People from Osaka pride themselves in their ability to barter. While shopping with my father in law (“Otousan”), I was often struck by his aggressive haggling. Not simply going toe to toe with street vendors but any department store was fair game. Imagine walking into your local Best Buy and assuming the sticker price to simply be an opening bid in what would become be a protractor negotiation process. This week Otousan had such an exchange at the home center over a down futon. Unable to get his price, he made his first foray into online auctions using Yahoo’s platform. He was surprised to discover multiple auctions underway for the exact same futon he was haggling over in the store.

Okaasan called today to let us know that he was victorious and the futon had arrived. The other four were expected any day. Apparently, he bid on multiple futons assuming that no one would ever agree to sell them at that price. In the end, EVERYONE had and therefore he was forced to buy them all!