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Is it ok to negotiate and/or offer less than the listed price? What qualifies as a low ball offer?

Marc mndt

I'll Lock Up
Messages
7,050
I disagree @Blackadder. If the guy said at the beginning I have a few questions first but would you take $200 for it, there wouldn't have been a problem. I would have just said no sorry, like I have a number of times before and thats that.

Instead he asked a question, I got back to him, he asked another, I got back to him again..and so on and so on for over 2 weeks and only then did he offer 40% of my asking price and still wanted free international shipping which would have been $110. Honestly if someone effectively offered you $90 for a 6 month old Aero after asking repeated questions over a 2 week period...thats taking the piss.

If that wouldn't annoy you off, you're a better man than me.

Anyway, the guy has since been banned from the forum so at least there is that.
Reading the first part of your post made me think of lebowski...
That's exactly how he behaved when he showed interest in one of my jackets. And not just one or two messages asking about measurements, four pages full of bs. Three messages a day for two weeks, before finally saying "ok I'll do you a favor and take it off your hands for half the asking price. And by the way, you pay for express shipping to Russia "

Yes I got upset.
 
Messages
16,538
Interestingly, in your example the seller is the villain arguably seeking to exploit unknowing buyers. Is that immoral or offensive? Absolutely not. Just as buyers are allowed to submit offers below fair market value, sellers are equally entitled to ask far more than fair market value. It is all part of the same dance, each side trying to negotiate the best possible deal, and each side able to discontinue and walk away at any time. Absent fraud or coercion, there is nothing immoral or offensive about the foregoing.

I don't think he's a villain for setting up a ridiculous price or trying to exploit someone - Which is what he was doing. That I can absolutely understand and personally have no trouble with. Man is just tryina make some money and that's okay. He's playing it smart and at the end, he'll make more than I would have from the exact same item. To say that's wrong or bad would be, truth be told, very stupid on my end so it's not that. What irks me about that seller is that they actually couldn't understand that anyone could get the same item in a brand new condition for the exact same price. They went on how valuable these trousers are. Sure, they're as valuable as the stated value on manufacturers website, which is the same as what you're asking for it. Why ban me otherwise? They coulda just said "I'd like to get some more money for this.", not go on about morals regarding my "low-ball" offer. Eh, that seller just got to me, is all.
 

dannyk

One Too Many
Messages
1,812
I agree with you 100%.
If I plan on sending in what I myself consider a borderline low-ball offer, that's the first thing I'll do, ask the seller if they're okay with the price I'd be willing pay and if so, would they also be willing to answer a few questions about the item before I start wasting everyone's time.
Well this I completely agree with. Again I’ve never considered any offer I sent anyone low-ball except for the one I openly discussed here on TFL. An unknown eBay seller and I only sent a low offer because it was a jacket I had mild interest in...wasn’t a grail jacket....and since I didn’t know the seller I wanted to see if they would be willing to come down. That’s the offer that shocked me they didn’t just play ball they accepted it instantly. But anytime I thought a price was high or unfair or couldn’t afford, or thought it could come down a little....I’ve always been upfront. I never purposely asked a ton of questions without buying, I’ve never purposely strung someone along, I’ve never sent an offer so far below asking price....If I asked for lower as a starting bid I’ve either stated right away this is my best or been willing to also come up From my initial offer.

Anyone who manipulates those things in anyway is annoying and kind of being a jerk. Do I let it ruin my day or get angry? No not really. But I’m in general agreement that any failure of those basic premises is unethical and annoying. Buyers or sellers who operate in that manner can sour things for sure.
 

Blackadder

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,827
Location
China
I disagree @Blackadder. If the guy said at the beginning I have a few questions first but would you take $200 for it, there wouldn't have been a problem. I would have just said no sorry, like I have a number of times before and that is that.

