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Am I getting screwed?

The New York Times wrote about how you can now haggle and negotiate prices at Home Depot, Best Buy, and Circuit City.

It makes me very uncomfortable.

Here’s what I expect lots of customers are hearing: 

“We are usually ripping you off.  You are an idiot for paying full price.  Some people get a better deal than you.”

I thought that “Best Buy” means “best buy” – not “best buy for someone else”.  We shop at big corporate stores because we assume they are using their buying power to get us the best deal.  We also like the convenience of knowing that there are none of the hassles of dealing with independent vendors.  Now I’ll never be able to buy at these stores again without feeling like there is some pressure for me to negotiate to protect myself from a rip-off. 

Lesson: Customer trust takes years to develop. And one awkward moment to destroy.

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