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July 23, 1980 - Image 27

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Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1980-07-23

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The Michigan Daily-Wednesday, July 23, 1980-Page 19

THE ART FAIR provides ample opportunities to practice the fine art of competition. Last year, one pig brought in about a squirrel-and-a-half, or
bartering. When you and twelve others each have your eye on a particular . one-quarter of an orangutan.
squirrel or a special pig, bartering is about the fairest way to ensure a fair
Last word on bartering

By NICK KATSARELAS
Everyone knows that the key to good
salesmanship'is driving a hard bargain,
and that is what you'll witness.at this.
year's Ann Arbor Art Fair.
And with the economy the way it is,
rest assured some vigorous bartering
will take place between entrepreneur
and customer.
WHAT MAKES BARTERING much
more essential for the buyer is the
traditional high prices of goods at the
Art Fair. One look at how much some of
the craftspersons charge swiftly
quashes all those rumors about star-
ving artists. For instance, never before
have I seen flower pots cost upwards of
$100. For God's sake, I just want a con-
tainer for my plant's soil; it doesn't
have to be imbedded with diamonds.
Another gripe I have is the schlock
they sell-actually, what they ask for
the schlock. For the low-brows, there's
plenty of turquoise jewelry, five-dollar
caricatures done by some halfway
house residents, and polished-rock,
paper weights (these are my favorites,
you may have yours). If you're going to
purchase kitsch, you have to know how
to barter the price down. Because it's
schlock, there is probably something
wrong with it, and you have to point out
any defects to the artist, though
diplomatically.
"Wow! I really like that painting. But
$20? Isn't that a little steep? -
"WELL, YOU HAVE to pay alot for
quality art."
"Yeh, but this has a defect. Look-the
velvet near the matador's cape is
coming off."
"Well, okay, I'll give it to you for $13,
and I'll throw in a tapestry of John
Travolta."
"YOU GOT YOURSELF a deal."

Bartering plays a key part in buying
and selling. It has its roots in ancient
Greece. Most of the Greeks were self-
sufficient, but there were a number of
Greek men who were only into poetry
and little Greek-boys. Not being of the
yeoman mold, the poets were in grest
need of certain supplies, like food.
A local resident, Bart, established a
trading center where he acted as the
liaison between poets, who received
food, and the farmers, who received
poems. Many of the poems reflected the
relationship between the poets and the
little Greek boys, which infuriated the
farmers. This was unfortunate for Bart,
since he was the liaison between the
poets and the enraged farmers. He
later became known as Bart the Mar-
tyr.
ANYWAY, THAT'S WHERE
bartering got its name. One method of
bartering is attempting to convince the
other guy that it would not be to his ad-
vance to hang onto whatever it is you
want.
A mugger employs this principle. He
approaches a passerby, and in essence,
says: "Excuse me, but if you refuse to
transfer your wallet to my hand, Iam in
the advantaged position of committing
uncomfortable acts upon your person."
Those who have been in this position
realize the mugger is really in the ad-
vantaged position, especially if he is
firmly grasping a lead pipe.
Another method is to bargain hard,
bargain long, and bargain low.
"HOW MUCH DO you want for that
neat picture of the little girl with the
giant eyes?"
"One-hundred dollars."
"One-hundred dollars! Your
mother's a communist! I'll take it off
your hands for twenty."

"TWENTY BUCKS? WHY, you're "You sure know how to drive a hard
nothing buta mongoose! Eighty." bargain ... mongoose."

"Your great-grandmother's a com-
munist! I'll buy it for $40."
"$70."
"$50."
"$55."
"53.75."
"$54.50."

Nick Katasrelas is The Daily's
summer editorial director. He says
he once bartered for a velvet Elvis
painting in a gas station in West-
land.

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NOW OPEN 118 E. WASINGTON
Fea turing
FISH & CH IPS
" SA NDWICH ES " STE AKS
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L IVE ENT ERT AINM ENT
WEDNESDA Y TH ROUGH SA TURDA Y-
EASY L ISTENING M USIC
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