Instead he asked a question, I got back to him, he asked another, I got back to him again..and so on and so on for over 2 weeks and only then did he offer 40% of my asking price and still wanted free international shipping which would have been $110. Honestly if someone effectively offered you $90 for a 6 month old Aero after asking repeated questions over a 2 week period...thats taking the piss.

If that wouldn't annoy you off, you're a better man than me.

Anyway, the guy has since been banned from the forum so at least there is that.
IMO there is nothing to disagree. As I said you feel like he has wasted your time. That I already agreed with you.
You consider the offer a ploy. What if that person simply asked all the questions, then changed his mind and left without making any offer? Would you feel any better? You may even "feel" that the offer makes all the difference in your case but does it really? You may feel better if he apologizes and says he has changed his mind. Fact is you still have wasted the same amount of time.
Does a used car salesman feel annoyed by shoppers who asked tons of questions and left? Of course yes but is he going to tell the next customer who comes to not waste his time unless he is really interested and agree to make a reasonable offer after he diligently answered all his question? Does he make it a condition on answering any question?
As I said as a private seller, the item is my personal belonging, time is my own free time, everything is so personal. Buyer insulted me by giving a low ball offer on "my" own GW A-2. Buyer wasted "my" time asking all those questions then left. It is also so easy to say I would just keep it rather than lower the price because "I" know what it is worth.
I agree with you that it is annoying and that is why I don't sell things. But if I do, I would try to be a used car salesman.
 

Marc mndt

I'll Lock Up
Messages
7,050
Seriously, how did you reply to this???
First I felt sorry for the guy. Maybe he was low on cash but really wanted this jacket. Therefore I thought I'd do him a favor and pay for shipping (which meant I would sell the jacket at a loss)
3CA0B87D-6C4D-43B8-A4A6-8B44804DAEBF.jpeg


That's when he told me to use regular non-f&f PayPal and he expected me to pay the 4% fee. In hindsight I'm glad that's were I drew the line.

6BCBB073-EEF2-4F59-8DFB-395448358487.jpeg


Lesson I've learned is that if a transaction is troublesome from the start, it's best to say thank you but I'm not interested in doing business with you.
 

Harris HTM

One Too Many
Messages
1,821
Location
R'lyeh
First I felt sorry for the guy. Maybe he was low on cash but really wanted this jacket. Therefore I thought I'd do him a favor and pay for shipping (which meant I would sell the jacket at a loss)
View attachment 319592

That's when he told me to use regular non-f&f PayPal and he expected me to pay the 4% fee. In hindsight I'm glad that's were I drew the line.

View attachment 319593

Lesson I've learned is that if a transaction is troublesome from the start, it's best to say thank you but I'm not interested in doing business with you.
You were really polite I must admit. By the way, I think that when using F&F for international transfer you have to pay a small fee (around 2 euros).
 

dannyk

One Too Many
Messages
1,812
IMO there is nothing to disagree. As I said you feel like he has wasted your time. That I already agreed with you.
You consider the offer a ploy. What if that person simply asked all the questions, then changed his mind and left without making any offer? Would you feel any better? You may even "feel" that the offer makes all the difference in your case but does it really? You may feel better if he apologizes and says he has changed his mind. Fact is you still have wasted the same amount of time.
Does a used car salesman feel annoyed by shoppers who asked tons of questions and left? Of course yes but is he going to tell the next customer who comes to not waste his time unless he is really interested and agree to make a reasonable offer after he diligently answered all his question? Does he make it a condition on answering any question?
As I said as a private seller, the item is my personal belonging, time is my own free time, everything is so personal. Buyer insulted me by giving a low ball offer on "my" own GW A-2. Buyer wasted "my" time asking all those questions then left. It is also so easy to say I would just keep it rather than lower the price because "I" know what it is worth.
I agree with you that it is annoying and that is why I don't sell things. But if I do, I would try to be a used car salesman.
A situation like this happened to me once. I asked a bunch of questions. Really wanted the jacket. Had every single intention of buying it if the seller got me the photos and measurements I asked for. Which they did. After a few days of a good back and forth....quite literally had a car problem and my free money had to go to fixing my car. I let the seller know. I said hey if this hasn’t sold in a few weeks and a few paychecks later I would still be interested but life happened and I can’t afford it right now. I don’t know if the seller believed me or thought it was some ploy to waive shipping or they would feel bad and lower the cost. It wasn’t. I think some people on TFL know me now and know I’m honest. This was when I first joined however many years ago now. Which probably made it more suspicious to them. A relatively new member and then that story. But it was the honest truth. I can’t even remember if I did end up buying the jacket a few weeks later or not. I just remember that happened. Point being I guess I wasted someone’s time and they believed they had a sale. They could have thought I was a liar or game player. I wasn’t. Sometimes life happens and you just can’t prepare for it.
 

