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Etiquette re: Lowball Offers?

filtersweep

Member
Messages
4,587
I was selling a guitar this week-- had it listed for 800-- and after few days of listing it, received an offer for 600- which I considered lowball. I responded that I had received a lot of interest in the guitar, and that it was too low to drop the price that much. He immediately countered with 750-- and it was sold. I bought it for 600 a few years ago....

I don't know what all of you consider lowballing.... whether you consider it relative to asking price or its actual value. I list everything at more than I want to get because I learned a few lessons over the years-- 1) people want to feel like they 'win' in a deal and 2) low asking prices create low perceived value. Years ago, I tried giving away a nice leather sofa. No one was interested in it. No one at all. I listed it for a few hundred dollars, and immediately sold it.
 

daacrusher2001

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,828
I don’t want any business from lowballers. I can wait for serious buyers.
I'm also wary of guys that do this kind of thing. I've never sold anything to someone who bids super low. In my early days of internet selling, I sometimes countered, and very quickly learned they aren't serious buyers. In recent years, I ignore them. Although, for fun, I've countered with a higher price or have taken of $1.00 - I usually don't get a response.

When I was selling my Helix recently - I had a Reverb guy offer me $700. I let the bid expire. He offered $750. Same thing, bids kept going to $800, $850, $900 - finally, I responded and told him what I'd take for the Helix. He counters with stories of them selling all over the place for $900 - ignored again, he came back with $950. I don't know about etiquette, I feel like these guys are just entertaining themselves.

FWIW - I'm also wary of guys that ask 6000 questions - I'm not talking about asking for some additional pictures, or legit questions about the frets or something. I feel like they aren't sure they want it and are likely to find some microscopic flaw and want money back after I sell it to them. I've told some of those guys [right here on the forum] that they should look elsewhere because I won't sell to them. One guy told me I had a bad attitude and I'd never sell a certain partscaster - sold it locally a week later.

Ok, enough rambling - when selling, patience is your friend.
 
Messages
17,654
when and if I sell on craigslist, I state
lowball offers will be ignored

then I get the idiots with "well what is a low ball offer"
sigh
 

Johnny21

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,386
It doesn't ruin my day or affect me one bit. I know it's part of the game in dealing with selling used gear.
 

icr

Member
Messages
2,819
Nothing wrong with giving a low-ball offer or accepting it! I have accepted low-ball offers from those in need and even given guitars away.

But that was many years ago.

Now days the low-baller is not a guitarist in need, the person usually is an amateur retailer who will list the guitar for a higher price at your expense. Perhaps even list it untruthfully to make money.
 

Bucksears

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
8,373
I had the worst possible low-baller etiquette with a kid that came along with his buddy to buy my Hamer Standard about 4yrs ago. The buyer tries it out (brought a Roland MicroCube with me to show that it worked), then offers me about $150 lower than my asking price. I told him what it's listed for, and not interested in his offer. The buyer was a bit of an introvert, but his buddy literally (while laughing) said 'It's not WORTH that much!'.
The buyer kid turns to his buddy and asks 'How much have you seen these online for?', his buddy replies with an amount about $150 lower than what I was asking. Then they start breaking down the cost of my upgrades (Grover tuners, Duncan '59 pickups). I shut the case and was going to leave, then the buyer kid caved. As they were walking away, his buddy said (again laughing) 'We HAD to try......'
They were both in their late teens/early 20's.

Since then, I make it very clear what the price is and I'm not there to haggle.
 

c_mac

Member
Messages
3,998
I don’t take anything personally, I kinda just enjoy being a d*ck so it’s fun to get lowball offers so I can indulge in a favorite past time.

:dude
 

arthur rotfeld

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,049
Sometimes its hard to know what might be considered lowball. I offered 50% of the asking price on a recent item, albeit one that's hard to value. A month later, we came to agreement at 47% off asking.

That said, I am concerned about offending, but it doesn't change the fact that I want your item for $1.
 

MisterBoh

Member
Messages
180
Just treat it like the opening of a conversation. No need to scrap a sale because of it. List it higher than what you want, get lowballed, counter with something close to what you want, maybe they come up, maybe not. If you get lowballed again, THEN tell them to F off.
 

