This post contains conversation between a shopkeeper/ salesman and a customer while buying following three items:
- Grocery, and
- Vegetables and fruits (this one involves negotiation of price)
In the conversations below, the two main characters have been color-coded for ease of browsing, and descriptions outside the conversation have been enclosed in brackets.
1. Conversation while buying shoes
Salesman: Sir, how may I help you?
Customer: I’m looking for a pair of leather shoes.
Salesman: What size do you wear?
Salesman: Seven for which brand?
Customer: Does the same size mean different thing for different brands? It should be standard across all brands, right?
Salesman: For few brands, the same size can mean slightly different fitting.
Customer: Is it? I thought otherwise. Anyway, I wear size seven of Hush Puppies, and because I want to buy the same brand it shouldn’t be a problem.
Salesman: Yes, it won’t be a problem in your case. This section has new arrivals and this has shoes on sale.
(The customer first glances through the shoes on sale.)
Customer: The variety is far less here. Because I’m buying shoes for at least few years, I would like to buy something I like. I’ll prefer new arrivals.
Salesman: Most of the shoes on sale were picked up by customers within a day of opening of the sale. That’s why you find far less variety there.
Salesman: Why don’t you try these ones?
Customer: Not these ones. I’m looking for more formal look, the ones with laces and predominantly plain texture.
Customer: I like this one. Lemme try it.
(The customer puts on the pair and walks few yards.)
Customer: This fits well. I’ll take this one in black. Size seven.
Salesman: Would you like to see socks and shoe polish as well?
Customer: Not polish, but yes socks.
(The customer then walks to the shelves, next to the billing counter, which held shoe accessories.)
Customer: Do you sell socks only in combo of three?
Salesman: We sell by pair as well. Here they are.
Customer: OK. I’ll take these two pairs.
Salesman: Anything else, sir?
Customer: No, thanks.
Salesman: I’ll get the billing done, then.
2. Conversation while buying clothes
Customer: I’m looking for formal & casual shirts and trousers.
Salesman: You can find shirt for casual wear on that side. Formal wear though is on the first floor.
Customer: All right, I’ll start with formal wear.
(The customer and the salesman move to the formal wear section on the first floor.)
Salesman: What size shirt do you wear?
Customer: I wear 39”.
Salesman: You’ll find 39” shirts on these shelves.
Customer: Can you take out this, this, this and this one? I want the ones without cufflinks.
Salesman: None of these are with cufflinks.
(The salesman takes the four shirts out and unpacks them on the waist-high table between him and the customer.)
Customer: I like the plain, light shades in pink and blue.
Salesman: These are nice shirts. They would go well with dark trousers, especially those in shades of blue and black. You can take a look at trousers as well before you try all of them together.
(They then proceed to trousers section on the same floor.)
Customer: Can you show me trousers in 32” waist size?
Salesman: These shelves are 32”.
Customer: Can you take this and this out?
(The salesman takes the two trousers out and spreads them on the table. The customer spends few minutes feeling them and then selects one.)
Customer: Where is the trial room?
Salesman: That side.
(The customer tries the shirts and the trousers and comes back.)
Customer: I’ll take the two shirts and the blue trousers.
Salesman: OK sir. We can now move to the ground floor for the casual shirt.
(They come down to the ground floor and move to the section for casual shirts.)
Customer: Show me the new arrivals.
Salesman: You’ll like this. When you roll your sleeves up with this shirt on, the cloth underneath provides a contrasting color and pattern.
Customer: I like this one. Lemme try this one out.
(The customer tries the casual shirt and comes back.)
Customer: OK. Please pack this one as well. Now, I’ve two formal shirts, one trousers, and one casual shirt.
Salesman: Would you want to see tie, belt, or shoes?
Customer: Not now. Thanks.
Salesman: No problem, sir. Our tailor can take the measurement for the length of your trousers and would stitch the bottom accordingly. In the meantime, I’ll get your bill ready.
Customer: When can I collect the trousers?
Salesman: In two hours.
3. Conversation while buying grocery
Customer: I want two liters of double-toned milk, a dozen eggs, a liter of soybean cooking oil, one pouch of butter milk, two kilogram of toor dal, three flavored yogurt, and a kilogram of raw groundnut.
(After the shop assistant has collected the items from different shelves in the store, the shopkeeper prepares the bill.)
Customer: How much is it for?
Shopkeeper: Rupees 555/-
Customer: How much are you charging for the eggs?
Shopkeeper: Rupees 55/- a dozen.
Customer: That’s more than what you charged the last time.
Shopkeeper: Rates have gone up in the last week.
Customer: OK. Give me some discount as I’m buying quite a few items.
Shopkeeper: We hardly make any margins on these items.
Customer: I know how much you make.
Shopkeeper: OK, give me rupees 530/-
Customer: Don’t put the items in polythene carry bags. Kindly use this jute bag.
4. Conversation while negotiating high price of items
Customer: How much are bananas for?
Shopkeeper: Rupees 60/- a dozen.
Customer: That’s exorbitant. And tomatoes and papaya?
Shopkeeper: Rupees 50/- a kg for tomatoes and rupees 60 a kg for papaya.
Customer: Your prices are so high. Last week, I bought these items for a better price.
Shopkeeper: Madam, what I’ve quoted is current market rate. Prices have gone up this week because of less supply coming to the wholesale market.
Customer: But then how come the other shopkeeper is offering better price.
Shopkeeper: That’s because he often mixes yesterday’s stock with the new. We sell only fresh vegetables and fruits.
Customer: I know how much fresh you sell. All say the same thing. But you got to offer me some discount as I’ll buy stuff worth at least 300.
Shopkeeper: I’ll try my best. What else do you want me to weigh?
(The customer goes on to mention more vegetables and fruits and the shopkeeper weighs them and stuffs them in the customer’s bag.)
Customer: So the total is 380. I think you should charge 340.
Shopkeeper: No, that’s too low. Give me 360.
Customer: The discount of rupees 20/- is just 5 percent off. Not much. Give me at least 10 percent.
Shopkeeper: Sorry madam, if I offer such discount I’ll hardly make anything for myself. I also have to run my household. 360 is my last offer.
Customer: OK, but I’m not happy.
Shopkeeper: Madam, you should think of our livelihood as well.