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Abstract

This interpretive study reveals specific behaviors that shoppers enact in order to cope with the tensions they experience in an environment where negotiated pricing is the expected norm. Consumers experience inner conflict, or tension, when they feel that a pleasant shopping experience may only be attained at the risk of a poor financial outcome. These tensions, derived from 34 depth interviews with auto shoppers, include “truth versus deception,” “self-presentation versus testing the limits,” and “reciprocation versus looking out for number one.” Some coping strategies emanating from these tensions include using analogies, role playing, and bringing one's own audience. Implications for academicians and retailers are discussed. © 2004 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.