Tuesday, December 25, 2007

What is it worth?

Costa Ricans rarely ask "¿cuánto cuesta?" to figure out how much something costs. They most often ask "¿cuánto vale?" I was extremely sensitive to this because of my interest in business and economics. Why should the seller alone determine what something is worth? (The seller can determine price, but not worth) I find it odd that someone would ask a stranger what value he would enjoy from buying something. I also find it strange that when bargaining with a seller, that seller will insist that something is worth more than what I'm willing to pay. Well, I understand that sometimes the buyer can be unreasonable in his offer, but in my experience Costa Ricans and gringos alike will overpay for something because they are too concerned with respecting what something vale. Similarly, they are also far too impressed with themselves when they get something for less than what it vale.

Anyway, Costa Ricans would do well to figure out that the price someone wants to charge often has very little to do with actual value. I would say the same thing goes for tourists in Costa Rica, but I think tourists who haggle too much end up being bitter about their vacations. (Yes, people try to make money off of rich gringos--deal with it)

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