jeo

One Too Many
Messages
1,925
Location
Philadelphia
...As I said you feel like he has wasted your time....You consider the offer a ploy. What if that person simply asked all the questions, then changed his mind and left without making any offer? Would you feel any better? You may even "feel" that the offer makes all the difference in your case but does it really? You may feel better if he apologizes and says he has changed his mind. Fact is you still have wasted the same amount of time....Buyer wasted "my" time asking all those questions then left...I agree with you that it is annoying...

That's the cost of doing business. All it's costing any of us is our time. It's safe to assume that none of us are billionaires where 15 minutes of our time wasted on answering question means thousands of dollars lost doing something else. It's also safe to assume that while some of us sell a lot, that the vast majority of us here on TFL are not full time sellers. Imagine all the BS and wasted time you would have to deal if you were, but again, that's the cost of doing business.

I don't think thats how a lot of these low ballers operate though.

I was selling a jacket (obviously) and was contacted by this person who said he was interested but had a few questions. Fine. He then proceeded to ask numerous questions (specifics about measurements, can I double check this, can I confirm that, would I be willing to pay via this method, could I declare a different value for customs etc etc over countless messages over about 2 weeks until finally he then offered me half of what I was asking in $AUD when it was listed in $US so it was closer to 40% of what I had initially asked and expected me to include free international shipping.

Apparently this is a fairly common tactic some low ballers use to beat down the seller and have them so fed up they just dump the item for next to nothing..... do you consider this ok?

If the guy was straight up and said, hey I'll offer you $AUD200 for your FQHH Aero including free shipping to the US but I have a few questions first, what do you say?...thats reasonable, but to waste a heap of my time for 2 weeks with constant questions and then offer that.....that was a deliberate ploy and not ok in my books.

Reading the first part of your post made me think of lebowski...
That's exactly how he behaved when he showed interest in one of my jackets. And not just one or two messages asking about measurements, four pages full of bs. Three messages a day for two weeks, before finally saying "ok I'll do you a favor and take it off your hands for half the asking price. And by the way, you pay for express shipping to Russia "

Yes I got upset.

Despite what I wrote above ^ I definitely don't want to minimize what @Marc mndt and @ProteinNerd went through with their examples. I also get super annoyed when people waste my time.

To avoid that, I say make your listings iron clad. Upload a ton of high res pics w/ many close up detail shots. Obviously include detailed measurements, height, weight, fit pics and even pics w/ the measuring tape on the jacket to avoid the "can you confirm the measurements" question. Include where you will ship to and where you won't, method of payment etc etc etc...and if you don't want to haggle mention that no offers will be considered or that lowballs will be ignored. Then it's on you to determine what constitutes a lowball. If then someone comes to you with questions, it is safe to assume that they are tire kickers and not serious buyers. You can either ignore their questions or take two seconds of your time and respond "please refer to the listing".
 
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10,443
That's the cost of doing business. All it's costing any of us is our time. It's safe to assume that none of us are billionaires where 15 minutes of our time wasted on answering question means thousands of dollars lost doing something else. It's also safe to assume that while some of us sell a lot, that the vast majority of us here on TFL are not full time sellers. Imagine all the BS and wasted time you would have to deal if you were, but again, that's the cost of doing business.





