Monday, October 31, 2016

Negotiations in Mas

Exploring Bali

Bringing home a wood carving from Bali was one of my top priorities so one morning we had our driver take us to nearby Mas, a village just south of Ubud, that is renowned for its master carvers.

He dropped us off at Karya Mas Gallery where two carvers were seated in front, plying their craft.  I was, of course, immediately drawn in.  I recognized the quality of the art, having already spent time in Ubud.  As I walked through the store, there were several pieces I fell in love with--all different.  All wonderful.

"But don't you want to walk the streets first?" my travel buddy suggested.  "See the other galleries?  Maybe you'll see something you'll like even better."

I had to make a decision.  I recognized this gallery had a clear advantage over the other shops in town.  Karya Mas had a big lot where all the drivers and taxis parked.  Were they getting a cut of the sales?  I don't know.  Would prices be better a few blocks down?  I don't know.

I was confident in my bargaining abilities.  And my eye.  I had done my research.  I knew what I wanted and I knew what I should pay.  No one was going to scam me.

I also knew that the more shops I went into, the more overwhelmed I would become.  Possibly even unable to make a decision.  So I decided to stay put.
The young man who helped me recognized that I was a serious buyer.  He followed me throughout the store and informed me of the price and wood and style of each piece I picked up.  And then he wisely took them to a small adjoining room. Negotiations had begun!
It turned out to be a very enjoyable experience.  I took my time and examined each piece for cracks or flaws.  I bargained hard and ended up buying two very different pieces.  A traditional Balinese dancer finely carved from hibiscus.  And an abstract man carved from mahogany.

He wrapped them in newspaper and bubble wrap for the long journey home.

 Now that I have unwrapped each one and placed them in my living room, I love them even more.

No doubts.

No regrets.

I did good.

1 comment:

  1. I have enjoyed your photos of your travels to Bali, they show Bali in a new light.Even though Bali is close to Australia it has never been on my wish list.We travelled through Denpasar airport many moons ago and shared the flight home with the worst of Australian travellers and I must admit this has turned me away from Bali.
    You did well with your carvings and they will remind you of your visit for many years to come.