Posted: June 9, 2013 in Humor, Life, Stupidity
Tags: , , , , ,

From Nathan Lustig’s excellent blog about business in Chile (but Weonomics also seems to effect Uruguay!)

Weonomics. Noun. The study of peculiar Chilean economic behavior in business dealings.

There are some clear cultural difference between doing business in the US and in Chile. I’ve taken to calling it Weonomics. (Gringo readers, weon is the ubiquitous Chilean word meaning anything from dude to asshole.) Clearly not all Chileans subscribe to the principles of Weonomics, but I run into enough Weonomics experts each week that I felt I had to write about it. I have a feeling that most foreigners in Chile will identify with this post, but I’m also interested to see the response from Chilean friends. Please enjoy.


A typical US negotiation.

  • Seller asking price $45,000
  • My offer price: $37,000
  • Seller counteroffer: $43,000
  • My counteroffer: $39,000
  • Final price: $41,000

Pretty simple, right? A sales price, a counter offer and meet somewhere in the middle. You’d think negotiation would work similarly in any part of the world, but not with many Chileans.


  • Seller asking price $45,000
  • My offer price: $37,000
  • Seller counteroffer: $48,000
  • My counteroffer: See ya!

Seriously? Who in their right mind thinks they’ll close a deal counteroffering by RAISING their initial price?  But this is a principal tenant of Weonomics. The worst case I’ve seen was when a friend was trying to purchase a house. The opening price was $140,000. My friend bid $120,000. The counter offer? $210,000. Weonomics at its finest.



  1. ratpric says:

    Pretty simple to me bud and i am not even latino or in south america.
    Some cultures just offer fixed prices and

      • ratpric says:

        Sorry… i was boarding a flight and my internet seems to have broken.
        Look i travel and i have traveled extensively over the last 20years. i have found many cultures
        make there best offer first. when you get used to the idea it us actually quite refreshing.
        I have indian and arab business associates who have ajusted to this way of doing business and find

      • ratpric says:

        Sorry.. once again..
        Even though they come from a culture of bartering it is refreshing to work with folk who offer there best price first.
        Personally i like this as otherwise everyone overinflates there prices and all buyers bargain hoping for a better deal.
        Try it shome time. you may just find it nice!!!

  2. Expat Bob says:

    I have no problem with haggling, but you have to admit that there is a distinct difference from offering an originally absurd price which is haggled down, and offering a price wherein the seller haggles it up after the initial offer. The latter is absurd, I think, from any outside cultural standpoint, and even from an inside cultural standpoint.

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