I recently came across a situation where a client (non-work related) revealed that he/she was recently in a poor emotional state regarding his/her significant other. Now this information was unexpected, nor solicited, the client just mentioned this in passing as we were discussing the finer points of the product that was being sold/bought and the client mentioned this as the reason for the sale/purchase.
In my mind, my intent (as with all transactions) was to obtain/offer a detailed description of the product, conduct market research for like-items, give an estimate for wear and tear, and offer/ask a competitive market price.
Now given this unrealized information, an ethical dilemma surfaced.
Should one leverage personal information to get a better deal in general?
On one hand, money is money, the economics of the situation dictate that the goal of the buyer is to obtain goods/services at the lowest price he/she is willing to bear at the market's availability, the seller is to offer goods/services at the highest price he or she believe the market will be willing to buy.
On the other, a person's personal relationship has no place when discussing what is through and through, the buying and selling of an item: car, boat, house, sneakers...etc.
Now given the non-work situation, the lines were more blurred between what one should do. But at the workplace? This leads me to my next question.
Should one leverage personal information to get a better deal in a business setting?
Note: My plan is to stick to the original plan and ask/bid a competitive market price. The closest I got to a similar question on the Workplace was Is it ethical for an Employer to use personal (financial) information in negotiating salary?. But given the employer-employee relationship, I don't think it will apply in this situation.