I. Pre-Listening Exercises [Top]

What kinds of items would you find being sold at a flea or street market? Would you ever go to such a market to shop? Why or why not?

HELPFUL TIP: Be prepared to haggle with sellers at a flea market to see if they will lower the price on the goods you want. They can only say no, and you can try your luck with a different seller.

II. Listening Exercises [Top]

I. Listen to the conversation by pressing the “Play” button and answer the questions. Press the “Final Score” button to check your quiz.

1. Why did the man not buy the ring for sale?

A. He doesn’t think it is very special.

B. Someone else bought it before him.

C. He has no need for a ring.

D. The ring is too small.
2. What is the problem with the CD player?

A. The buttons are scratched.

B. The CD casing is chipped.

C. The handle is damaged.

D. The display is loose.

3. The man is not interested in the leather jacket because:

A. it is stained.

B. he already has one.

C. its too expensive.

D. the seams are coming undone.

4. What is the customer’s initial counter offer for the records?

A. $25

B. $28

C. $30

D. $35

5. From the conversation, what does the customer probably purchase from the merchant in the end?

A. only records

B. only a vase

C. some records and a vase

D. nothing

Score =

Correct answers:

Merchant: Well hi there. What are you looking for today?
Customer: Uh, I’m just looking.

Merchant: Well, how about a ring from someone special?

Customer: There IS no one special.

Merchant: Well, take a look at this CD player. A great bargain today only.

Customer: Nah. I already have one, plus the handle is cracked.

Merchant: Okay. Well what about this genuine leather jacket? It would look great on you.

Customer: Hum. Let me take a look at it.

Merchant: Sure.

Customer: Umm. There are stains on the sleeves. I’ll pass.

Merchant: Well okay. Well, wouldn’t you like to walk home with some of these great records? Some of the best hits from the 1960’s.

Customer: Yeah, let’s see. [Yeah] Now here’s something I’d . . . Ah, these records are scratched.

Merchant: [Laughter] Just in a couple places. Listen. I’ll sell you these ten records for fifty dollars. A steal!

Customer: Whoa! They’re way too expensive. I’ll give you twenty-five bucks for them.

Merchant: Ah, come on. I can’t charge you less than thirty dollars and break even.

Customer: Well, that guy over there is selling similar records for a much better price [Ah!], so thanks anyway.

Merchant: Wait, wait, wait, wait. You drive a hard bargain. Twenty-eight dollars, and that’s my final offer.

Customer: Huh . . . I’ll think about it.

Merchant: Wait, wait, wait, wait. Listen. I’ll even throw in this vase.

Customer: Now what am I going to do with a vase?

Merchant: Well, you can give it to that someone special when you find her. . . and this ring would look great with it.

Customer: Oh, I’ll stick with the records.

Key Vocabulary [Top]
  • steal (noun): a great bargain
    – For only $10, that radio is a steal.
  • buck (noun): one dollar (informal)
    – Hey. Can you loan me a few bucks until the end of the week?
  • break even (verb): end up with no profit or loss at the end of some business activity
    – Business was good yesterday at the store, but in the end, we barely broke even.
  • drive a hard bargain (idiom): expect a lot for what you pay for
    – She drives a hard bargain whenever she sells clothing in the outside marketplace.
  • throw in (phrasal verb): add or include
    – I’ll buy the ring if you throw in the necklace too.
  • stick with (phrasal verb): stay with, not changing to something else
    – Although that is a nice jacket, I think I’ll stick with the one a bought yesterday. I don’t need two jackets.