The $12 Negotiation

The other night, I decided to move another desk into our home office, so Kels and I can work on our blogs side-by-side. This led to me having to unhook and re-hook up our PC, printer, modem and wireless router. They all made the transition...except for the wireless router. For some reason, it decided to self-destruct like an Inspector Gadget note. When I plugged it back in, it had no power. So, the next evening after work, we went to Best Buy to get a new one. Not a big deal, or so I thought...

Wireless Router Negotiation

After perusing the options and receiving a stern recommendation from two very unhelpful employees, we were left with three options. For simplicity, we will call them good, better and best. They cost $37, $44 and $49 respectively. Kels was pulling hard for the $37 version, and I was pulling for the most expensive. We stood there and debated for about 30 minutes. Very rationally, we were weighing the options of each and deciding if we needed the capabilities of the best model. In every good negotiation, it's best to weigh the options. So we duked it out, verbally, of course.

In Kelsey's corner: Weighing in at 54 mbps was the same router that we had before (in my left hand above). Kelsey's main point was that this was familiar and it had worked great for the past four+ years that we had it. Another point was simply price; why pay $49 when you could pay $37 for something that we know works?

In my corner: Weighing it at 300 mbps was the router that our not-so-friendly store associates recommended--mostly because it was on an "N" platform instead of the older "G" platform like the one we had before. I'm not going to pretend like I know what this means, but their best explanation was that N was better than G. So my point was that why not take this opportunity to buy something better, on a newer platform, with 5.5 times more speed for only $12 more. And, it was on sale...

Kelsey finally gave up and said I could pick. We've been married four and a half years, and I know what that meant: I could pick now, and at the first sign of something wrong with the router, Kels would have a snowball full of "I told you so" to throw at me. Nonetheless, I took my chances, went with my gut and grabbed the "best" one.

We were in line at the checkout and the lady in front of us was getting suckered into a warranty, and it was taking quite a while (like two minutes). Meanwhile, our good friend Clint walked into the store, so we said hi and asked his opinion.

We jumped out of the checkout line and walked back to the wireless router aisle to scan the options one last time with Clint. We both pleaded our case before the judge (Clint), and he saw both sides and thought that we could get either one, but we probably didn't need the better one since our Internet service provider runs on the "G" platform (point Kelsey). This is when I introduced a piece of evidence that was previously forgotten. Our old router would cut out almost daily. We were always having to unplug and re-plug it in to get it to work. We never lost Internet to our directly connected PC, though, so this helped us discover that the problem was the router (point me).

Clint then pointed out that the better version would provide more stability and that we shouldn't have the problems like we were having. Game, set, match.

The point of the story is that we spent 45 minutes talking about a $12 difference. On the drive home, Kels was still a little bitter about spending an extra $12, and wanted to stop at Panera on the way home for supper...wait, what? She realized what she was contemplating and we laughed about the whole thing. We would easily spend more than $12 for a convienient meal, but when it comes to a wireless router, we put the gloves on. Silly us. We live and we learn I guess.

Have any of you ever had a silly negotiation bout like ours? We'd love to hear about it.