"what's your best price?"

Messages
602
So, I've put a few ads up locally on CL lately, all of them with an asking price listed and the phrase "if my price seems unreasonable, feel free to make an offer."
I often go with a higher asking price than I expect to get, because I just expect that I'll be getting lower offers than what I ask, and, in my experience, a sale is more likely to happen if the buyer feels like they're getting a break.
My most recent wave of ads has gotten me a bunch of responses, and not a single dollar-amount offer.
Instead, I get various rephrasings of "what's your best price?"
I was responding for a while with what I actually expected to get (usually about 10% less than the lowest recently sold price I can find on ebay or, if that's not available, 10% less than what I can find it for elsewhere - reasonable prices, I feel), which invariably resulted in them either disappearing, or coming back with an even lower offer.
What's the point of asking what my best price is if you're just going to ignore it?
Is that code for "where do you want to start negotiations?"
I've now started responding with "I'd like to get <my asking price>. What's the most you'll pay?"
However, something about this feels rude to me. I don't think I'd like to get that as a response if I was in the other person's place - it feels like a flip sort of mocking response (I am, after all, just aping their question back at them). Then again, when someone says "make an offer," I make them an offer, I don't ask them to make it for me.
I dunno, anybody have a constructive response to "what's your best price?"
 

Neer

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
12,664
I like negotiating, but in those situations where they ask for my best price right off the bat, I feel they are not serious and so I just move on.

I don't like wasting time, which is more valuable than money to me.
 

stratovarius

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,079
Is that code for "where do you want to start negotiations?"
Usually. A lot of people expect give-away prices on Craig's List and have nothing better to do than to try to wear you down.

You already stated your asking price. It's their turn to make an offer.

Another tactic is what I call a "soft" offer:

"Would you take $500?"

"Yes."

"Ok, would you take $400, then?"

:mad:
 

GCDEF

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
28,182
"What's your best price" is often a message sent from scammers. Check the wording of the message and see if they refer to what you're actually selling, and if the do if it's just pasted from the subject line. Odds are those messages aren't coming from interested buyers at all.
 
Messages
602
"What's your best price" is often a message sent from scammers. Check the wording of the message and see if they refer to what you're actually selling, and if the do if it's just pasted from the subject line. Odds are those messages aren't coming from interested buyers at all.
Yeah, I get that - I don't expect much from someone who just sends that. However, a lot of my "offers" have been coming from people who will ask a question or two about the item and then ask for my best price.
I'd love to be able to ignore offers, but I'm selling stuff because I need the money, so I can't. Luckily, gmail has great spam filters, so I'm not too worried about a scambot getting my email address. I just gotta keep plugging away until I get an actual offer, I guess.
 
Messages
17,698
Usually. A lot of people expect give-away prices on Craig's List and have nothing better to do than to try to wear you down.

You already stated your asking price. It's their turn to make an offer.

Another tactic is what I call a "soft" offer:

"Would you take $500?"

"Yes."

"Ok, would you take $400, then?"

:mad:
Never agree to first offer
Would you take 500
I would say no 550...that way u never get to 4
 
Messages
602
Never agree to first offer
Would you take 500
I would say no 550...that way u never get to 4
But what if $500 is what I want/expect to get? Seems like I might scare off someone who's actually willing to pay it, while the soft-offerer was never gonna pay $500 anyway, so accepting the offer will filter them out as well as $550.

And, in case it seems that way, I'm not trying to be argumentative or contrary - I really want to know -tips, the reasoning behind this or that response, etc... I'm really good at a lot of things, but sales / gamesmanship isn't one of them.
 

dconeill

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,695
But what if $500 is what I want/expect to get? Seems like I might scare off someone who's actually willing to pay it, while the soft-offerer was never gonna pay $500 anyway, so accepting the offer will filter them out as well as $550.
...
For some reason Americans seem to be bad at haggling. We don't do it much in stores, so we don't get practiced at it.

I think you have to assume, if a potential buyer quotes a price to you, that the quoted price is their opening bid (if the buyer has any sense, their opening bid is a lowball). You respond with a higher price, even if the buyer's offer is what you hoped to get, that's lower than your original offer. Then the two of you go back and forth a few times until you come to agreement or realize that you won't be reaching a deal.

If someone asks the best-price question, say you're offering the item for whatever you quoted in the ad, then ask if they want to make an offer on the item.

If someone asks if you'll take, say, $500 and you agree, and they then ask if you'll take $400, they're negotiating in bad faith. In such a case you could express your regrets and break off negotiations with that person.
 

GarMan

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,839
I just turn around and ask them, "What is YOUR best offer? Please throw out a number and we can go from there."
 

Steve73

Member
Messages
5,076
I always list for more than I expect. If I get the 'what is your best price', I give them what I expected to get for it, 10-20% less than what I listed for. If they accept, great, if not, I am done negotiating and pass.
 

Yer Blues

Member
Messages
8,777
I think there are too many variables to really pigeon hold every person who e-mails you. I think you should probably word your ad a little differently. You have a price and then say "if my price is unreasonable make me an offer". Obviously your price is not your price.

I would just list a price you feel is reasonable and expect offers from there. You might actually get your price. Anyone who wants the item may counter with a reasonable offer.

I rarely offer full price unless it's a good deal.

Actually, hoping to pick up a craigslist guitar later today.
 

Echoes

Senior Member
Messages
6,218
since there are no rules in these informal selling transactions just answer their question :dunno ...or ignore it. Simple really.
 

sleewell

Senior Member
Messages
10,593
I get this question many times every single day. people are so stupid, it becomes very annoying. its like, hey I don't know you at all but let me just give you an extra special friends and family discount off the price that we clearly have listed here.
 

hubberjub

Member
Messages
4,598
I will never ask a question like that. Also, don't ask about adjusting a price unless it's an offer to buy. If you have an item for sale for $500 and someone asks if you'll take $400, your reply should be, "Is that an offer?". If their reply is "no", state that you're not willing to negotiate until they're in a position to buy. I will never make an offer unless I have cash in hand and am ready to make the purchase. I expect the same from people purchasing items from me. If they tell me that's an offer, then I agree to their terms, and they give me a line like, "I have to think about it." the deal's off. I won't deal with them even if they offered me more than my asking price. Years of working in the auto industry have turned me cold and bitter.
 

lowbrow

Member
Messages
772
I've gotten that same question in the past. Now that I think about it, the next time I will respond thusly&#8230;.say I have the item for sale for $500 and someone asks me what my best prices is. I will say:

"MY best price? At least $550. Why, what did you have in mind?"

:D
 

mugician

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
448
I've sort of been sculpting my Craigslist template over the last several years. I use CL quite a lot, though not as much as I used to.

I always start my ad with bold, italic letters enclosed in double asterisks stating my rules: cash only, local only, I only meet in public etcetera, then I state very firmly that if interested buyers don't say something specific in their subject line, I'll delete their mail as SPAM, as well as if they ask if the item is available.

That opening spiel has significantly reduced the amount of unwanted emails flooding my inbox over the last few years. It works quite well.

At the end of the ad, I usually repeat that stuff and then state the price, and if my price is firm. I also say straight out that I will ignore low ball offers.

At this point, I've stopped worrying about ****** Craigslisters. I ignore people that say stupid ****, and have no problem saying to somebody that I don't want to sell to them.

Of course, every once in a while you'll still get those buyers who haggle you down to a fair price, then set a meeting a few days out. If I'm settling for lower than my asking price, I'm not holding the item&#8212;I tell them to **** off :)
 




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