Lowballing: Do you think it ever works?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by bigfoamfinger, May 19, 2019.

If you made 500 lowball offers (40-50% below market value), would any of them be accepted?

  1. Yes

  2. No

  1. bigfoamfinger

    bigfoamfinger Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2009
    I was thinking about this recently. Lowballers, the ones who offer you $1,000 for your Custom Shop Strat, or $200 for your Strymon Big Sky. The people we as sellers absolutely can't stand. I started to wonder if they throw these low offers out there for items they truly want, or if they put in the time to make it a "numbers game", making insultingly- low offers on just about everything, hoping to get a lucky hit with an un-educated or desperate seller. I honestly wonder if this ever works for them.

    This brought me to a hypothetical:

    Let's say you wanted to walk a mile in their shoes, and you dedicated a couple weeks to low-balling. Your highest offer has to be 40-50% less than what the item historically sells for. Example-- Les Paul Standards that typically sell for ~$1500 used: you would offer ~$800

    If you made, say 500 offers in a 2-3 week period like this, do you think ANY of them would be accepted?
    yakyak likes this.
  2. jwguitar

    jwguitar Supporting Member

    Oct 12, 2012
    I don't find it insulting when people lowball numbers they are just trying to get the best price. But a lowball number to me looks like and usually is someone who wants to get something for nothing. Often when I send over a more realistic counter offer I never get a response from buyers like this. This is not to say that I don't mind giving reasonable discounts.
    naveed211, archey, JPH118 and 8 others like this.
  3. Frozen Rat

    Frozen Rat Gold Supporting Member

    Jul 31, 2015
    I think that would be a big waste of time. Most sellers over-value their gear rather than under-value it, making low-ball offers of that sort even less likely to be successful.

    Then ones that can be successful once in a while are the people who offer you about 20%~25% less than your asking price, assuming your asking price isn't silly. There's this guy who does that every single time I sell a guitar. If I have a guitar marked at $3299 he'll offer $2200. I tend to know what I can expect and don't bite on those. The one I had listed for $3299 sold two days later for $3000. A lot of retailers do these kinds of offers too. I've sold two of my guitars on Reverb to CME and to Capital Online at about 15%~20% below my original asking price. The reason I did was that I wasn't getting any action and the listings had been stagnant for a week or two. I am not that guy who will sit on gear I'm selling for months. 1 month is my max and then I sell it for whatever I can rather than hold out hopelessly for that supposed buyer who comes along only once a year.
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
  4. twinrider1

    twinrider1 Member

    Jun 17, 2005
    Columbus, OH
    I don't take it personally.
    Jeffj, Mark EL, cratz2 and 7 others like this.
  5. bsacamano

    bsacamano Member

    Jun 24, 2012
    Absolutely. You have to think that with 500, at least one would.
    UnbrokenChainz, Brian N and timallums like this.
  6. Mpcoluv

    Mpcoluv Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2009
    Charlotte NC
    Asking half off is not a great strategy. You certainly can get 20-30% off accepted. If a seller in unrealistic about the market price you normally can’t make a deal.
    yakyak and HERSCHEL like this.
  7. 8len8

    8len8 Member

    Dec 25, 2010
    I've tried selling oddball boutique stuff over the years where no one really wanted the items, so I had to settle for less than 50% what I paid. I'll only do that if I've had it up for sale for several weeks/months without any real offers.
  8. Alchemist XP

    Alchemist XP Silver Supporting Member

    Jun 11, 2016
    Definitely works ... it's hard for some people to let go of cash staring them right in the face. I bought a BMW GS 800 once for $3,000 below asking and the asking price was pretty fair simply because I had cash and I showed it to the seller and he just wanted a deal and to be done with it.
  9. 6789

    6789 Member

    Mar 6, 2005
    I reply with a price that is higher than I originally listed.
  10. FlamesAreWicked

    FlamesAreWicked Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2017
    I get them from time to time.. one even being a repeat lowballer.. guess the last half dozen times I declined their offer didn’t give them the hint. Just this week I had a cheap harley Benton 212 cab for sale locally.. it’s the V30 loaded one. They’re around 220 new shipped from Thomann. So he offered 150. I said how’s 175 sound.. they counter offered with 160 if I drove an hour to deliver it. I passed on his offer. About an hour later he says “$120 if you can’t sell it”.. wait, what ?? Lol I said if I won’t sell for 160, surely I won’t for 120... then a few mins after he says, guess I’ll just order a new one then. Sure if ya wanna spend more than what I offered on a basically a brand one..

