humorous context. First, Flayn — the most sheltered and inexperienced resident of the Academy — proudly tells Byleth in her B support that she has begun haggling recently, and proceeds to explain to haggling them in order to demonstrate her supposed maturity. Secondly, the Funny Foreigner princess Petra and the ex-Street Urchin Ashe's C support sees her mistake a merchant's attempt to haggle for a challenge to a duel, only for Ashe to defuse the situation; in their B support, she then thanks him for showing her how to haggle and pleads with him to teach her more of these "commoner techniques".
  • The Game of the Ages - It takes an extended haggling session to get your Magic Armor of Magic cheap enough to buy. But that's nothing compared to your drawn-out struggle to sell a mouldy life-preserver. You eventually do - for one coin.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask, at midnight on the second day, Sakon the thief will sell a bomb bag to the curiosity shop (provided you didn't stop Sakon from stealing it in the first place, of course). Sakon tries to haggle for a better price than what the shop owner is offering, but not only does the shop owner not budge, he ends up ultimately buying the bag for lower than his original offer because Sakon takes too long to get the hint.
  • The core gameplay of No Umbrellas Allowed. As an employee of Darcy's secondhand shop, you haggle for items customers sell to you so you can buy them at a lower price. The card descriptions of each item determine their base price, and you're usually encouraged to haggle for a little less than 70% of it, which is the generally accepted margin of discount. Week 3 introduces Private Card Slots, which you can use to hide appraisal info from your customers to try buying their items at a much cheaper price, but those cards become public when you sell those items. Being dishonest by overusing the Private Card Slots risks breaking the trust of your customers, and thus your shop's reputation.
  • Path of Exile: Tujen is a vendor who sells various items for some number of a specific Kalguuran artifact, but you can haggle with him to pay less. He can make counteroffers if he thinks you're going too low, but he can also retract the item completely if you decide to be really cheap.
  • Quest for Glory uses this in games 2 and 3, which take place in fantasy versions of Arabia and Africa respectively. Generally, it's best to get the price right in one go, as failures will cause the vendor to raise their minimum. The sole exception to this is the meat merchant in 3, who is such an Extreme Doormat that you buy his wares at 1 copper coin a pop and he'll still kiss your butt and call you "Master". The main thing the haggling interface is really good for is grinding the Communication skill.
    • Also worth mentioning is the bead maker, an elderly woman who barely speaks your language and thus is completely immune to any attempts at haggling.
  • In Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale you can do this if a customer thinks your prices are too high (or you're offering too little if they're selling); however, you get more experience points if you get the price they want on the first try.
  • Rusty's Real Deal Baseball got a lot of attention before its release because, despite ostensibly being a free-to-download collection of baseball minigames, it uses a haggling system to unlock new levels—using real money. The interesting aspect about this case is that the game intends you to bargain your way to low prices and that's a good thing for Rusty as his life manages to improve as he receives less money for the games he sells.
  • You can haggle with the shopkeeper in Star Fox Adventures, but if you go too low too many times, he'll stop haggling and refuse to pay less than the original price.
  • Haggling mechanics work in Uncharted Waters: New Horizons: when purchasing goods, you can stack up multiple discounts to reduce the price drastically. Having a Book Keeper with the Negotiation perk automatically reveals the lowest price the seller will agree to (or the highest for a buyer).
  • In The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Geralt can haggle on the price when taking on Witcher Jobs. He has three chances to haggle to an acceptable price or else the client will only agree to the lowest price possible.

  • In Champions of Far'aus, when a mask salesman wants to overcharge Rom for an enchanted mask that would help him find his friends, Rom, five copper short, decides to counter the initial price, to the chagrin of the salesman.
    Rom: Bah, fine then, time to haggle!
    Salesman: I would rather we did not.
  • In Freefall Sam enjoys haggling so he and Naomi haggle over the contract for her to come on the trip as an extra crew member. The next strip has them (off-panel) referencing the haggling scene in Life of Brian.
  • The Order of the Stick has Haley and a merchant in the desert haggle over some magic armor. They settle on a price of 16 grand, with Haley's boots dyed to match. The merchant actually tries tugging on Haley's heartstrings, which doesn't work.
    • In the same strip, Elan tries the same thing. He's offered a Belt of Charisma for 6,000. He pays 8,000, and thinks he's so good that he got it in one try. It then turns out Haley had actually budgeted for this kind of thing.
    • A later strip has Haley negotiate off-panel to reduce the cost of airship repairs and refueling from 200,000 to 43,000, and the time needed from a week to the following morning. The next strip shows that she used hamfisted offers of product placement to haggle.
  • Slightly Damned. There are several strips building up to Rhea haggling with the shop keeper, but it takes place off-screen. In the end she simply socks him and takes it anyway.
  • In Sluggy Freelance, it is (unsurprisingly) a very bad idea to try to haggle with Bun-Bun.

