You would never give willingly money to the stranger.
I believe that whole concept of being beggar could a little bit disagree with you.
Also, it depends on how do you see it ... it could be seen as investment ...
Doing some favour would be better, i agree ... but it should be working by quest, or previous mentioning like: "Oh please i desperatly need a hammer wanderer, if you find some, bring it to me please and i will offer you a discount as reward."
Right now its more like "Hey here is some junk i found, i presume that some of it could be valuable for you, so give me a discount." or "Hey, here is some junk i found. > But this is not a junk wanderer, this hammer is priceless for me! > Oh yeah? How priceless? > Incredibly priceless, i need it desperatly. > Fine, keep it, for free. > May i offer you a discount that will cut all mine profits in half? > Ok, sure. *feeling so altruistic, while i just exploited needs of others for my own profit*"
If you have no reason to give someone 100g, how could you have reason to give him for free some hammer that is worth 100g for him?
I just dont see any difference.
Yes, i know that hammer would have zero value for hammersmith with kazilion hammers on his shop ... that is why you didnt bringed it to him, but to this other person, who desperatly need a hammer. :-/ Yet, that otherwise worthless hammer is valuable right now, right here ... that is why water costs so much in middle of desert, and so little next to huge lake ... so, where is difference?
The point is . . . he needs a hammer. He's out in the wilderness and can't work without one. All the gold in the world isn't going to make a hammer magically appear so he can start crafting/repairing weapons for the Tieflings to defend themselves with.
Except if he have enough gold, he can make hammer out of it.
Just kidding ...
Now, haggling I can understand, but the two concepts are completely abstracted from one another. I genuinely like the idea of doing small favours for merchants or otherwise gaining their gratitude in a meaningful way, resulting in a small but appreciable discount... But the listed prices once you hit the window should be exactly what is charged, and it shouldn't magically change between the shelf and the counter.
I believe haggling is exactly what is happening here ... we just dont see it here, since this is not middleagefantasyvendorsimulator, so Larian probably simply thinked that it would be more anoying than anything else.
Also, same answer ... where is difference from doing favour in giving 100g and giving hammer that right here and right now is worth 100g?
And i dont see anything shady about it, every seller in the world and whole history was and is more willing to give discound to some nice looking, nice acting customer ... than ugly brute that ofends them just by standing in their shop.
And if you expect different, you are naive.
Ofc that should change when one, or another come in with whole group, that much i agree ... since i dont like 3/4 from people who just entered my shop ... i would certainly not give discount to that last of them, just bcs s/he is nice ... unless i want to piss other 3 off.