Daily English
Cultural English
Practical English

1146 Negotiating With a Street Vendor

访问量:
Complete Transcript
Welcome to English as a Second Language Podcast number 1,146 – Negotiating with a Street Vendor.

This is English as a Second Language Podcast episode 1,146. I’m your host, Dr. Jeff McQuillan, coming to you from the Center for Educational Development in Los Angeles, California.

Visit our website at ESLPod.com. Become a member of ESL Podcast and download the Learning Guide for this episode. Our Learning Guides contain complete transcripts of everything we say, plus a list of all the key vocabulary words with definitions and sample sentences. If you’re on Facebook, go to facebook.com/eslpod and like us.

This episode is a dialogue between Sean and Patrice about trying to buy something from a person who sells things – not in a store but on the street. Let’s get started.

[start of dialogue]

Sean: Just look at the quality of that. You won’t find a finer one anywhere.

Patrice: It’s nice, but it’s more than I want to spend.

Sean: Okay, just for you, I’ll knock off 10 percent. What do you say?

Patrice: I think it’s still too pricey. I think I’ll pass.

Sean: Wait! Don’t be so hasty. What you have there is a one-of-a-kind item. You don’t want to pass up something this special.

Patrice: I’ll think about it . . .

Sean: How about if I throw in a second one for the same price, a two-for-one offer?

Patrice: I thought you said this was one of a kind.

Sean: Did I? I meant to say that there aren’t many out there like it. I just happen to have two. How about it?

Patrice: I think I’ll shop around first.

Sean: This offer is only good right now, so don’t walk away.

Patrice: Like I said, I’ll think about it . . .

Sean: All right. Name your price. Make me a reasonable offer and I’ll let you have it.

Patrice: How about 30 percent off?

Sean: That’s highway robbery! I’m just a street vendor trying to make a living here.

Patrice: Take it or leave it.

Sean: All right, you have a deal. You drive a hard bargain. You wouldn’t be looking for a job, would you?

[end of dialogue]

Sean says to Patrice, “Just look at the quality of that.” The use of the word “just” here is mostly for emphasis. It could be a good thing or a bad thing. When Sean says, “Just look at the quality of that,” he means it is something of very high quality. He wants Patrice to pay attention to it. He says, “You won’t find a finer” – that is, better – “one anywhere.”

Patrice says, “It’s nice, but it’s more than I want to spend.” “To spend” (spend) means to use your money to buy something. Sean says, “Okay, just for you” – meaning not for any other customer, but just for you – “I’ll knock off 10 percent.” I should mention that sometimes people who are selling things will use that expression, “just for you,” to make you feel special, of course, to make you think that you are the only one that this vendor, this person selling something, would give a discount to.

Sean says he’ll “knock (knock) off 10 percent.” “To knock off” is a phrasal verb that here means to lower the price of something. Sean is going to lower the price, or “knock off,” 10 percent. “What do you say?” Sean asks Patrice what her reaction is. That’s what he means by, “What do you say?” Really, he’s asking, “Will you buy it at that price?” Patrice, however, responds, “I think it’s still too pricey.” When you say something is “pricey” (pricey), you mean it’s expensive. It costs too much.

Then she says, “I think I’ll pass.” “To pass” here means not to do something – to decide against, in this case, buying something. What Patrice is doing here, of course, is telling the vendor, the person selling the product, that she doesn’t want it. Sean says, however, “Wait! Don’t be so hasty.” “To be hasty” (hasty) means to do something without thinking about it carefully, to do something quickly. He says, “What you have there is a one-of-a-kind item.” “One-of-a-kind” (kind) means unique, different from everything else.

Sean, of course, is trying to convince Patrice to buy this thing. She doesn’t seem interested, so he’s trying to give her reasons to buy it. He says, “You don’t want to pass up something this special.” “To pass up” is a two-word phrasal verb which here means something similar as “to pass.” It means to decide not to do something that is available or that is being offered to you – in this case, not to buy the thing that the vendor is selling. We’re not sure exactly what that thing is.

