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Your Take: Mother’s Day Lessons

Posted By Jim On 05/07/2010 @ 7:04 am In Personal Finance | 29 Comments

With Mother’s Day around the corner, some blogs will point out that Mother’s Day is a Hallmark Holiday [3]. It’s a day made so commercial that sometimes it seems like it was created just to sell Mother’s Day cards! Regardless of where you stand on this issue, the sentiment of Mother’s Day is on point and we should celebrate out mothers.

On this, the Friday before Mother’s day, I am curious to know what important money lessons has your mother taught you?

Mine was that everything is negotiable and it’s a core part of the purchasing process. If you aren’t negotiating, then you’ve failed to realize that a negotiation has taken place (they’ve thrown out a price, you’ve implicitly accepted it), but it still took place.

It would take many years for me to recognize that negotiation always takes place. In some places, negotiation happens out in the open. When we went to the Bahamas and wandered about the open markets, you would negotiate any purchase. You asked how much, they said $20, you countered with $5, they said $15, … and you arrived at $12. Kids sell conchs on the side of the road for $10 each, you can get two for $5… if you negotiated.

I feel like we, as Americans, are losing this gift because we aren’t exposed to it from an early age. It’s one of the greatest tools in capitalism and it makes markets more efficient. When you go into a retail store, there is zero negotiation. The item has to be priced just right in order to sell. High enough to make a profit, low enough to sell to a customer.

I’m not always comfortable negotiating, I blame that on malls, but when it’s socially acceptable, it’s a fantastic time.

Thanks Mom!

(Photo: mikelehen [4])


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[3] Hallmark Holiday: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hallmark_Holiday

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