It’s only been 140 years since the price tag first appeared.
Before that, most every transaction was a negotiation. The seller tried to win by charging more, the buyer by paying less.
In many ways, that’s a good thing–treating different people differently, rewarding good customers, adding fluidity to transactions.
But for most buyers, most of the time, the certainty and convenience of transacting without fear, without conflict and without a hassle makes it worth it.
This idea is spreading.
It’s possible to negotiate a substantial contract in a few minutes by email—if both sides care more about forward motion than they care about the last decimal point. Or, to be more honest about it, if they care more about the benefits of the future than they care about the narrative of treating their partner like an opponent.
In an economy based on connection instead of scarcity, the ease of those connections, the reliability built into them, our confidence that the future will match promises made–all of these benefits dwarf the narcissistic narrative of the deal maker who simply seeks to win today, at all costs.
The essential first step is not waiting for ‘the other guy’ to go first. Each of us can go first if we care enough about getting there.