To haggle or not to haggle

A few blogs ago I mentioned that I was looking into starting a country market in the Nelspruit area. FYI, Nelspruit is a small city in the province of Mpumalanga in South Africa. Our area is also known as the Lowveld. Anyway, I did and we’ve already had three of them and they were incredibly successful.
The day of the first market, I thought I was going to be ill I was so nervous. What if nobody came? What if I didn’t get traders? What if??? Well darlings, we had 38 traders for our first market, 55 for our second and third. Suffice to say, we have possibly outgrown our current location and my inbox is healthy with new applications.  And the locals came out in their droves to support us.  We had cyclists ending their morning ride at the market and then tucking into a hearty breakfast, humans with their fur babies on leashes, some little humans on leashes and a it was so frikken awesome to see people from all walks of life connecting.  What’s not to love about outdoor shopping, especially in the Lowveld with it’s gorgeous weather, incredible scenery and awesome people.

My whole aim when creating this market, was to showcase as much local talent as I possible could and at the same time, get my own products out there. You see, I have an incredible passion for the Lowveld and it’s people and I love nothing better than a sense of community and it’s even more rewarding when that community starts to work together and creates networks in and amongst their trades. Already one of our more established traders has starting stocking another traders products in their shop! Now how cool is that!!! And just think, they would never have hooked up if I had not placed them opposite each other. I know a thing or two about networking.

But as with just about everything in life, you will always get an obnoxious twat or two, and this applies to both traders and the public who visit the market. But my twat twaddle today is about the person who thinks that just because you are exhibiting or selling at a country market or any market for that matter, you need to be haggled with and they make it their mission to knock your prices down to as low as it can possibly go. Well listen up you twat…90% of the traders are doing markets because they are desperately in need of extra funds. We all know that the economy of our country is a joke and many of its people have resorted to creating little home industries to make ends meet. Some of them can barely afford to pay their stall fees.
I had one such twat pay a visit to my stall and being a fairly small city and having been in the hospitality industry for too many years, I know a lot of people. I knew this twat. He is a big shot in a big corporation and probably earns a healthy salary. I don’t earn a salary. Anyway, Mr Twat decided to see just how far he could push me and decided that if he bought two little bottles of sauce, I need to give him a third one for free.
It was game on.
I’m not going to go into all the details, but suffice to say, he left having purchased four bottles of my products and not a frikken freebie in site. He also paid a return visit to the next market!
I will, by all means, give you a discount or a free sample of something if you spend a fair amount at my stall and I know a few other traders who do the same, but please don’t think that you have to automatically start haggling with me, just because I’m selling at a market.

What the average human doesn’t comprehend when it comes to what we do, is the time, money and passion that goes into making our products. Take my Ceracha sauce. It takes us a full day to top and clean the chillies. They then get marinated for four days before spending five hours on gas stove bubbling away. And then it’s the bottling process. Lets not forget about the cost of the chillies, garlic, vinegar, salt, sugar, spices, bottles, labels, gas, electricity and time – and then you still want to bitch about R60 for a 250ml bottle of pure goodness with no artificial crap in it and that is 100% homemade.
If you want to haggle, go and do that with the large supermarkets…they are the ones who are ripping you off.