Despite what I wrote above ^ I definitely don't want to minimize what @Marc mndt and @ProteinNerd went through with their examples. I also get super annoyed when people waste my time.

To avoid that, I say make your listings iron clad. Upload a ton of high res pics w/ many close up detail shots. Obviously include detailed measurements, height, weight, fit pics and even pics w/ the measuring tape on the jacket to avoid the "can you confirm the measurements" question. Include where you will ship to and where you won't, method of payment etc etc etc...and if you don't want to haggle mention that no offers will be considered or that lowballs will be ignored. Then it's on you to determine what constitutes a lowball. If then someone comes to you with questions, it is safe to assume that they are tire kickers and not serious buyers. You can either ignore their questions or take two seconds of your time and respond "please refer to the listing".

That’s what I aim for. Rarely hit the mark. It’s easier to ignore people when they ask ...ummm...superfluous questions. I’ve never had that happen to me on TFL. Been lucky I guess. Though I’ve had listings totally ignored. That’s ok too.
 
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jeo

One Too Many
Messages
1,925
Location
Philadelphia
...Though I’ve had listings totally ignored. That’s ok too.

I'm going through that right now just on the buying side. Reb_bel on IG has a size 36 ELMC Californian. I've never even seen one in a size 36 before. I DM'd them saying I want to buy it. They responded saying it's still available and gave me the price. I was like great, I want to buy it, how do I proceed? Crickets. Then DM after DM being ignored. No annoying questions...just take my money!! Oh well.
 

bn1966

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,097
Location
UK
My most annoying experience was I negotiated & agreed a price for an ELC G-1 jacket (not on here) and even held it for a month until the Guy’s pay cheque was supposed to come in. End of the month he wanted a significant discount on the agreed price..and..postage my way now too.

Outcome: cut him dead in the water..refused any further correspondence & when he then offered the original agreed price..refused to sell it to him.
 

Tom71

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,552
Location
Europe
Your honorable approach works well if the seller's listed price is consistent with fair market value ("FMV") and the actual amount that the seller hopes to receive from the sale. However, several people here have acknowledged that they increase their listing prices above FMV and/or what they hope to receive in order to allow room for the inevitable negotiation. This is a very common strategy. Therefore, if you simply agree to the posted price, you may be paying the buyer a premium over FMV and/or more than the seller hoped or expected to receive. That is certainly your prerogative.

No disagreement there, Super. I certainly didn’t want to overpay, if I only knew the FMV.
It’s just that - with used jackets it’s so subjective. I have a strong bias towards buying new, so in the 2nd hand market I am only after „special“ kinds of jackets (hard to come by, long sought after, year-long wait list etc). I don’t think there is enough offer to create a true FMV.

I tested what you said with the following „brainteaser“:

Suppose a member reads all this and thinks: „This Tom-fellow is really easy money, so I am gonna sell him a 500 jacket for 650.
Suppose further, I am in. I will have seen the jacket, the price and the seller and have decided, this works for me. Consequence: I consider it a good deal, ignorant and totally irrespective of the seller’s motifs.
The seller on the other hand knows that he in effect scammed me for 150. Now, will that make him feel better...?

Realistically, most members (as indeed most people I come across) will simply feel lucky (no intention to defraud an easy pushover) and cash in the windfall profit. No harm done here. Total win-win...

I don’t consider myself naive or incompetent in negotiations. But it’s really been my experience to strife for a deal that works for all involved whenever one can afford it. It pays off in the long run.
That said, I don’t mind a tough negotiation at all. Thus, I am with the members who stated that it never hurts to ask, and I certainly don’t feel offended if somebody asks for a better deal. More often than not, this deal will still be in the range of any assumed „FMV“.

