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A Christmas Haggling Story

christmas 2010 retire by 40

Last week Aloysa posted The Golden Rules of Haggling at Beating Broke and coincidentally, I encountered a Christmas haggling story at about the same time.  So gather round people and listen to this modern Christmas tale.

*All names had been changed to protect the innocent.

Jill’s story –  Jill is sponsoring a family for Christmas and she would love to get the boy his wish, a Wii. He lost a his leg and the Wii would be perfect for a little indoor physical activity. However, her budget was only $75 for the Wii. A new Wii + 2 controllers would cost $250 so her only chance was to find something used. She sent out emails to friends, family, and co-workers to see if anyone had a used Wii that is just sitting around.

James’ story – James has an old XBOX 360 that he hasn’t played in a while and he thought, hey maybe the kid would like the XBOX. The problem is he can only find the XBOX and no chords, controllers, power supply, or anything else. On top of that, he is leaving in a couple of days to go on a three-week vacation in Europe.

Rob’s story – Rob has a gently used Wii, controllers and some games. He knows he can get at least $150 from craigslist and is about to put the Wii on sale. He contacted Jill to see how much she would pay for the package. Jill won a point here because she didn’t advertise her budget when she sent out the “looking for a used Wii” mass email.

So do you think we can get a happy ending? It turned out yes! James donated the XBOX 360 to Jill and left for vacation. Meanwhile Jill told Rob that she can only pay $75 and will go with XBOX 360 if she couldn’t find a Wii for that much. Rob actually wanted an XBOX 360 and is willing to trade the Wii for XBOX+$75, but it needs to be in working condition. Jill was able to test out the XBOX at her friend’s place and they made the deal.

Everybody won!!! Jill was able to get the Wii for the boy. James felt good about himself while he is vacationing in Spain and got rid of a big door stop. Rob got the XBOX and a bit of cash to buy the controllers, power supply, and games. Best of all the kid got a Wii for Christmas like he wished. Santa delivered again, ain’t he amazing? Jill is obviously the fulcrum here, she wheeled and dealed and came through for the family she sponsored. If you look back at the Golden Rules of Haggling, you can see Jill followed almost every rule. Great job Jill!

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Joe started Retire by 40 in 2010 to figure out how to retire early. He spent 16 years working in computer design and enjoyed the technical work immensely. However, the job became too stressful and Joe retired from his engineering career to become a stay-at-home dad/blogger at 38. Today, he blogs about financial independence, early retirement, investing, and living a frugal lifestyle.

Passive income is the key to early retirement. This year, Joe is increasing his investment in real estate with CrowdStreet. He can invest in projects across the U.S. and diversify his real estate portfolio. There are many interesting projects available so sign up and check them out.

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{ 23 comments… add one }
  • Invest It Wisely December 31, 2010, 7:31 pm

    That’s good to see that everyone came out of it feeling pretty good! Sometimes it’s better for things to go this way rather than rushing off to the store… it can feel more “earned”.

  • Forest December 28, 2010, 3:44 am

    A great story and everyone felt like they came out happy! Happy Holidays.

  • 101 Centavos December 28, 2010, 3:18 am

    All’s well that ends well, it would seem. A lesson to one and all.

  • LifeAndMyFinances December 26, 2010, 6:17 am

    I love this creative solution! I like to think that I would have thought of the same thing! 🙂

    • retirebyforty December 26, 2010, 4:15 pm

      It’s amazing what can be achieved with the holidays spirit. 🙂

  • youngandthrifty December 24, 2010, 9:07 am

    Great story! Love haggling stories, especially where everyone is happy in the end. Agree with the eco-friendliness too!

    Mother nature is happy, the kids are happy, the wallet is happy…

    Merry Christmas!

  • Money Reasons December 23, 2010, 4:54 pm

    Great bartering story! Perfect for Christmas 🙂

  • FB @ FabulouslyBroke.com December 23, 2010, 4:18 am

    Bartering. It’s a beautiful thing. 🙂

    I’m glad it was all used stuff being exchanged, not brand new being purchased. More eco-friendly, anyway.

  • Clay Ivy December 22, 2010, 8:30 pm

    Always ask if they can do better on the price. This is true for clothing, hotels, airline tickets, etc. You can often save money simply by asking.

    • retirebyforty December 22, 2010, 9:24 pm

      I am terrible with haggling, but from now on I will ask nicely if they can do better. 🙂

  • Sandy @ yesiamcheap December 22, 2010, 12:44 pm

    And that, my friend is why women secretly rule the world.

  • retirebyforty December 22, 2010, 8:55 am

    I’m really happy for the boy as well. Everyone compromised a little and we have a happy ending! Just like the tax cut. 😀

  • Aloysa December 22, 2010, 8:18 am

    Great, great story! I am really happy for the boy. In the end, all that mattered that he got a great Christmas. Kudos to Jill for being a savvy in haggling. 🙂

  • BeatingTheIndex December 22, 2010, 8:02 am

    I just love when the pieces fall in together, glad the boy got his Wii in the end!

  • Everyday Tips December 22, 2010, 6:29 am

    What a great story! I am so glad the boy got something he could use and enjoy.

    Great job Jill!

  • Moneycone December 22, 2010, 5:29 am

    I’m glad none of them went crazy with their cc but shopped smartly instead! Jill had a budget and stuck to it. Jill is one awesome shopper!

    • retirebyforty December 22, 2010, 8:53 am

      Definitely! Hey, how come you get two gravatars on the Top Commentors? Are you a hacker? 🙂

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