Why you should not bargain with poor people

Bargaining is an integral part of the Indian psyche. An Indian has an intrinsic urge to get the best deal out of every situation. They bargain in stores, hotels, taxis, airports and even Restaurants. While some of the bargaining is pardonable (when dealing with situations where the price is not justified), one should not bargain with poor people e.g. Rickshaw-wallahs, auto-wallahs etc. (unless he’s trying to rip you off, of-course)
I will provide an example. A middle-class woman takes a rickshaw from Point A to Point B, the rickshaw puller asks for Rs 20/- for his labour. The woman’s internal instincts take over and she haggles with the rickshaw puller for ten minutes, saying that Rs 20/- is too much and Rs 15/- is what he deserves. She would prefer to waste ten minutes of her time, just to save 5 rupees.

Now I ask this- What is 5 rupees for a  middle-class woman? Not much. Now, what is the same amount for a poor rickshaw-puller who works 14-15 hours a day just to bring food to the table? Certainly much more than what it is to the woman.
Now consider the same woman, in a mall, shopping at an expensive retail store. She wouldn’t bat an eyelid putting down a few thousand bucks for some dress manufactured at a rich designer’s factory, with a manufacturing cost 1/20th of the retail price & not worth it.  It is obvious that the rickshaw puller works 10 times as hard as the designer, but earns less than .0001% of the latter, just because he was born in a poor family and not provided the means to earn anything more.
Also what I don’t agree with is people giving away 10-20 rupees easily to a beggar but not to a person who works hard.
I find it shameful that people haggle for petty amounts with the poor, especially when giving away 5 to 10 bucks would not matter much to the giver, but would mean a lot to the recipient.
Because of such attitude, the rich get richer and the poor stay poor. Just because labour does not have a price tag, doesn’t mean you can decide what it costs.
I would request everyone in such a situation to think if haggling is worth it. If it is going to make a poor man happy at almost no expense on your end, don’t bargain.

3 thoughts on “Why you should not bargain with poor people”

Talk to the dawg, yo

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