Patrice says, “I’ll think about it.” Usually when people say, “I’ll think about it,” especially if they’re at a store, it usually means, “No, I don’t really want it.” But you’re being nice. You’re being polite. It’s something people will often say to a person who is selling something when they don’t really want to buy it. Sean knows this, and so he then says, “How about if” – meaning what if – “I throw in a second one for the same price, a two-for-one offer?”

“To throw (throw) in” something is to add something without charging something extra to the person. So, if you go to the store to buy a new suit which usually includes a jacket and a pair of pants, the store might “throw in” a tie. It may say, “Well, if you buy this suit, we’ll give you a tie for free.” That’s basically what they’re saying. Sean is saying that he can “throw in a second one,” meaning another one of what it is that Patrice is looking at to buy for the same price – a “two-for-one offer.” “Two-for-one” means that you only pay the price of one thing, but you get two of that thing.

Patrice says, “I thought you said this was one of a kind?” Patrice doesn’t understand and neither do we. How you could have two things that are one of a kind? That doesn’t make any sense. If it’s “one of a kind,” there’s only one of it in the whole world. Sean, knowing that of course he was lying, says, “Did I?” meaning “Did I say that?” “I meant to say,” what I really should have said, “that there aren’t many out there like it,” meaning there aren’t very many of them. “I just happen to have two. How about it?”

“I just happen to” means almost by chance, or fortunately. “How about it?” is Sean’s way of asking whether Patrice is now interested in buying the product. Patrice says, “I think I’ll shop around first.” That’s another thing a person will say when she’s not really interested in buying something from a shop owner or a salesperson. “To shop around” simply means to go to other stores and look for things you want to buy.

Sean says, “This offer is only good right now, so don’t walk away.” When Sean says the offer is “only good right now,” he means he can only give Patrice this price right now. If she comes back tomorrow, he won’t be able to give her that low price. Sean tells Patrice not to “walk away,” meaning don’t literally walk away from him to go to, say, another store, because if she does, she won’t be able to get this good price. Patrice says, “Like I said, I’ll think about it.” Sean says, “All right. Name your price.”

The expression “name (name) your price” means you tell me how much you want to pay for it. You could actually use this phrase “name your price” in a situation like this one where the person is asking you how much you would pay for something, or in a situation where you need to be paid a certain amount of money to do something. For example, your friend might ask you to drive him 100 miles tomorrow to go to a certain place, and you say, “Well, I’m not sure.” Your friend may say, “Name your price,” meaning how much money do I have to give you to drive me to this place tomorrow.

Sean says to Patrice, “Make me,” meaning give me, “a reasonable offer and I’ll let you have it.” A “reasonable offer” is a fair price, a fair amount of money. Patrice says, “How about 30 percent off?” She’s asking for a discount of 30 percent. Sean says, however, “That’s highway robbery!” The expression “highway (highway) robbery (robbery)” refers to a situation where one person is getting very little money for what he’s selling. “Robbery” means to steal something from someone.

Sean says, “I’m just a street vendor.” A “street vendor” is a person who sells things on the street without a store, a permanent place to sell things. He says, “I’m just a street vendor trying to make a living here.” “To make a living” means to earn or to get enough money to pay for your expenses – your food, your housing, and so forth. Sean is saying that Patrice is asking for too low of a price.

Patrice says, however, “Take it or leave it.” That phrase, “take it or leave it,” is used when you are telling the person that this is your final offer. This is the only thing that you will accept. If you don’t want it, I’m going away. “Take it,” meaning accept my offer, “or leave it” – that is, I’m going to walk away and we are ending our negotiations, our discussions over the price of this object. Sean says, “All right, you have a deal,” meaning, “Okay, yes. I will sell it to you.”

Then he says, “You drive a hard bargain” (bargain). “To drive a hard bargain” means to be very good at getting what you want in a negotiation. Someone who drives a hard bargain is someone who gets a very low price for something by negotiating very well. Sean then says, “You wouldn’t be looking for a job, would you?”

