Sunday, January 18, 2009

Dialogue - Bargaining at a Flea-Market


(at a flea-market)

Vendor: Hello, Madam, What can I do for you today?
Customer: (picking up a beautiful hand-painted plate) This is quite lovely. Where was it made?

Vendor: Oh, I see you have excellent taste. Yes, that is beautiful, isn't it? It's local pottery. I think it was painted here by a local artist.
Customer: It's really something... do you have anything else by this artist?

Vendor: Well, I'm not really sure who exactly painted which pieces of pottery, but here are some similar pieces.
Customer: No, they're really not the same.

Vendor: Well, how about these here? I had them brought in just this morning.
Customer: Yes, those are quite nice. What about the prices?

Vendor: Obviously, it depends on what you would like to buy. That plate that you were first looking at costs $50.
Customer: $50! That's quite expensive. I can't afford that.

Vendor: Remember these are hand painted pieces of pottery, that kind of handicraft work doesn't come cheaply.
Customer: Yes, I understand that. But I really think that $50 is just too much.

Vendor: Listen, I can see that you are in love with that plate. Let's just make it $45. I'd really like you to take that home with you.
Customer: How about $35. I really can't go any higher than that.

Vendor: I really can't, I mean that would be selling at cost.
Customer: Well, $38 is absolutely the most I can spend.

Vendor: All right. I really shouldn't. The artist is going to have me put out of business for selling his wares at such low prices.
Customer: Come, come. Let's not exaggerate.

Vendor: You're a clever one, aren't you?
Customer: I'm just someone who pays close attention to what I spend.

Vendor: There's no shame in that. Here you are. (hands the plate to the customer)
Customer: Thank you very much.

Vendor: Thank you, have a pleasant day.

Dialogue Comprehension Exercises

Choose the correct answer to these questions based on the dialogue. Each question has only one correct answer. There are 5 questions in this quiz. Try to use only 30 seconds for each question. If you had any problems, try reading the dialogue again.

Q: What's the customer interested in?

Some local pottery
Some hand-painted cups
Some handmade clothes

Q: What's special about the items?

They're handicraft work.
They're produced in Germany.
They're porcelain.

Q: Which price do they settle on?


Q: What does the vendor say the artist is going to do?

Put him out of business
Give him a raise
Provide a refund

Q: Why does the customer demand a lower price?

The customer pays close attention to what he spends.
The customer is very poor.
The customer claims the plates are made in a factory.

Some local pottery

They're handicraft work


Put him out of business

The customer pays close attention to what he spends

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