Shoppers packed the Paris Bazaar. They all had a common purpose – bargains.
Buyers browsed the atrium from one end of the block to the other. On either side of the narrow tiled way were a vast variety of shops. They displayed tempting selections of paintings, books, lamps, rugs, nick-knacks and furnishings. One nook specialized in ladies scarves. Others provided endless assortments of parasols, perfumes, purses and parrots.
Not difficult to spend an entire spring day perusing the marketplace – nice to stop for a peach or strawberry aperitif; perhaps twice.
A man in a blazer and tie entered an art gallery. One had to take care not to bump into another patron – that busy. Curious, he made his way to a group viewing a large painting on a wall of a colorful Paris street scene, exquisite.
The owner of the gallery was promoting the painting to interested viewers. The man in a blazer stood by a fashionably dressed attractive woman who asked the owner in English, “The painting is magnificent, what size is it?”
“With the frame, 4′ 6″ High by 7′ 6″ wide.”
The man beside her said, “Striking isn’t it? Do you have space to hang it?”
“Yes, in my Manhattan apartment, but sadly it is way too expensive, beautiful though.”
The man said, “I live in Manhattan also. Is there any chance you may bargain for a discount or your husband would buy it for you?”
The woman smiled. “There is no husband and not a chance.”
“Then would you mind if I bargained for it?”
“Of course not, I shall be interested, as well as the others, what it sells for, lots of luck?”
The man approached the owner, “Monsieur, the painting is certainly worth every franc you are asking. However, would you entertain accepting an offer of 50% off?”
“Thank you, but that is a bit steep. I’ll accept 25% off.”
The man, “A painting for so many francs I think would bear 40% off, and keep in mind its frame is only a liner for a wider gold leaf frame, which I will purchase from you.”
The owner, “In that case I will accept 40 off the painting. What did you have in mind for the frame?”
The man asked the woman, she said “I believe a wide gold baroque frame.”
The owner produced three stunning frames. The man said to the woman, you decide.
“What about the price?”
“The cost has nothing to do with the esthetics. It’s which one best enhances the art.”
She placed all three corner samples on the painting and said, “This one.”
“Good choice.” and asked the owner the cost.
The owner calculated and whispered the results. The man said, “Speak up, everyone is interested.”
The owner announced the price, a sound of shock reverberated through the group. The man said, “Lets not argue, 40 off seems to be the standard. The owner presented a sales slip, swiped his credit card and said “Where do you want it delivered?”
The man said, “Just a moment.” He turned to the attractive woman. “There is a problem I don’t have space to hang it. You do. I’ll have it shipped to your Manhattan apartment and a service will hang it. When it’s up and you have time, invite me over to view it.”
The man failed to mention, in Manhattan there were several other paintings, in ladies apartments, he bought for a bargain.