Author Topic: What does etiquette say of discussing prices?  (Read 17289 times)

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livluvlaf

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What does etiquette say of discussing prices?
« on: January 23, 2008, 06:22:26 PM »
Whether it's with family, friends, or strangers making conversation - I feel it subjects me to scrutiny discussing the price of something I own. I could be wrong, but it makes me really uncomfortable when someone blatantly asks what I paid. I'm barely middle class, I don't really have stuff to show off, and what I have I don't wave under people's noses ... but it can be as simple as being out with friends and they complement my new sweater. My standard answers are:

 - Way more than I wanted to - I totally blew the budget!

 - I saved a long time before I could afford it.

 - Not as much as you'd think, I shopped around like crazy, finally found a great deal.

But some people are really persistant and want to know the specific dollar figure ... and I'm not comfortable telling people my car is worth X, my camera is worth X, etc. Unless I have an outstanding debt with them - is it any of their business? And vice versa - unless they owe me money, I don't care if & how they spend theirs. So it doesn't mean anything to me when you tell me you spent a grand on an electronic component.

Am I wrong to be so sensitive? Any versions of "pass the bean dip" to further deflect from the pricetag?

ETA - is this under the correct topic?
« Last Edit: January 23, 2008, 06:32:14 PM by livluvlaf »

FoxPaws

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Re: What does etiquette say of discussing prices?
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2008, 06:32:45 PM »
Sometimes I mind, sometimes I don't - it depends on who's doing the asking. If my sister wants to know how much I paid for my camera because she's shopping for one of her own, I'll tell her. If an acquaintance is pumping me for how much I paid for my car, he's going to get "bean dipped."

I like your responses. If someone is being really pushy, "why do you ask?" is a polite way of letting them know they're being nosy.
I am so a lady. And if you say I'm not, I'll slug you. - Cindy Brady

Sefie

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Re: What does etiquette say of discussing prices?
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2008, 06:36:30 PM »
"I have no idea, I can barely remember when I bought it."

princess91765

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Re: What does etiquette say of discussing prices?
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2008, 06:37:33 PM »
I think it is crass to ask people what they paid for stuff. Unless it is a really close friend or family member.

I have one SIL who always tells everyone how much she paid for certain things and I find it to be really obnoxious. She will claim that she paid $2,000.00 for her (obviously fake) Louis Vuitton when nobody even asked her. I know that my response is rude, but I usually just respond with "How interesting" in a really monotone voice and do a loud yawn.



I don't like being asked what I paid for stuff either. Especially since I am an expert bargain shopper and sometimes I get (very nice) clothes for practically nothing. I find it embarrasing to say "Oh, I only paid $4.20 for this top" and I don't like to lie, so I usually say something vague like "Oh, not too much" or "I can't remember the exact amount".

Sometimes, I will just ask them why they want to know. It's a touchy subject with me. I am really shy and don't like to brag. People often assume I spend a fortune on clothes and it makes me uncomfortable when I am questioned. I feel like they are presuming to know how much I earn, or making judgements on how I spend my money.

 

FoxPaws

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Re: What does etiquette say of discussing prices?
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2008, 07:01:17 PM »
One of the reasons I hate telling how much I paid for big ticket items is that people have vastly different ways of calculating the price of something.

Mom gave me an interest free loan to buy my computer. When she told a cousin how much I paid for it, she told Mom she'd paid only $XX for hers. I had to explain to Mom that that was probably what she paid for the computer itself - not including operating system, software, speakers, tax, shipping, etc.

Same thing with cars - the sticker price and the cost to drive it off the lot can differintiate by several zeros, and whenever I've told someone what I've paid (for me the price is the final total), they've tried to tell me what a lousy deal I've gotten, only for me to realize later that their idea of "price" is the sticker price. Now I just keep my mouth shut.  8)
I am so a lady. And if you say I'm not, I'll slug you. - Cindy Brady

Marbles

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Re: What does etiquette say of discussing prices?
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2008, 08:57:17 PM »
I agree that it's not polite to pry into other people's finances. When I'm pressed, I often fall back on the "I don't remember" line.

To completely redirect the conversation I will ask "Are you in the market for one? They typically run $ to $$, though you can find them for much lower if you shop around. Check megadeelz.con right after Big Holiday for the best prices or if you're looking for a used one, try usedstuf.org."  This changes the conversation from an attempt at oneupmanship to purely informational, which is much less interesting.

