Everything's Negotiable -- Unless You Shoot Crap


A few years ago I was contacted by an individual about importing some Western material into Japan. I would use the term major player but it sounds a bit pompous. Let's just say he was serious and had some serious money to put into this project. For 99 percent of the people out there scraping by making SM material, this was a once-in-a-lifetime deal.

One caveat: he did want a lot for his money. But you've heard the phrase, "Everything's negotiable"? I think everyone's heard this. Too bad, as I found out, many people don't have a clue what it means to negotiate.
I have a little experience with negotiations. Probably just enough to be dangerous, but I have been involved in negotiations before. And I've watched master negotiators at work. They don't call them sharks for nothing.

So, in this context, I considered this individual to be my "client". I felt that I represented him and his interests. I knew how much money he was willing to spend. It wasn't in his interests for me to give away the store from the outset. So I didn't.

Trouble is, when you tell a lot of people you'll pay "x" for their content (assuming it's any good -- that I'll cover later) they get their feelings hurt! Everything's negotiable. Give me a counter offer. Jeez, we're negotiating here. I'm not going to shoot my load right off the bat. A lot of people don't know what's going on.

That was my mistake. I should have figured that out sooner. It is what it is.

But that wasn't the biggest problem.

My contact was particularly interested in material from some companies doing business on the internet. You may know to whom I am referring. Well, I sent these various companies email after email. Nothing. No response. Nada. Zilch.

Not even a, "Thanks, but we're not interested." I was starting to look bad in the eyes of my contact.

Most of these were American outfits, but not all. I contacted a guy in Eastern Europe. He had some interesting stuff. It was hard and my contact was interested in getting some good, hard Caucasian stuff. I was a bit skeptical. Mainly, the rope technique wasn't up to par. But I thought maybe we could work around this.

This fellow wanted to wait until he had his DVDs put together. By the time he contacted me again, it was too late. I had already failed in the eyes of my contact. I had lost face.

I contacted others. One didn't want to send any samples over for fear of piracy. I understand that but I can't buy anything sight unseen either, can I?

Another well-known company sent me over some DVDs. I told them: Send me your best stuff. Let's just say their best stuff didn't pass muster.

Oh, there was one other caveat. For the kind of money he had to offer, he wasn't going to buy crap. He didn't need Akechi Denki-level shibari technique. He needed decent ropework, non-ridiculous positions, decent-looking Western models, a little on the hard side and shot reasonably well.

I got completely screwed by some fly-by-night outfit. They wouldn't send anything unless I sent some money first. I'd put their name here if I could only remember it. They specialized in crucifixion stuff. My contact gave me 10,000 yen. I asked them to send me as much as they could for the money. It was in their interests.

They sent nothing. They simply stole the money. I threatened to contact their ISP about their fraud. They shut their website down for awhile. The last I checked, they were back up. Crooks.

I gave my contact back his money. I was now in the hole 10,000 yen. By the way, this fellow offered to pay me for my services up front. But I don't like to take money unless I get results. So I told him he could pay me something after we got something he could use. I'm glad I didn't take his money because I would have just given it all back to him.

I contacted a major company that's been around a long time and has, as far as I can tell, been quite successful. Their stuff is pretty good. It's all fake but a lot of people seem to like it. The guy who runs the company seems to have been around the block a few times. I figured I could work with him. But, are you ready for this? Some outfit (no names because I do not want to wind up in Tokyo Bay with my feet in cement) was already pirating his stuff in Japan!

And here's the kicker: He didn't even know about it until I contacted him! This opened up a huge can of worms I didn't want any part of. And still don't.

So there we have it. Most people, as far as I'm concerned, don't know the first thing about negotiating. I had a lot of money at my disposal but nobody was smart enough to take it. Either that or they didn't have material that met even the minimum standards to be able to sell in Japan and have a reasonably satisfied customer.

This sort of deal almost never comes along. Some people will tell you that Western SM material is not wanted in Japan. Untrue, I had a guy willing to pay big bucks for it. In the end, nobody got the money, he didn't get what he was after and I lost face.

If I ever get asked to be a go-between in this sort of arrangement again, I'll politely take a pass.


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