    Web Video 
  • Joseph and Steely Dan haggled over the price of kebabs during the Lovers episode in Vaguely Recalling JoJo. Joseph won because he acted childish.
  • Vex'ahlia in Critical Role will not only haggle with shop owners to lower prices, but also persuade her own teammates to lower material costs. However, she will pay full price if her True Companions are in danger and need help. On one particularly memorable occasion, Grog tried to haggle a shopkeeper, and ended up trading more than he asked for. Vex was livid when she found out.

    Western Animation 
  • Arcane. All the unfortunate events of the first season are set in train because Jayce bought items in the undercity and didn't try to haggle for them, giving himself away as a wealthy resident of Piltover that Ekko and Vi later try to steal from. In the Season One finale Silco bitterly notes that Jayce didn't even haggle over the terms for peace he's accepted, the irony being that the one condition Jayce insisted on is the one thing that Silco isn't willing to give him.
  • Family Guy:
    • Peter offers completely random prices with no rhyme or reason. As Brian explains to the salesman, "He doesn't know how to haggle."
    • Peter tries to haggle with Brian over an item he already owns at his own yard sale.
  • Futurama
  • On Rugrats, haggling is shown to be one of Drew Pickles' favorite childhood games. (When he was the age of the main characters, mind you.) His brother, Stu, understandably hated it and refused to play with him.
  • Parodied in Squirrel Boy, where instead of haggling for less, Rodney haggles for more, such as paying a guy five dollars instead of the two required for admission into a fair.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: "Evil Plans" reveals that haggling is a skill C-3PO doesn't possess, to R2-D2's disgust.
  • In an episode of Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego? A vital clue gets parachuted into India, which a shopkeeper picks up and puts up for sale. Ivy offers him 50 rupees for it, but Zack reminds her that in this culture, he'd be insulted if you didn't haggle.
    Zack: [in Hindi] I am a good customer.
    Shopkeeper: [in Hindi] How good?
    [time passes]
    Zack: Hey, Ivy!
    Ivy: Hold on! A dhurrie rug, a coffeepot, five silk scarves, and ten pounds of coffee? You didn't haggle, Zack, you bought everything he had!
    Zack: Hey, at least I got the box.
  • On King of the Hill, Hank very much does not know how to haggle, at least when it comes to buying a car. Back in the day, a car salesman had convinced naive teenage Hank buying his first car that the sticker price was actually the lowest price you could get, and that he'd be willing to offer this "special low price" to Hank for as long as he stayed a loyal customer. This causes problems for Peggy, who does know how to haggle, and gets the salesman down to a good price, only for Hank to barge in and undo all her hard work by plopping down the sticker price without a second thought.
  • Voltron: Legendary Defender: This is how deals are made in traditional space pirate swap malls. However, after ten thousand years, Coran's knowledge is a little out of date, and the Wretched Hive he expected has turned into a perfectly pleasant shopping experience with fixed prices. It takes Coran a while to find someone who still deals in the traditional way; they mostly yell ridiculous offers at each other until they somehow come to an agreement.
    Coran: How much do you want?
    Store Owner: How much have you got?
    Coran: Oh, I have a handful of pocket lint.
    Store Owner: I'll take your firstborn child.
    Coran: I might be able to throw in a used handkerchief.
    Store Owner: I could accept your left foot.
    Coran: I'd be willing to sing you a song!
    Store Owner: You become my butler for one year!
    Coran: Two Altean Crown Bills!
    Store Owner: Five Valuvium Ingots!
    Coran: Oh, would you accept an IOU?
    Store Owner: Of course, I'll just need some collateral. Maybe ten Valuvium Ingots!
    Coran: Or how about this?! One Olkari flying cube!
    Store Owner: You've got a deal!
  • Dastardly & Muttley in Their Flying Machines: In "A Plain Shortage of Planes," Dick Dastardly wastes zero time haggling with used plane dealer Bargain Bill who asks $3000 for a dilapidated wreck of a plane.
    Dastardly: I'll give you ten dollars. Take it or leave it.
    Bargain Bill: Tell you what I'll do. Throw in the mutt's medal (points to Muttley's medal; Muttley gets defensive) and it's yours.
    Dastardly: It's a deal!

