Thursday, May 19, 2011

DMG Score

I stopped at Half-Price Books this afternoon, as is my occasional wont, and found a pretty clean copy of the original efreet-covered DMG. The binding was solid, not much wear, and most impressive of all, the pages were white, rather than the usual yellow or brown. Also, not a single pen or pencil mark throughout.

Note: not my actual copy

Now I've never been a big AD&D guy, but a lot of people list the AD&D DMG as their most treasured D&D book. I'd like to have a copy as well. The only issue was the sticker price of $20. These books are all over the place, and I think $20 is a bit steep. Furthermore, it had a Toys R Us price tag sticker on it from 1980-something listed at $10 and change!

Thus, I set out to make a deal. I went to the counter and asked the young man working there what he could do about the price. He looked at me like I was crazy, and said, "That's just the price, we don't change it." I asked to speak with the manager in a very casual non-confrontational way. He called her up and told her I wanted to "dispute the price." I clarified, saying that I was not disputing anything, and I was simply hoping to get a better deal on a widely-available book.

She went and looked up the sales data, and told me that based on the data she was confident she would have no problem getting $20 for it, but she was willing to give me $5 off anyways. I thought about it for a moment. I could certainly get a cheaper copy, but one this clean was probably going to be relatively rare. I agreed and am now the proud owner of a rather handsome copy of the original DMG.

The moral of the story: negotiation is a lost art here in the states. We often fall into the thinking that the sticker price is just the price and take it or leave it. You'd be surprised what you can do if you just ask, even at a retail chain. Give it a try some time!