Selling the rice cooker
"Hello? I rang you before about the rice cooker," rattled the gentleman at the other end of the line.
"I was told you'd be in but I couldn't call you that Thursday," he explained.
"How old is the rice cooker? How big is it? What does it have?" he continued in a heavy foreign accent.
I replied, "I only use it when I have parties as the 10-cup capacity is too big for me. I won't go down on the price though."
"Where do you live?" he asked enthusiastically.
It turned out that he lives on the other side of London, an area I have visited before. He would have to take a bus, take the Underground, change at King's Cross station, and catch another train to get here - a good hour's journey, if not more.
"Actually," I said on second thought. "Somebody near me wanted the rice cooker yesterday. But she hasn't come to see it or pick it up."
I was caught in a slight dilemma. Obviously this guy wanted the rice cooker very much as he had called before. But the other lady was local and furthermore, I'm her client. She just couldn't get away from her shop to pick up the rice cooker.
"I'm also selling other things," I added. He expressed an interest in glasses. So it wouldn't be a worthless trip. But should I call her first before I confirm with him on the sale?
"How about this - if you pay a bit more for the rice cooker, it's yours?" I offered.
"But you said you won't come down on the price," he objected.
"I'm not. I'm raising the price so that it's yours and not hers."
"You can't do that."
Oh yes I can --- it's called a free market, where the price determines everything - how fast the sale is concluded and how many you can sell. It's the basic principle of economics 101.
6 December 2003 Friday