Bargain Hunting

I spent a lot of time on Craigslist when I was back in the Midwest over the holiday. My plan was to find a vintage bike on the cheap and then ship it back home. Old bikes are ridiculously overpriced here, so even if I ended up never riding the bike, I'd be able to unload it without much trouble. My problem with Craigslist, besides the people who waste your time with endless e-mails chains of questions, is that I will never pay full price. It's an affront to my skills as a negotiator to come in and pay the asking price, even if it's entirely reasonable. I didn't find a vintage bike, but I did find a Park Tools truing stand (a big bike tool for straightening wheels) for only $50. I promptly e-mailed the guy and offered him $40, then we spent two days haggling before we agreed on $45. We setup a time the next day for me to pick it up, but on my day off a new buyer swooped in and paid the full asking price. I may have lost out on a great deal for something I actually wanted, but at least I know I'm a much shrewder bargainer than money bags who came in and paid full price.

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