Kudos to you for starting this thread. I have really learned a lot from it!
 
Messages
17,270
Location
Chicago
Interesting reading here. In my selling experience my feeling has always been that it’s a loss (barring the oh so rare unicorn auction that actually nets a profit but I almost never auction anything anymore). So, how much am I willing to lose and feel like the whole thing wasn’t wasted time and or experience. Also, I do like seeing things going to good homes. If someone is genuinely interested, especially if I’ve sold to that person in the past, I’m far more willing to negotiate a lower price. I’m not bothered by low ballers but tire kickers are irritating and can largely be pushed aside by thoroughly listing details (admittedly I often flip things so quickly this level of detail is omitted).

As a buyer of more expensive items I do ask lots of questions if an ad is not complete. Partially because I know I am inheriting the burden of the next sale, almost inevitably, LOL.
Cheap stuff, I don’t care. If it’s junk it’s junk and so be it.
 
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bn1966

My Mail is Forwarded Here
Messages
3,097
Location
UK
Moved on some Pike Brothers goods recently with minutes to at most a few hours (boots) mileage on them. Aimed at 50% recoup, figured aiming at much more & folk given we weren’t talking big buck products might go for new...strategy worked.
 

navetsea

I'll Lock Up
Messages
6,711
Location
East Java
I'm going through that right now just on the buying side. Reb_bel on IG has a size 36 ELMC Californian. I've never even seen one in a size 36 before. I DM'd them saying I want to buy it. They responded saying it's still available and gave me the price. I was like great, I want to buy it, how do I proceed? Crickets. Then DM after DM being ignored. No annoying questions...just take my money!! Oh well.
if throwing money to the screen as usual doesn't work due to covid-19, I believe put your card on the DVD slot will... :D

if not mistaken this seller is based in my country Indonesia right? here paypal is not common, we usually use bank transfer, private bank transfer for less professional sellers, or the order will create virtual account number for specific order for more professional sellers with website and such (of which usually these company also have Paypal too for international sale) but sellers that only exist in IG in my experience whenever I buy I have to pay through bank transfer, maybe they still figuring it out? do they often take international buyers?
 
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jeo

One Too Many
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1,925
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Philadelphia
if throwing money to the screen as usual doesn't work due to covid-19, I believe put your card on the DVD slot will... :D

if not mistaken this seller is based in my country Indonesia right? here paypal is not common, we usually use bank transfer, private bank transfer for less professional sellers, or the order will create virtual account number for specific order for more professional sellers with website and such (of which usually these company also have Paypal too for international sale) but sellers that only exist in IG in my experience whenever I buy I have to pay through bank transfer, maybe they still figuring it out? do they often take international buyers?

I have no idea, they won't get back to me and let me know lol. Maybe they don't want to deal international, which is totally cool, I just wish they would communicate.
 

Cyber Lip

Practically Family
Messages
740
Location
Seattle
You know what I don't get are potential buyers asking for MY body measurements and fit pics. Unless we have the EXACT same body, what's the point?? I had one clown that asked for fit pics of me in the jacket and kept asking for more and more pics. He ended up not buying, he said because I wouldn't provide a back shot of me with the jacket on. I didn't have anyone to shoot it LOL. I was taking mirror shots of myself with the jacket on for him, but wasn't able to do a good back shot in the mirror. He went on about it like I was trying to hide something, even though there were pics of the back of the jacket, just without me in it. Total time-wasting weirdo jackass
 
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navetsea

I'll Lock Up
Messages
6,711
Location
East Java
I have no idea, they won't get back to me and let me know lol. Maybe they don't want to deal international, which is totally cool, I just wish they would communicate.
they accept paypal and worldwide shipping on the main page, I still have a feel this seller is based in my country, I see Indonesian comments here and there asking for DM consistently in many of their listing, some pics look like just taken from Chinese supplier of the replicas, but some other photos the climate and the background kind of remind me of typical house or vegetation of my country
 
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