    Come on man, a single Celestion Vintage 30 is $145 from any mail order company.. I’ll just keep the bastid and use it for a night stand lol
    Bob McGuckin and Crackpot like this.
  11. Magnets And Melodies

    Magnets And Melodies Member

    Nov 7, 2016
    Without reading all the comments, my first reaction is...

    Yes it works. Nobody would do it if it didn't. Do I like to be low balled? No. Am I willing to pay full price for anything? Also no. There's a middle ground that you gotta get used to being in... Understanding that finding a good deal is best when both parties walk away happy. Blatant low ball offers should be avoided, but that's no reason not to offer less than asking.

    Selling for $2000? If I don't really care that I might not get it, the least I'd ever offer is $1500... That's one of those, "if he takes it I'd be happy to own it, but if I have to pay more than $1500 it's not worth it to me" kind of offers. That's also completely dependant on the going market rate for the item too.... If it recently sold for $1600 and he's asking $2000, I don't feel bad to offer $1500. On the other, if it recently sold for $2500 and he's asking $2000... I won't insult him by offering $1500 (though I'm fully aware that lots of people will).
    lizardking and Falsecrack like this.
  12. Vintage_

    Vintage_ Member

    Aug 25, 2016
    uhh I'm kinda thinking like around 6 bub. Best I can do. :)
    bigfoamfinger likes this.
  13. bossaddict

    bossaddict Supporting Member

    Sep 15, 2014
    Birmingham, AL
    1 in 500? Yes.
    HoboMan likes this.
  14. derekd

    derekd Member

    Sep 10, 2007
    In a van down by the river
    Really? Why? Someone has offered you $ for your equipment. It isn't an insult, it's an offer. One you are welcome to reject. I've had plenty of low offers I declined.

    I've also been fortunate enough to be in a few situations where I had cash ready and the person needed a deal quickly, for various reasons. In one case, the seller dropped the price a huge amount on a PRS CU 22 with artist package because I could hand him the money immediately. His wife's attorney had frozen their accounts.
    Rockinrob86, mrfett, Old Guy and 4 others like this.
  15. RicardoDiazHimself

    RicardoDiazHimself Member

    Sep 8, 2018
    Remember going on eBay for a musicman Steve Morse. Mint. Seller wanted $1800. I offered $1400 and thought we could go from there. He refused so I left. A couple months passed, getting g close to Christmas season, the guy messages me, apparently I was the only offer he had. Told me he could do $1400. Told him I didn't had the funds anymore and could do $1100 shipped. He agreed.
    Sometimes people need cash and are willing to go that low.
    A friend bought a Dan Smith 82 RI with red bobbins for $500 from $1500. He sold It for like $4k a couple months after.
    Sometimes people need the cash.
    Laganlad likes this.
  16. wetordry

    wetordry Member

    Mar 8, 2015
    virginia mountains
    It must work on some, pawn shop has guitars on the wall and tools for sale.
  17. daacrusher2001

    daacrusher2001 Silver Supporting Member

    May 25, 2008
    Northern NJ
    I totally agree...It's just business. I just got a very low offer for an amp I'm selling. I countered, he countered, etc. - He's close to the point where I'd be willing to sell it. If he accepts my last offer, it's done. Good deal for me, good deal for him. If not, well - I don't need cash or need to sell it so I'll just keep it listed.

    If I had treated it personally I wouldn't have a possible sale.
    HERSCHEL, worxforme and derekd like this.
  18. Tom Fontaine

    Tom Fontaine Member

    Apr 8, 2019
    There is an art to finding your low offer. 1000 > 200 is too big a gap.

    Depends on the item. Uncommon things that aren’t very desirable or highly collected can be haggled quite a bit more than highly collected or very rare items.

    I’ve been known to lowball and get a great deal. My mom always said, there is no harm in asking!
  19. stonem

    stonem Member

    Apr 13, 2008
    Springfield Illinois
    It works, probably more than you think. Sales are a numbers game, nothing more. They dont take it personal when you refuse, they just move to the next one.
    Silver Hand and derekd like this.
  20. DucRyder

    DucRyder Member

    Nov 22, 2005
    not Detroit
    I like haggling

    I'm realistic when I make a "low ball" offer.... say 10%-20%

    If someone sends a ridiculously low offer, I decline with a snarky "Thanks for the generous offer, but I'll have to pass"

    No harm, no foul... just the way of the deal

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