Are Malls Killing The Tradition Of Bargaining


In accordance with this proverb, mall culture is on the rise in India. In 90’s only Ansal Plaza and few more malls were only known. But now in every big and small towns, fancy shopping malls have breezed in. One may say…….’India is falling in love….with shopping malls’. The dynamic transition phase is on the go, be it metros, or even small towns, malls can be found in every part of every city. The retail industry is transforming from unorganized to organized.
  Malls are not only a shopping place but a place to rejuvenate, socialize and entertain.       “Oh !! It’s so hot. Lets go to a mall and shop”.
That’s what malls offer. A hassle-free shopping in user-friendly ambience (to be specific, pollution-free,  neat and clean AC surroundings including wash rooms.)  Undoubtedly, malls have changed the shopping experience of Indians. Gone are days when people got baffled about shopping…… Shopping malls have made shopping an effortless activity for people now. Irrespective of whatever you wish to buy, whole ball of wax is available. Every mall is monumental, magnificent and glamorous that it tends to attract crowds in masses. Leading brands, amusement section, food court, movie theaters and what not. Beyond a shadow of doubt, malls may rightly be called as SHOPPING PARADISE for shopaholics. Frequently, folks take shopping in malls as a status symbol.
Even after being a boon to shopping-lovers, like me, the shopping malls have wiped away the most pleasurable essence of shopping, i.e., bargaining.
“Bhaiya 50rs. ka dena hai toh do,warna rehne do………..Nahi madamji 70rs. se ek paisa kam nahi……….Acha chalo na tumhari na meri……….60rs. ka de do……..”
‘BEG, PLEA OR BLUFF’ Bargaining banks on these three elements. The skill of Bargaining is both customary and it also involves great deal of innovation and expertise.
“In India, we bargain to the level of the individual vegetable purchase.”
Yes, I agree shopping is relatively easy and comfortable in a mall. But I always feel jaundiced after shopping in big malls and I’m sure many would agree with me. Truly speaking, street shopping with lots of bargaining is all what makes shopping so exciting and interesting.
 Mall culture seems to be killing the age-old tradition of Bargaining. People don’t bargain in big malls as they do for road side vendors and auto wallahs, as they think it might look very middle-class and they want to show-off. Moreover, mostly the products in a mall are branded and their price are pre-determined and people don’t have the privilege to bargain. They carry a tag of maximum retail price. Printed and published prices take away people’s ability to negotiate. There is an ‘official’ feeling to the price tag. And it’s a good way to pay a fair price without getting screwed. But you end up losing the name of the game of shopping . As customers, malls don’t offer the luxury to bargain whereas they deprive the small local vendors to get their goods auctioned (at nominal prices).
Ultimately, its in our hands what to decide……….TO LISTEN TO OUR HEARTS (buying from small shops and going for street shopping and enjoying to the maximum) or TO OUR MINDS (shopping from serene and sumptuous malls and paying the big corporate names).
Written by – Dr Chandini Gupta
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