splatter

Member
Messages
1,019
I was reading another thread and it got me thinking about this: is there any etiquette when it comes to making offers on music gear that I should be aware of? I've seen several posts recently about sellers getting frustrated with "lowball offers" (on Reverb and TGP Emporium), but can you really blame a prospective buyer for making a Hail Mary offer at the outset of negotiations? I do realize that some offers can be so low as to be disrespectful, but why wouldn't I offer $1,000 for a guitar worth $1,500? It's not like I have a bunch of money... isn't it in my best interest to do so? The seller can simply decline, or counter with an offer he or she thinks is fair. There have been several instances where I've made a low offer, and the seller sends me a message saying "Sorry, I think it's worth X and I'm not going any lower", and I've literally said "Fair enough" and paid him that price if it's something I really wanted and I thought the price was fair. On the other hand, I've made some really low offers that have been accepted, and I've been thrilled and saved a considerable amount of money. So, the question I pose to you all is: what's the harm in trying?
Its been my experience that someone giving me a low ball offer is wasting my time. Not once have I had someone who hit me with a low ball come up to anything close to what i was asking and I have had lots of low ball offers.
I have in the past countered with a pretty big reduction on the price and I don't get a response . So now I don't even respond to low ball offers .
 

splatter

Member
Messages
1,019
There’s a guy who has been hitting me up about an antique he wants to buy off me that he saw when purchasing something else at my house. I’m not interested in selling it, I told him it multiple times. But he’s been texting me and trying to get me to sell. I flat out said if you want it you’re going to have to make me an offer over market value. He said his expert said he shouldn’t pay more than 1k. I told him I wouldn’t even take double that. He then gets mad at me for not selling him an item that wasn’t for sale in the first place. Apparently my prices are too high according to him. I had to hold back from just going off.
I wouldn't have held back. Sounds like the guys an a$$
 

Jon C

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
17,138
If your lowball offer indicates you're uninformed or perhaps unscrupulous, your credibility as a buyer is harmed considerably IMO.

It marks you as a buyer to avoid IMO.
 

Toosday

Member
Messages
192
Many of you are obviously not professional negotiators or professional traders.

An offer low or not is an option for the seller the same way an asking price high or not is an option for the buyer. All options have value, lowballs have lower value but offer liquidity which most ignorant market participants ignore.

Only mathematically ignorant market participants would not be thankful for liquidity.

Whether or not it is worth a response is a different story.
 
Messages
3,877
Lowball offers used to bug me, but no longer.

I used to counter, but I've found--and the threshold varies--that if they offer me 50% of asking, they're not really interested in paying anything near what I consider a fair price.

When pricing on Reverb, for example, I usually aim for just a little bit cheaper than comparable items. Aside from a guitar that was destroyed in shipping, it's worked out well-enough.

When bidding, I'll usually offer 75%-80% of asking. People aren't usually offended by that and it starts the process off. I offered 80% on a Quilter OD200 once and the seller raised the price, so there's that.

Sometimes, I have offered less than 75%, particularly when the item seems overpriced in relation to comps. Now, here's the thing, sometimes stuff is for sale, but the seller isn't really trying to sell.

I used to see it when I was into muscle cars. The dude's wife wants him to get rid of that rusty Plymouth Duster that's sitting in the garage, so he lists it for the all-original, excellent-condition price, and gets to keep his Plymouth because "No one will pay what it's worth!"
 

DGA

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,323
Sometimes its hard to know what might be considered lowball. I offered 50% of the asking price on a recent item, albeit one that's hard to value. A month later, we came to agreement at 47% off asking.

That said, I am concerned about offending, but it doesn't change the fact that I want your item for $1.
Yep. I've had some of the shenanigans people are talking about here (counter with higher than original price, etc.) done to me because I made a "low-ball" offer.

The seller is doing himself a disservice because I am there to play ball. But I see a high price and have to assume that it's set there with some padding for the haggling process.

So then I figure what I want to pay for it based on the new price, how many are available on the used market, etc. Then I knock some off that figure for padding so I can bid up to my highest price during haggling and that is my first offer.

Some guys get offended by that and react like children... and lose a potential sale on an item that has been sitting.
 

Mojoworkin

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,074
I usually decline them immediately. If it’s in the ballpark I’ll counter. If it’s annoyingly low I might counter with higher than my asking price. I don’t want any business from lowballers. I can wait for serious buyers.
10-4 on that.
I try to be the lowest price guy for anything I'm selling. I don't like someone lowballing on top of that.
 

slayerbear17

Member
Messages
2,951
I typically sell gear where I.ll have a absolute bottom asking price. If I get a low ball offer I just dont reply

If theres a piece of gear I really need I might go a few bucks down but I.ll still end up getting it, just by asking politely, haggle.

Once in awhile I.ll try a low ball offer, I can always tell whos desperate and once in awhile end up getting it.

Not trying to be a cheap bastard or take advantage, but some cases I.ll just walk away even after meeting them in person and sometimes it works sometimes it doesnt.

You can always tell whos got room for bargaining VS asking a way overprice to begin with.

Be polite. I.ve never had to worry about consequences of wheeling and dealing. Just be polite.
 




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