Honing Your Haggling Skills & More

Hi Junkers!

Well, it’s almost June & junking season is in FULL swing!  Market vendors have dusted off their wares & will be displaying them as if they were magical gems, which in some cases, they are!  Hoggva is an Old Norse term once believed to mean ‘haggen to cut/chop’ from the 13th century & then around the 16th century a truer meaning “to argue about price” came along, like the notion of chopping away.

norse woman

The benefits of knowing the fine art of haggling has many benefits, not just getting a good deal.  It’s a great way to get to know the vendors & small business owners.  Remember, they are trying to make money so know your own limits {high dollar offer} ahead of time, it will definitely be to your advantage.  Being friendly goes a long way too.  Most of the time you both say Hi or Hello.  I always add “How are you?” or “How’s it going?” to break the ice.  Many times it’s a pleasant surprise for them, you typically get a smile at the very least.  If you frequent a particular event they will come to recognize you as a good customer & familiar face.  They remember your interests & be inclined to recommend other vendors you might like.  Think about as networking where you both walk away feeling happy & fortunate.


It pays to do your research if you are looking to build a collection or have a specific item in mind.  Start with a low number, yet don’t be insulting either.  This can be tricky; with some practice you’ll get better & better.  The numbers may go back & forth several times.  Think about it as a game:  have some fun & try to win but winning isn’t everything.  There are going to be times when you may have to compromise & pay more if you really, really want it.  It’s clear:  the power belongs to the seller.  Take it as a learning experience & after you’ve had a few chances to barter {wrangle/dicker/quibble} you’ll gain some confidence & be able to handle most any situation.




Don’t forget your manners Please & Thank You go a long way.  Occasionally vendors will post a sign, such as “Firm” or “Sale”, in their minds they are already giving you a fair deal.  As I might have mentioned before, you are going to meet those vendors who are tough or just plain rude, as if it was your full intention to ruin their day, ugh.  They must me handled with caution.  Two gentlemen come to mind when I think about my experiences.  One guy had some great stuff I was really interested in but nothing was priced.  My opinion is this is not in the vendor’s favor.  It then makes the customer have to ask the price = not a good start.  Our interaction didn’t go well {everything I asked about was very high as if he wasn’t selling & merely displaying his goods}.  ISadly, I now tend to avoid items unpriced.  Another time I asked an already grumpy-looking gentleman “Is this your best price?” on a $20 chair & he simply said Yes.  I thanked him & went about by day.  These were times when I’ve walked away & you will too.

girl with camera

Let’s say instead of wanting to buy the item you have spied & LUV, you want to try to duplicate it or maybe it’s resonating a fond memory for you & you simply want to take a picture?  The rule here is: Always Ask First!  Explaining why you want the photo is helpful so the vendor knows your motive.  For me, I love to share my photos, here on the blog & social media.  I give them my business card, ask for theirs & tell them I’d like to share their info on my FB page & I always ask permission first before taking any photos.  It’s great to see how flattered they actually are so it’s a win/win!   🙂

Best of luck & remember : Have Some Junkin Fun!

~ Junk Maven


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