Author Topic: We're really not expecting you to give us a deal, we promise  (Read 6237 times)

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CoryanderX

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We're really not expecting you to give us a deal, we promise
« on: November 21, 2012, 01:00:52 PM »
I've never posted a thread here before, but my boyfriend and I are really not sure how to handle this, and he TOLD me I should ask eHell (he hears me talking all the time about issues discussed here), so here goes.

Last year I decided to buy a live Christmas tree. I live with my boyfriend, but I was paying for the tree, because Christmas is much more my thing than his. My boyfriend's dad and (college-age) brother happened to be working at a tree lot, so we went to that one. We found a nice tree, and his dad and brother tied it to my car, and then I asked his dad (with my wallet out) how much we owed him, and he said the tree was free! We were quite surprised, but he said he'd asked the lot owner how much to charge us, and the owner said to just give us the tree. Of course we appreciated that a lot and made sure to express that.

Side issue: While they were tying the tree on, I realized I had no idea whether I should offer my boyfriend's dad a tip, and my boyfriend had no idea either. I kinda think, then and now, that etiquette would dictate I shouldn't, but I didn't want to seem ungrateful. I was still wavering when his dad told us the tree was free, and then I did ask, "Can I at least give you a tip?" because it seemed more okay when I wasn't also paying for the tree. His dad said to give it to my boyfriend's brother for "school books", so I did that.

Here's our problem: this year, both the dad and brother, and possibly two younger siblings, will be working again at the same tree lot. I'd really like to go back there, because it's fun to see my boyfriend's family while buying our tree (and hey, it was a good tree we got last year). If it happened that they were able to give us any kind of deal, of course that'd be nice, but we'd show up assuming that we'd pay full price. But my boyfriend is concerned that his dad will think we're EXPECTING another free tree, and we certainly wouldn't want anyone to think that, nor would we want to put him in any kind of awkward position if the lot owner isn't so generous this year. Is there anything we can politely do to avoid the impression that we're expecting a deal, or otherwise help the situation?

Also, any advice on the tipping thing? Right now I'm thinking this year I would probably not offer to tip the dad, but if the brother or someone else were helping, I'd probably offer them the tip.

One more thing: In case this is relevant, my boyfriend and I are in a better place financially than his parents and other family members. And I think part of his concern is that, if there's a limited number of free trees or discounted trees that his dad could offer, then we shouldn't be "taking" one from anyone else, which I agree with.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2012, 01:05:35 PM by CoryanderX »

guihong

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Re: We're really not expecting you to give us a deal, we promise
« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2012, 01:11:43 PM »
I'd try the same thing: ask him how much the tree is.  If he refuses payment, say "Then will you let us take you out to lunch/dinner as our thanks?"  If a restaurant is too expensive for the dad and all the siblings, then what about a tree-decorating party with pizza or homemade dinner, on you?



rose red

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Re: We're really not expecting you to give us a deal, we promise
« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2012, 01:14:28 PM »
When you show up on the lot, can you cheerfully say "Our budget is $$$.  What can we get for that?/Can you show us where the trees in that price range are?" or something like that?

It's good to be Queen

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Re: We're really not expecting you to give us a deal, we promise
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2012, 02:09:16 PM »
As for the tipping, I think you are right it is ackward to tip his father.  I would plan on tipping your BFs brothers, whichever ones help you tie the tree onto the car. 

I always buy my tree from a friend with a Christmas tree farm.  Sometimes he gives me a discount, sometimes not, but I never expect one.  I buy my tree from him because he has really nice quality trees and because I would prefer to give a friend my business.  I never tip my friend, but his nephew works for him and if he is there I do give him a tip.

hobish

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Re: We're really not expecting you to give us a deal, we promise
« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2012, 02:18:13 PM »

Oh, boy. Yeah, I can see how that could be fraught with awkwardness. Is it the type of place where you could first go directly to the owner and pay for the tree, then visit with the family and pick out the tree and such?
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TootsNYC

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Re: We're really not expecting you to give us a deal, we promise
« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2012, 02:38:52 PM »
Or your boyfriend can say to his dad, "We thought about getting our tree at your guys' lot again, but we don't really want you to get us one for free. Last  year was fine, but I'd feel awkward two years in a row. We'd feel like we came there for the free tree."

I think otherwise, tip etc., you did fine.

Remember that your dad isn't necessarily "out" of all that much by tapping into the owner's goodwill to get you a free tree. So he hasn't really "given" you a whole lot. In a way, it was th eowner.

