I was talking to a farmer I know the other day, and he mentioned a conversation he'd had with a fellow who raises turkeys. This turkey farmer said that he'd sold around 1,000 turkey poults this year, and was proud of having only lost $300.
Paul, my farmer friend, pointed out that if he'd charged just a dollar more per poult that he would have made $700. That's one of the reasons I like Paul, my farmer friend. He's sharp, and focused on the most sustainable element of small farms -- staying in business. A dollar a bird is the difference between making a small profit and subsidizing other folks dinners.
In my farming, I deal with quite a few immigrants, and most of them come from cultures where haggling is the norm. In fact, if you pay the asking price in their culture, you're almost guaranteed to be disrespected. In fact, in those countries, they'll always have an asking price that is higher than the merchant would expect you to pay, just to have room to haggle. They might quote you 32,000 baht, but they're willing to sell it to you (with appropriate amounts of theatre on both sides) for 8,000.
So I regularly deal with customers who feel like (from their base culture) if they pay my asking price that they're being ripped off. Even if they intellectually know that they're not, emotionally they feel like they're not getting the best deal that they can.
What to do.
I've finally started quoting two prices to people. If I think that they're from a haggling culture, I'll usually quote 30% higher to them, and watch them flinch, and then haggle down to the price that I'll quote to a non-haggling cultural member in the first place. At times the person will agree to pay the haggling price outright, and I'll make up some excuse to bring it down to the regular price -- which is calculated to contain an appropriate amount of profit anyway. I'll say something like "if you'll buy two, I'll give you them at xxx", or "if you'll buy a second one from me later, I'll sell it to you for yyyy". Depends on the customer. If they've taken quite a bit of time, or it's a complicated sale, or on short notice (I MUST HAVE 2 CHICKENS TODAY!!!) I figure that the extra margin is just a "rush fee".
2 days ago