The Best Financial Advice I’ve Ever Heard From A Comedian

One of the best things about living in a big city is the diversity of people.  Minorities are actually a 51% majority, leading to an abundance of food, culture, and festivities.  Most importantly, a diverse community teaches us acceptance and understanding of each other.

Canadian-Indian comedian, Russell Peters recently visited San Francisco where I got to see him perform.  He is an absolute riot!  Russell pokes fun at the incredible ability by both Indian and Chinese to drive hard bargains.  It’s interesting to witness what happens when they negotiate with each other!  Keep an open mind, and I hope you enjoy the skit.

Three Key Lessons From The Video:

1) Never discredit the value of 50 cents, because 50c + 50c = $1 dolla!

2) Don’t be afraid to negotiate.  It’s your money.

3) “Be a man!  Do the right thing!”

Readers, what are some of your best negotiation strategies when it comes to buying things from vendors? Anybody big Dollar Store fans?  What are some of your favorite comedic skits?


Sam @ Financial Samurai – “Slicing Through Money’s Mysteries”

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Sam started Financial Samurai in 2009 during the depths of the financial crisis as a way to make sense of chaos. After 13 years working on Wall Street, Sam decided to retire in 2012 to utilize everything he learned in business school to focus on online entrepreneurship. Sam focuses on helping readers build more income in real estate, investing, entrepreneurship, and alternative investments in order to achieve financial independence sooner, rather than later.

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  1. says

    I know one tactic salesmen use to know if you’re a real buyer or not… knowing this tactic can save you a lot of negotiating trouble.

    Commonly, if car salesmen want to know if you’re a real buyer, they will tell you a really low deal, to see if you will accept or not. If you accept, he will say that car is sold and will divert you to another for a more real price.

    If you get his quote in writing, you will save yourself a bunch of time and money.
    .-= Kevin Khachatryan´s last blog ..Save Money at Home: Part 2 – Save Money on General Utilities =-.

    • says

      Yikes, that is one SHADY tactic by a car salesman! I would test drive a couple of their most expensive cars and just leave afterwards if they did that to me.

  2. David M says

    I have travelled all over South East Asia and travelled to India on 3 ocassions – the best negotiating tactic is to start to walk away. The price drops real quickly at that point.

    If by chance the price does not drop, you can always go back and start negotiating again. Or go to the next vendor. In SEA and India, there are ussually streets that have many of the same vendors – thus if one will not give you a good price another almost certainly will.

    The fun thing is to walk back past someone who would not negotiate and tell them the price you ended up paying. They will then tell you that you overpaid. I then laugh and think to myself, “well if you had just been willing to negotiate, I could have overpaid you.”

    • says

      Ha, yeah, I hear you. The bargaining culture in SEA and India is so tremendous. India seems particularly difficult. It’s as if the moment you step off the plane, they are hustling you if you are a foreigner.

      I usually try and start at close to what I believe their profit margin is and go from there.

  3. Boris says

    Hi, Sam,
    I am glad that you saw Russel Peters and enjoyed his show. He is not only funny, but he is making big money as well!
    All the best,
    .-= Boris´s last blog ..Why smart celebrities seem to say “dumb things” =-.

  4. says

    haha that was pretty good, I loved the “nooooooo” bit!!

    Also I love how diverse the U.S. is, and I am looking forward to the future. I love meeting all kinds of new people, from every corner of the world! My Trinidadian girlfriend has been such a blessing, she really opened my eyes many years ago to the concept of “other cultures”. I am very grateful, and have gained a much better appreciation for anything other than what I am used to!
    .-= myfinancialobjectives´s last blog ..The Ultimate Motivator: Compounding Interest =-.

  5. says

    Hey, that guy is funny! You should see when you are in a place like a fair or business district with multiple Chinese-owned booths competing against each other. Then they get personal.

    Me: The guy over in booth 25 is selling the exact same thing for 33% less.
    Honghui: Booth 25 sell counterfeit goods! He don’t care about consumer.
    Me: It doesn’t look counterfeit to me.
    Honghui: Then you go buy from Booth 25! Get out of here! You two match made in heaven!

    True story.


    Len Penzo dot Com
    .-= Len Penzo´s last blog ..Your Money Horoscope #2 =-.

    • says

      I’m impressed you remembered the vendor’s name! I wonder what you were buying. Hmmmm. It does get personal in selling similar goods, b/c the difference is the seller. Hence, not buying from one seller means you are against him as a person even if he/she didn’t give you the best price.

  6. innocriss says

    it’s my first time hearing of Russell Peters. The video is really inspiring. i think i would have to find some more videos about his show to discover more of his wisdom.
    .-= innocriss´s last blog ..Changing Careers at Midlife – Becoming a Successful Online Entrepreneur =-.

