Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Haggling Vending Machine

You want a summary? That'll be $5.00
  (+28, -3)(+28, -3)(+28, -3)
(+28, -3)
  [vote for,

You decide which refreshingly sugar-drenched, additive-filled soda drink to buy, and enter the code for that item on the keypad of the vending machine.

The little screen on the vending machine says, "$5.00."

You press the "No" button, and type, "0.50."

The machine replies, "3.50."

You haggle it down to $2.00, but it refuses to go lower, flashing "Sorry - not possible. I have a wife and four toasters to feed" across its display.

You press the "No" button. As its proximity sensor detects you walking away, it beeps loudly and displays, "OK, OK, just for you, $1.50, OK?"

You press OK, pay the machine, and enjoy your well-earned drink.

imaginality, Feb 15 2007

Computer says "no" http://www.youtube....watch?v=0VFSvLyIIdE
Carol Beer's character on Little Britain as a travel agent. [jutta, Feb 15 2007]

Vending Machine Murder ! http://www.thetoque.../011127/vending.htm
it's best to know when to stop haggling and pay up [xenzag, Feb 15 2007]

Haggling Scene http://bau2.uibk.ac...Brian/brian-14.html
Obligatory 'Life of Brian' link [imaginality, Feb 16 2007]

Malfunctioning Eddy http://youtube.com/watch?v=DTEiPGT19eQ
I was thinking about entering the punch line but I will let Fry [MercuryNotMars, Feb 17 2007]


       computer says NO ! (only understood in UK) +
xenzag, Feb 15 2007

       Oh, and by law, each of these machines is required to sell at least one false beard, which it won't let you buy unless you haggle for it.
imaginality, Feb 15 2007

       Does it offer you a better price if you're well dressed?
phundug, Feb 15 2007

       Maybe after it realizes you're a repeat customer, it gives you a better price? This way you can build the personal nature of a storekeeper into the inanimate machine.
phundug, Feb 15 2007

       I like the idea of reintroducing haggeling into markets where it has been absent. Instead of poorer people wasting time talking about outrageous prices and not buying they could spend time discovering the price or bargain hunting. This method is used in the perscription drug market here in the states. people who want something being able to get it above cost and as much as they are willing to pay often can beat one price for all systems. The items in a vending machine are not necessary of course, but on the other hand people might take out frustrations on a vending machine. you would probably have to have a camera of some sort, you wouldn't want to go half way.   

       That will be 2.50   

       but you sold it to the last guy for 2   

       I'll sell to who I want, when I want, where I want er here anyway. For you it is 2.50   

       I think the first everyday ho hum step is haggeling operators but automation is the obvious choice in the long run. It will want to be able to tell people when it needs more of something anyway. I think the novelty of the idea will get attention and people who just want to interact at first will be happy to play along.   

       I am generally opposed to the artificial and poorly constructed construct of fairness so you get a bun [+].
MercuryNotMars, Feb 15 2007

       It should also persuade reluctant hagglers to start haggling, copying dialogue from the haggling scene in "Life of Brian"
hippo, Feb 16 2007

       For a tougher crowd it should also be an actively soliciting vending machine, detecting passers-by "Pssst. Hey buddy, want a coke - for you two bucks. Hey, hey, pally, c'mon - okay $1.50 but you're killing me here" (I hope you used your Joe Pesci voice when reading that to yourself).
rossgk, Feb 16 2007

       The machine could even be programmed to self-correct varying levels of inventory.   

       "Sorry, can't go lower than $3. I'm almost out of Coke. I'll tell you what, though. I'll sell you a Root Beer for $1."   

       Nice [+].
harebrained, Feb 16 2007

       Why limit it to vending machines? Any device with a CPU and a couple of sensors is capable of executing this program. How about negotiating with your coffee maker first thing in the a.m., or better yet your car when you are late for work?   

       "I know you're overdue for service! I promise I'll take you in on Thursday."   

       "Nothing doing. We don't go straight to an oil change, I'm going to make you call a tow truck."   

       This is absolutely brilliant and a delightful foretaste of artificial intelligence.
nuclear hobo, Feb 17 2007

       Mmm, I like the low enventory one, that makes sence and it is easy to program.
MercuryNotMars, Feb 17 2007

       I had the same thought about it adapting to low inventories, too, [harebrained]. It's certainly important to build some unpredictability into it, to make it interesting for repeat customers. Some variation could also be based on earlier experiences that day: if it's faced several tough hagglers, it'll be firmer with you, while if several people paid up meekly earlier, you have a good opportunity to get a bargain price from it, since it's feeling flush.
imaginality, Feb 17 2007

       That [harebrained] comment (sorry, I couldn't resist) about the price increasing with low inventory is actually quite brilliant and something that I, as a consumer, would love to see.   

       There are times when I want a coke, really, really bad. Nothing is worse than having my hopes set on the taste of a coke only to find that the machine is out. At that point, I would be happy to pay more for one, and if the machine raised its price as the inventory was depleted, there would be a greater chance of some cans remaining.   

       Raising the price as inventory dwindles ensures the supply for motivated consumers.
James Newton, Feb 17 2007

       It just occured to me, I have experienced this in stores all the time. Vending machines could actually get away with selling fresh items and move day old merchandice when it has to go.   

       Such items would attract careful shoppers and those that plan ahead, a large segment of the population who currently ignore vending machines.   

       I don't see any point in giving away profits just because you did well on a few sales. Profits would mean more vending machines. You can get some better feedback on the market with a haggeler. If you have a vending machine and it has run out of something you can't tell if it ran out in two hours or two days( I think). This isn't exactly 100% novelty entertainment. You want repeat customers and the joke will get old. unexplained randomness frustrates you as much as when the machine says make another selection. I am sure people would like you to give them special deals but randomness for the sake of randomness is no longer haggeling.   

       Oh! malfunctioning eddy from futurama. couldn't find the first clip of him but I'll post this.
MercuryNotMars, Feb 17 2007

       No, it's an electronic, experiental teaching aid, used to familiarise potential future travellers with cultural economic norms that may differ from their own; one which operates by disrupting the mode of transaction that the learner expected - deconstructing its own context and thereby creating a situational learning environment, a reflective space that opens an opportunity for the learner to notice and reflect on the difference between the customs they are being exposed to and the patterns of social interaction that their culture normally reinforces: the surprise felt by the learner in this moment of incongruous experience heightening their appreciation for how deeply they had previously accepted their culture's norms as normal, this awareness being something that is rarely as effectively conveyed by non-experiential teaching methods.
imaginality, Feb 18 2007

       //No, It's an electronic... ...teaching method[s]// Can I bun an anno?
TheLightsAreOnBut, Feb 18 2007


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