SleepyKitty

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Re: We're really not expecting you to give us a deal, we promise
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2012, 02:45:06 PM »
When you show up on the lot, can you cheerfully say "Our budget is $$$.  What can we get for that?/Can you show us where the trees in that price range are?" or something like that?

I really like this - it shows up front that you're expecting to pay for the tree. Or you could even be more explicit; say something like, "We're planning to spend $$ dollars." Then see what happens; I also POD guihong. Even if it's not necessary to offer dinner or something like that, it would be a really nice gesture of goodwill between you and your BF's family. Plus probably also a fun dinner!

cicero

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Re: We're really not expecting you to give us a deal, we promise
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2012, 02:52:02 PM »
I always have this dilemma when buying things/services from people i know. On the one hand, since i have to buy this thing anyway, i'd much rather give the business to someone i know. On the other hand, they sometimes offer me a discount which makes me feel like i'm taking advantage.

In your case, I would be honest - i like Toot's wording.

(Having never bought a christmas tree - how expensive are they? what kind of profit is made? essentially, it was the owner who gave you the free tree).


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artk2002

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Re: We're really not expecting you to give us a deal, we promise
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2012, 04:20:47 PM »
Your BF's father is an adult. If he feels that you're expecting a deal and doesn't like that, he can speak up. If he offers you a deal, assume that he's doing it because he wants to, not because he thinks you expect it. Don't project your own insecurities onto him.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain

NutMeg

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Re: We're really not expecting you to give us a deal, we promise
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2012, 08:13:09 PM »
I would have your BF call his dad and say something like, 'Hey Dad, we were thinking of coming by the lot on Thursday to get a tree, are you guys working that day? *pause for response* Oh, and we really appreciated the free tree last year, but we would like to pay for this one. It's such a treat to be able to see you and my brother while we are picking out our tree, we don't need a freebie as well. We've budgeted for it,  so it really isn't a problem for us.'

I like some of the other suggestions too. It's just a question of picking the suggestion that you think will hit the right note given your BF's dad's personality.
"You're hostages! This is a life-and-death situation here. Start acting like it! We're your captors. We're armed. There's rules. There's a whole school of etiquette to this!" - Dr. Daniel Jackson                

pierrotlunaire0

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Re: We're really not expecting you to give us a deal, we promise
« Reply #10 on: November 25, 2012, 03:02:21 PM »
When you show up on the lot, can you cheerfully say "Our budget is $$$.  What can we get for that?/Can you show us where the trees in that price range are?" or something like that?
You probably already have the tree, but this is my suggestion.  If it turns out to be free, then great, but you make it clear up front that you expect and are prepared to pay for it.
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Shoo

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Re: We're really not expecting you to give us a deal, we promise
« Reply #11 on: November 25, 2012, 03:13:50 PM »

Last year I decided to buy a live Christmas tree.


A live tree?  Like in a pot, still alive and growing?  It kind of sounds like you mean a fresh cut Christmas tree.     I read your entire post kind of confused!

Around here, people do buy live trees, that they plant somewhere after Christmas, like in their backyards or out in the woods.

cabbagegirl28

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Re: We're really not expecting you to give us a deal, we promise
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2012, 03:56:27 PM »

Last year I decided to buy a live Christmas tree.


A live tree?  Like in a pot, still alive and growing?  It kind of sounds like you mean a fresh cut Christmas tree.     I read your entire post kind of confused!

Around here, people do buy live trees, that they plant somewhere after Christmas, like in their backyards or out in the woods.

Not the OP, but my family refers to them as live vs. artificial, since the tree was alive at some point. Not completely correct, but it's our shorthand.


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LongtimeLurker

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Re: We're really not expecting you to give us a deal, we promise
« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2012, 09:16:42 AM »
Around here, the fresh cut are referred to and advertised as live trees!  We know they're not but the title's stuck!

rashea

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Re: We're really not expecting you to give us a deal, we promise
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2012, 09:36:23 AM »

Last year I decided to buy a live Christmas tree.


A live tree?  Like in a pot, still alive and growing?  It kind of sounds like you mean a fresh cut Christmas tree.     I read your entire post kind of confused!

Around here, people do buy live trees, that they plant somewhere after Christmas, like in their backyards or out in the woods.

Not the OP, but my family refers to them as live vs. artificial, since the tree was alive at some point. Not completely correct, but it's our shorthand.

Yup. Up here, where they've been cutting trees for the last month and shipping them we call them live (for the ones you dig up and move because you were moving the stupid thing anyway), fake (artificial), or cut (for what most people have). But, there are at least 10 tree farms in my town, which makes 9 more farms than gas stations.
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