What Sean means is that he thinks Patrice would make a good employee. She would make a good saleswoman, and perhaps maybe she would be interested in working with Sean selling whatever it is Sean sells. We’re still not sure exactly what Sean is selling here, but whatever it is, we know that Patrice got a 30 percent discount off of it.

Now let’s listen to the dialogue, this time at a normal speed.

[start of dialogue]

Sean: Just look at the quality of that. You won’t find a finer one anywhere.

Patrice: It’s nice, but it’s more than I want to spend.

Sean: Okay, just for you, I’ll knock off 10 percent. What do you say?

Patrice: I think it’s still too pricey. I think I’ll pass.

Sean: Wait! Don’t be so hasty. What you have there is a one-of-a-kind item. You don’t want to pass up something this special.

Patrice: I’ll think about it . . .

Sean: How about if I throw in a second one for the same price, a two-for-one offer?

Patrice: I thought you said this was one of a kind.

Sean: Did I? I meant to say that there aren’t many out there like it. I just happen to have two. How about it?

Patrice: I think I’ll shop around first.

Sean: This offer is only good right now, so don’t walk away.

Patrice: Like I said, I’ll think about it . . .

Sean: All right. Name your price. Make me a reasonable offer and I’ll let you have it.

Patrice: How about 30 percent off?

Sean: That’s highway robbery! I’m just a street vendor trying to make a living here.

Patrice: Take it or leave it.

Sean: All right, you have a deal. You drive a hard bargain. You wouldn’t be looking for a job, would you?

[end of dialogue]

Every script on ESL Podcast is one of a kind. Thanks to our one-of-a-kind scriptwriter, the wonderful Dr. Lucy Tse.

From Los Angeles, California, I’m Jeff McQuillan. Thank you for listening. Come back and listen to us again right here on ESL Podcast.

English as a Second Language Podcast was written and produced by Dr. Lucy Tse, hosted by Dr. Jeff McQuillan. Copyright 2015 by the Center for Educational Development.

Glossary
to spend – to pay money for something; to use one’s money to buy something or to pay for something

* The prices in this store are crazy! Who would pay $260 for a t-shirt?

to knock off – to decrease something by a certain amount; to lower the price of something; to provide a discount

* If you can knock off another $40 for this sofa, we’ll have a deal.

pricey – expensive; costing too much

* When steaks get too pricey, people buy more chicken and pork instead of beef.

to pass – to not take advantage of something or to not pursue an opportunity; to decide not to have or do something

* Herod invited me to go kayaking with him, but it looked like it would rain, so I passed.

hasty – doing something very quickly; happening quickly, especially without thinking about something before deciding

* They made a hasty decision to get married, even though they had known each other for only 48 hours.

one-of-a-kind – unique; unlike anything else; different from everything else

* The artist told the people in the gallery that each one of his paintings is one-of-a-kind.

to pass up – to decide not to have or do something that is available or being offered

* If you offer free pizza, students will come. College students never pass up a free meal.

to throw in – to include an additional item in a transaction at no additional cost

* If you buy these knives right now, we’ll throw in this cutting board for free.

two-for-one offer – a sales promotion where the customer pays for one item, but receives two of them

* The store has a two-for-one offer on two-pound containers of strawberries, but I don’t think we can eat four pounds before they go bad.

good – valid; active; applicable; not yet expired or retracted

* Once you renew your passport, it will be good for seven years.

to name (one’s) price – to state or to tell another person the price that one is willing to pay for something

* In many countries, it is common for shoppers to name their price at outdoor markets.

reasonable offer – a fair sales price; the amount of money that someone is willing to pay for something, without being much too low from the seller’s perspective

* We’d like to get at least $5,500 for our used car, but at this point, we’ll consider all reasonable offers.

highway robbery – an extremely bad deal, with too little money being paid for something, or too much money being demanded in order to purchase something

* How can the rent for a such a small apartment be $3,000 per month? Even in New York City, that’s highway robbery!