    Real Life 
  • In many nations it is required that you haggle when you are shopping for items. People from countries like the United States (where haggling is normally only done for big-ticket items like cars or houses) are often at a loss on how to haggle (or are annoyed or confused or just plain ignorant on how to properly haggle). In countries with highly different currency values, they may also be at a loss to how much an item is genuinely worth. Of course, this can be a paradoxical advantage as not wanting the item in question, and having no interest in haggling for its own sake, is a very strong bargaining position for a buyer.
    • The inverse of this trope is people who come to visit America and attempt to haggle, only to find a very offended and annoyed salesperson.
    • Some people where haggling is common even actively avoid selling to foreigners due to bad experiences with it (like haggling to a very low price, just to have the buyer walk away, claiming that something that cheap can't be worth the money). Which can make matters worse for foreign people that actually know how to haggle and have a genuine interest in the offered object.
    • In some cultures, it's considered polite to start with a sort of reverse-haggle, where the seller pretends that he's willing to sell for a low price and the buyer insists that they'll pay a high price, with both parties trying to demonstrate kindness and generosity, when actually the seller doesn't really intend to sell at the low price and the buyer doesn't intend to buy at the high price, and both of them are aiming for the real price somewhere in the middle.
    • Sometimes even the natives of haggle-prone (or reverse-haggle) cultures find the whole thing rather bothersome. There are situations where you know that the proper price for something is 15, and you're willing to pay 15, but it's expected that you'll ask for 10 and the seller will demand 20 and you have to spend a couple of minutes haggling before you actually buy anything.
      • Conversely, sometimes the native of haggle-averse cultures find it annoying that you can't get the cashier to give you a discount on something even when you're broke or the item is of poor quality.
  • Haggling for everyday items used to be the norm for retail stores in the United States until the late 19th century, when price tags affixed to items for sale were invented — Wanamaker's in Philadelphia and the original Macy's in New York were the first to use the practice to shorten the training period for new employees by not making them learn how to haggle and what was an acceptable range for all their goods (in addition Rowland Hussey Macy was a Quaker, who found price discrimination immoral). Piggly Wiggly in Memphis was the first grocery store to implement self-service selection for its goods in 1916 (before, all the store's goods were behind a counter manned by staff who had to retrieve the items picked out by each customer), which made price tags essential for their operation. Thus, haggling was gradually displaced for all but the most expensive or esoteric of exchanges.
    • However, haggling is encouraged and expected on "big ticket" items, such as cars and houses. It's rare to find a car dealership in the US that will refuse to discuss a lower price (usually with the salesperson stating they have to "run it by the manager" and leaving to do so in a back office), and house values are supremely contingent on what the buyer is willing to pay, instead of what the seller actually wants. A common house selling tactic is to put the house up for an inflated value, with the knowledge that it will be bargained down during the negotiation processnote . A good rule of thumb when buying a big-ticket item is to start with a lower offer, and then rise to meet the price only as a last resort.
  • In classified ads, especially on the internet, you may find "asking price pre-haggled" to show that, no, the seller does NOT want to haggle.
  • In non-monetary situations you'll often see children trying to negotiate with parents or teachers, where the exchange is on the order of "doing less homework/eating fewer vegetables/etc" in exchange for "being less annoying/wasting less time". Unfortunately, this doesn't always work the way the child wants it to, and can result in being given extra math problems or whatever as punishment for being mouthy.
  • Diplomacy is essentially high-class haggling with the possibility of massive destruction being the ultimate bargaining chip.
  • If one is trying to rent a hotel room at the front desk or over the phone, this can happen; the one who's handling the reservation may try to upsell the room to increase revenue for the hotel (or just try to subtlely discourage seedy-looking guests from renting), while the one trying to get the room may want it at a lower price. With the advent of online services to streamline the booking process and reduce the amount of time guests interact with employees before they fork over the money, this has somewhat gone by the wayside, and a savvy guest can easily kill the haggle game by price-matching ("You quoted me $120 for the night, but on Priceline/Expedia/etc it says it's $100"), but it can still happen amongst prospective guests who don't know better, as well as those trying to rent rooms after midnight since online room inventories typically close at that time to make way for the next day's inventory — but rooms for the current night are still rentable, just not online — thus preventing people from having evidence that the employee is trying to rip them off.
  • Haggling also used to be customary in British stores, along with adjusting the asking price based on the perceived wealth of the customer. When Harry Selfridge opened his London department store and said all items must be sold for the listed price, one salesman quit on the spot and predicted he'd be out of business within a month.

  • On Neopets, you can haggle the price when buying from NPC shops. You can generally get a better price at a user-owned shop though, so most of the time it's not really worth it. Be warned: if you haggle for too long without coming to an agreement, you will eventually get thrown out of the shop.



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