kino was going to sell the pearl chapter 4
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There is no competition between the Pearl Buyers because they are all working together under the same boss. This is called "price fixing". They have all agreed to buy pearls. They have been told about the pearl and have all agreed at what price they are willing to buy it. One buyer gives him a low price another a bit higher and the next a lower one. They hope to force Kino to buy the Pearl thinking that he will go to the one guy who gave him the highest price. They are not really giving him what the pearl is worth but rather giving him what they want to pay by tricking him in to believing that they are competing with one another to get his business rather than working together to trick him in to a lower price.
The Pearl, John Steinbeck Price Fixing