CrayonOutlines

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Re: What does etiquette say of discussing prices?
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2008, 03:46:37 PM »
livluvlaf, I think your deflections are great.  Another deflection is something like, "This <insert object here> is generally in the $___ range."   You could add that you found yours on sale, that certain places have better prices, that you lucked out on a good deal, etc., without actually saying how much you paid.  If it really makes you uncomfortable, a first response is "Why do you ask?"  Maybe if people want to know because they're in the market for certain items, you might feel like being helpful and giving them the info and/or pointing them to a place to get a good deal.  If they're actually just being nosy and rude, asking them this should make them realize that it's none of their business.  If it doesn't stop them in their tracks, you could say, "Oh, you're such a joker!  Imagine asking someone what they paid for something!  HA HA!  Have you tried the bean dip?"

caranfin

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Re: What does etiquette say of discussing prices?
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2008, 03:51:57 PM »
I think your vague brush-offs are appropriate. If they persist, just say "I don't really remember how much it was. Why, did you want to get one? I found it at Store X, perhaps you should go there..."
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Redneck Gravy

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Re: What does etiquette say of discussing prices?
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2008, 04:08:13 PM »
For me it depends on who it is and what the item is...like a cheapo purse, if someone asks how much that purse was I would tell them $10 or whatever I paid.  Now, if my sister asks about my brand name purse - I'm probably not ever going to tell her because no matter what I say, she will tell anyone listening that I paid too much and she could have gotten it cheaper at the outlet mall by her house, blah,blah.

My car, way too personal a question to ask.  My last computer system I don't care who knows what it cost.  Again, not going to be discussing the cost of anything with my sister. 

Veronica

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Re: What does etiquette say of discussing prices?
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2008, 04:18:35 PM »
I don't think it is always rude to ask how much something cost.  DH and I priced out having laminate flooring put in (by professionals) on our first floor and it was really high.  Friends of ours just installed it and I asked if she minded if I asked how much it cost.  She was fine telling us and now we are thinking about doing it ourselves (they even offerred to help). 

For the person asking I think the trick is paying attention to whether it might be a sensitive topic for the askee.  Also, if they say they do mind your asking, let the topic go.

For the person being asked if you don't want to answer say either "I don't recall" or "I'm not comfortable discussing cost, have you tried the bean dip?"


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caranfin

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Re: What does etiquette say of discussing prices?
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2008, 04:22:45 PM »
I don't think it is always rude to ask how much something cost.  DH and I priced out having laminate flooring put in (by professionals) on our first floor and it was really high.  Friends of ours just installed it and I asked if she minded if I asked how much it cost.  She was fine telling us and now we are thinking about doing it ourselves (they even offerred to help). 


No, I don't think it's rude either. It's just when the askee doesn't seem to want to answer - then it's rude to push. A friend of mine was interesting in buying the same car I had. She wanted to know how much I'd paid for it (she could easily find the sticker price herself, but knowing me, she knew I paid considerably less  ;)) and she said "Ummm... was the first number a 3?" It made me laugh. I was happy to tell her, but she gave me plenty of wiggle room if I chose not to.
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livluvlaf

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Re: What does etiquette say of discussing prices?
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2008, 02:03:31 PM »
I wasn't certain if I was being too sensitive, since my DF volunteers to everyone what he paid for anything.

I have no problem discussing where I found the best price/service/selection, etc if the person asking is interested in acquiring one themselves. When the questions become really persistant, I usually do ask "are you in the market for X?" But if we're amongst a group of people, I will usually ask them to contact me later, when I will give them the specific info. Cause really, who else wants to hear all the exciting details of sofa shopping! But I've had people respond - "no, I'm just curious what you paid for it".

But I have a few friends, friends of friends who do this:

Friend - That's such a lovely sweater.
Me - Thank you! Actually, it's new.
F - I thought so, I haven't seen you wear it before. Where did you get it?
M - From Sweater Store while I was at the mall on my day off. (as I'm writing this down, I've realized this is where I need to learn to insert redirecting question, such as - There was such a great selection, have you been there recently?)
F - Yeah, how much was it?
M - Um ... not too much, I found it on sale.
F - Really, how little  - like 20 bucks?

Why is the price so dang important???

kudeebee

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Re: What does etiquette say of discussing prices?
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2008, 06:17:49 PM »
But I have a few friends, friends of friends who do this:

Friend - That's such a lovely sweater.
Me - Thank you! Actually, it's new.       I would stop with just the Thank You. By adding the it's new part, you open yourself up for more questions.

F - I thought so, I haven't seen you wear it before. Where did you get it?
M - From Sweater Store while I was at the mall on my day off. (as I'm writing this down, I've realized this is where I need to learn to insert redirecting question, such as - There was such a great selection, have you been there recently?)  Even this statement will open you up for more questions.

F - Yeah, how much was it?
M - Um ... not too much, I found it on sale.  "I can't really remember the price.   Have you XXXXX? (change subject)"
F - Really, how little  - like 20 bucks?

Why is the price so dang important???

[/quote]

sbtier

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Re: What does etiquette say of discussing prices?
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2008, 03:18:14 PM »
I always say I don't remember.  I tend to attract the type of people who ask how much you paid for something, then tell you that you were cheated.  These are usually the types that wouldn't know quality if it hit them in the head and anything other than the cheapest tat from Walmart is being 'cheated'.

caranfin

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Re: What does etiquette say of discussing prices?
« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2008, 03:28:01 PM »
But I've had people respond - "no, I'm just curious what you paid for it".

Laugh (because surely someone who says this must be joking!  ::)) and say "Oh, you were just being nosy! In that case, it cost a million dollars."
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