street vendor – a person who sells items on the street, without having a store

* Street vendors sell lots of purses and accessories that seem like a good deal, but they usually are copies of the original designer items.

to make a living – to earn money; to make money from one’s work to pay for one’s expenses

* They want to continue farming, but they don’t earn enough income from it to make a living.

take it or leave it – a phrase used to present one’s final offer, inviting the other person to accept it, and indicating that if the other person refuses it, the sale will not be made

* My girlfriend likes that ring, but you’re asking too much. I’ll give you $60 for it. Take it or leave it.

to drive a hard bargain – to be a very good and forceful negotiator; to be very good at getting what one wants in a negotiation

* They drove a hard bargain, and in the end they got what they wanted.

Comprehension Questions
1. What does Sean mean when he says, “Don’t be so hasty”?
a) Don’t be rude.
b) Don’t decide to quickly.
c) Don’t be insulting.

2. What does Sean mean when he says, “That’s highway robbery”?
a) He thinks she is going to steal his goods.
b) He thinks she is going to leave very quickly.
c) He thinks she is demanding a very low price.

Answers at bottom.

What Else Does It Mean?
to knock off

The phrase “to knock off,” in this podcast, means to decrease something by a certain amount, or to lower the price of something: “The city knocks off 10% from residents’ water bills if they plant trees on their property.” The phrase “to knock off” also means to make an illegal copy of something, or to present another person’s work as one’s own: “The entertainment industry is worried about people illegally knocking off their DVDs.” Or, “I did all that work, and he knocked off the presentation as if it were his own!” Items that have been copied illegally are known as “knock-offs”: “These knock-offs are really good imitations of designer brand perfumes and colognes.” Finally, the phrase “knock it off” is often used by children when they are fighting, and means “stop it” or telling someone to stop what they are doing: “Hey, knock it off! You’re not being careful with my toy and you’re going to break it.”

good

In this podcast, the word “good” means valid, active, or applicable: “Are these tickets still good, or did they expire last month?” The phrase “good looks” means an attractive appearance: “Sure, he has some experience, but I think he got his job due to his good looks and personality.” The phrase “good name” means reputation, or how others think about oneself: “If people hear those lies, it’s going to damage her good name!” The phrase “good nature” describes a kind-hearted, friendly person whom others like: “He has such a good nature that he never says ‘no’ to anyone.” Finally, the phrase “good riddance” is used as a rude, slightly funny way to say goodbye to someone or something, or to show that one is glad something has ended: “He was the worst employee we’ve ever had. Good riddance!”

Culture Note
Street Vendors

Street vendors, or “hawkers” are a “common sight” (something that one sees often) on the streets of large cities with many “pedestrians” (people who walk, not ride in cars). Street vendors sell everything from fruits to “handbags” (purses) and sunglasses to clothing. Most cities have “regulations” (rules and laws) “governing” (controlling) street vendors, often requiring them to “obtain” (get) “permits” (official permission to do something), and controlling how many street vendors can be in a particular area.

The most basic street vendors simply “spread” (open flat) a “sheet” (a large, thin piece of cloth usually placed on a bed) on the sidewalk or grass and place their “goods” (the items one is selling) on it. Other vendors might have “wheeled carts” (small structures on wheels, often like a table with a roof). “Food carts,” or small trucks with small kitchens inside them, have become increasingly popular, and cities like Portland, Oregon and Austin, Texas have “designated” (set aside for a particular purpose) “blocks” (the square or rectangular area formed by crossing streets) for food carts and eating areas.

People who buy “merchandise” (goods; items) from street vendors must operate on the “principle” (idea) of “buyer beware.” This means that the buyer must be confident that the produce is “as advertised” (is actually what the seller says it is) and that it has sufficiently good quality, because if the item is “defective” (flawed; with a problem), the buyer will not be able to “return it” (give it back to the seller to get one’s money back)—in fact, the buyer might not even be able to find the seller again!

Comprehension Answers
1 - b

2 - c