Tuesday, August 12, 2008

What happens in Mexico…

Friends and I were chatting recently about our favourite places in the world to shop. Paris, Berlin, London, Thailand all got a mention along with one of my favourites Mexico.

I’ve only spent half a day in Mexico (so far!) – but it was one of the most enjoyable shopping experiences of my life.


Firstly, I love to bargain – and so did the shop owners I met in Mexico.

Secondly, the entertainment value was immense. To prove to me that it was real gemstones, leather or silver I was being sold, every merchant we met in Mexico whipped out a lighter and burnt their product saying that real gems don’t melt and plastic burns but leather doesn’t etc (highly entertaining especially after a few daiquiris).

In having this discussion with friends however I was told what may be an urban myth about shopping in Tijuana, Mexico. The myth being that when you purchase something you’re given a plastic bag that corresponds to your strength as a buyer.

As an example, a yellow bag may mean you’re a complete push over and will pay way over market value but a blue bag may mean you’re a hard negotiator who’ll drive the price down and bargain til you’re blue in the face.

Is it true? I have no idea. But I must admit – I think its genius.

Imagine if we could do this in other areas of life. If your employer were to send you out to the marketplace secretly colour coded say with red meaning you were a world class invaluable employee, how do you think that would impact the next job interview you went on? What secret colour coding would you have if your clients were secretly rating you? Your boss? Your family? Your friends?

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