In Israel, there is a very strong mentality not to be a sucker (friar). Tangent: When I first got to Israel I thought the word friar meant the religious guys in robes that I saw in Italy, but really it means sucker here. No connection that I’m aware of.
In Israel, every minute of every day people are trying not to be a sucker.
So they bargain. Bargain, yell, curse, growl, and make ‘yo mama’ jokes. And then they bargain some more. Until neither side feels like a sucker. Or until one’s body odor overpowers the other’s.
Apparently, every single purchase (maybe with the exception of the supermarket) is subject to bargaining. As Baka Diary points out, everything from kitchen tiles to a scoop of ice cream don’t have fixed prices.
Is it wrong to disagree with the whole bargaining culture? Is this something that we’re proud of? Is this exciting for people?
Making a new purchase can be stressful enough without thinking that someone is trying to rip you off. Not everyone can have a smooth talking Israeli by their side.
For every frustration, there is an entrepreneurial idea. Someone should offer their skills as a professional bargainer. Especially for homes, appliances, furniture, and cars. They make a little money, and you pay less.
Or, alternatively, let’s abolish the whole bargaining business and just sell things at normal prices. Yeah right.