  7. says

    I’m horrible at negotiating. But, I’m not much of a shopper anyway, so maybe it’s not such a bad thing. As for the dollar store, I’ll admit I shop there. $10 gets you 10 things, what a bargain!

    Russell Peters is pretty funny, the first time I’ve heard of him. I’ll have to check Netflix for some live performances.
    .-= Little House´s last blog ..Amazing Home Makeovers =-.

  8. says

    Love that guy, he was funny! Last name Whoooo :) One thing that I can relate to is negotiation. I was a very timid person in the past and would often just accept the price of anything I was buying. I’ve since learned to be aggressive and generally people are willing to wiggle their prices if you respond with reasonable counter offers.

  9. says

    Comedian Louis CK on Bill Gates and doing stupid shit with $85 billion dollars:

    Love the plug for Russell Peters, a fellow Canadian.

    Just came back from the Caribbean and I’m terrible at negotiation. The only good thing I found is that I just didn’t want to buy much. I also feel a lot of guilt that I have more money than these people so I know I overpay them and am ok with that as long as it’s not more than what I’d pay for the same type of thing back home.
    .-= Single Mom Rich Mom´s last blog ..Yakezie – Lowest ranking, highest earning and savings? =-.

  10. says

    Pablo Francisco fan here!

    Thanks for finding personal finance advice in every little bit of our lives, Sam.
    .-= Mike´s last blog ..Entrepreneur Spotlight: NYC Cravings Food Truck – Giving Up Finance for Chicken =-.

    • says

      Cool, will have to check him out. Few things are better than laughing so hard you’re crying!

      Pretty hilarious that I’m at 49,999 today. It’s as if Alexa new exactly what the target was. Good stuff on your own progress! Don’t get too addicted to blogging!

  11. says

    And congratulations for making it under the 50k Alexa Ranking!!
    .-= Mike´s last blog ..Entrepreneur Spotlight: NYC Cravings Food Truck – Giving Up Finance for Chicken =-.

  12. Tracy says

    Someone once told me that the best tool in a negotiation is the willingness to walk away unless your terms are met. If you start with this willingness, your body language will tell the sales guy and they will either work with you, or you keep your promise. Either way, you win.
    .-= Tracy´s last blog ..Eco-Fraud Friday: How Green Is Your Sex Life? =-.

  13. says

    Ha ha, yeah he cracks me up.

    Here in Egypt you have to ask the price first. Then you offer around half, they say no and put it back to the original price. So you say half price again and then start to get somewhere….. They normally still don’t lower it enough so at that point. You say Shukran, MaisSalamma (Thanks, goodbye) and walk off….. Ignore their calling back and then someone comes and brings you back…. This often get’s me my half price or close to half price deal from them…. But I probably still pay more than most Egyptian’s.
    .-= Forest´s last blog ..Garbage City – Now That’s Entrepenuralism =-.

      • says

        My partner is studying for her masters here at the American University in Cairo…. So I tagged along.

        Egyptian’s make a lot of things well, Egyptian cotton is nice and there is a large range of jewelry.
        As for food Egyptian food is damn cheap but not always the most healthy. I can get a fallafel for about $0.20.
        .-= Forest´s last blog ..FREE DOWNLOAD -Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us by Seth Godin =-.

  14. ctreit says

    My biggest bargaining strategy is not to care when I want to buy something. There is not one thing in this world that I must own. Nothing. So, when I buy something and I start negotiating I always know that I can walk away, which puts me in a very strong bargaining position. I did have to walk away a few times though.

    Favorite comedy skid: “Everythings Amazing & Nobodys Happy” by Louis CK.

  15. The Rat says

    I’ve traveled to some of the sunny resort locations down south and I’m amazed how one tourist can walk away with an item for like $5 while a different tourist can end up paying $50 for the exact same thing. Some people just don’t try to bargain with individual vendors who are selling things while on vacation, while others will scrape the prices down to the bottom of the barrel and just walk away completely if they don’t get the price they want.

    I actually traded in a sweaty old nike baseball cap for a new cap with someone just because they liked it. Often, its just striking up a conversation and having fun in the process. Being willing to walk away and not have the mindset that you absolutely ‘have’ to have this item is important too. Nice post.

    Nice thread.
    .-= The Rat´s last blog ..The Dow’s Dogs And Underdogs: Got Bite? =-.

  16. Austin says

    Russell Peters is a very funny guy. Have seen this video earlier — too good — a fine artist. A very good observation on those key points you mentioned.

    Look forward to reading more at this blog.
    .-= Austin´s last blog ..Should You Be An Entrepreneur? =-.

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