Does the "what's your best price?" offer work for people?

BobbyMac

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I'm not a fan of negotiating, as a buyer or a seller. If I think a seller's price is fair, I'll pay it. When I sell something, I always specify that my listed price is firm and no offers will be entertained.

On the other hand, I will entertain offers in person IF the prospective buyer has cash in hand and is ready to buy at his/her offered price on the spot. I like Texicaster's post above!
 

Timbresmith1

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When selling locally (CL or OfferUp), I round to the lowest price I'll go in $20 increments and then add about 20% plus $5. So if I want $80, I'll ask $105; if I want $200, I'll ask $245, etc. Reasonable people will offer what I'm asking, and feel like they got a deal, and I got the money I wanted. The $20 increment thing is because usually people need to go to the ATM to get cash.

For online sales (Reverb) I'll just do the lowest I'll go including shipping and fees, plus 20%.

For the "best price" question, I tell people that I am flexible on price but I don't lower my own price, which is a gentler way of saying "I made an offer, now you make a counteroffer."


Because they will take that as the new negotiation point. I did that once for an item I was asking $240. Got the question, responded $200, dude got back to me in 3 minutes offering $180. It's less than I wanted to take but it's also insulting, and that's a factor in sales, like it or not.
I never put a $5 in the price. It means I might have to make change.
 

Strebs

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I always reply, make me an offer. I'm asking for the asking amount.

If they make an insulting offer, I don't even bother countering. I just reply, "no thanks."

If they try to tell me what I should charge, I stop communicating with them.
 

Si G X

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It depends on the situation... I've sold guitars that way so I guess it worked for me then.

I asked for £500

He only wanted to pay £400

I said no I can't sell it for £400

he said "What's your best price?"

I said "£450"

He said "Ok, I can do £450"

... I wanted £450 for it, so worked out perfect.
 

schmee

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It works sometimes. (see post 26!) Short and to the subject. But negotiation is an art, but can be tiresome. Does cut out the BS if you are not into negotiation much.
 

loopfinding

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I don't wanna insult a seller with what they might perceive to be a low ball offer.

I don’t find low ballers insulting. I just give them my offer and ignore them. What I find insulting is when you’ve given your terms and they just won’t stop messaging you. At that point you’re just harassing me, and there's no way in hell I'm going to sell to you with those red flags going on.
 

KokoTele

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Part of the reason the best offer ask annoys me is that it seems like the goal is to get a deal without having to put any effort into a negotiation. I like the idea of responding with "what's your best offer?" It probably wouldn't have closed any deals for me recently, but might have extended the dialog a little longer.
 

Danb541

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Like others on here, I always respond with "make an offer" or "I'm open to an offer". I've been selling heavy/construction equipment for over 20 years and have seen all kinds of buyers. Just last week I had a guy ask me what my best price was on a piece of equipment and I said make an offer. He asked a couple more times, I responded the same. Then he said "it seems like you don't want to do your job". I said " my job is to sell equipment for as much as I can, when you sell something do you lower your price with out an offer? If you'd like to make an offer, please do". He said he'd think about it. I never heard back.
 

bobio

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It always peeves me off when someone does that as I give a price when I list something always.

My response when someone does that is to tell them, that is the price.

Someone else will always come along. I don't have patience for that crap.

More often than not, they come back later and act like an adult and make an offer.
 
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nojazzhere

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I'm helping a buddy sell off some of his surplus gear, and I am both amused and annoyed by some of the offers. I've been careful about my asking prices, finding a good compromise between recent comparable sales and being competitive with other items currently for sale. So far, I think my pricing has been good. Most items have sold quickly, but not too quickly, and either at asking price or close to it.

The haggling strategy that always bothers me is the question "What's your best price?" Does this work for people? Every time I hear it, my reactions include "Why would I bid against myself?" and "Really? That's all the haggling skill you have?" (What can I say? I can be a bit of a hardass sometimes :D) I usually just respond with my asking price, and they are rarely heard from again.

I find the "best price" ask even more annoying than stupid lowball bids. (One guy offered $150 on a vintage lap steel that I'm asking $650 for.) I sometimes wonder if they have any idea what a fair price is. I often price so there is a little room to haggle, but that margin is not the 20 or 30% that a lot of the lowballers ask for.
Maybe I just don't care for confrontations, but I usually ASK what I'm willing to SELL for....but, as we see by the responses here, we are all over the map on asking prices. So, I don't resent people asking about lower prices, or asking what my best price is. I do recognize that buyers often want to feel like they're getting a better deal, so perhaps asking a little high, then coming down is a good strategy. Regardless, even when faced with an insulting low-ball offer, I usually respond with thanks for your offer but I decline. Sometimes the potential buyer will still buy, but sometimes they want to argue or justify their insult. That's when I simply hang up (if on phone) or cease responding. (if online) It's also best if you don't conduct any transactions two weeks before or two weeks after a full moon. ;)
 

chris m.

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70% or 80% of new is pretty rich, I think. Most of the time I expect to get more like 50% of the new, out the door price. Depends on the item of course. But I think of it this way. Let's say something costs $100 at Musician's Friend-- their everyday price. It could easily go on sale for $80 and also come with a one-year warranty, which has value. So why would I buy that same item, USED, for $70 or $80? Yes, I'm saving sales tax and maybe some shipping, but still. So even if the item is in spotless, brand new condition, I'm not surprised at all to be getting at best $60 for that item.


Of course it also helps to look at actual sales to see what things are actually selling for. If something is an in-demand item then maybe you can get more, especially with the back order/supply chain issues right now.

Truly used gear like older guitars and amps are another issue. The original sales price is meaningless. What matters is what these items are actually selling for. For example, I see MIM standard Strats and Teles somewhere in the $350 to $500 range, all over the place.
 

Jakedog

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My answer to “what’s your best price?” Is always “five thousand dollars”. Because that’s about the best price I can imagine getting for a $1k guitar.

I’ve never understood that approach, either. Are there actually people out there who just magically drop their pants when asked what their best price is? If somebody wants to make an offer, I’ll listen. If it’s a fair offer, I may even take it. If it’s almost fair, I’ll make a counter offer. But my answer to “what’s your best price?” will always be “five thousand dollars”. Unless the item in question is actually worth $5k. In that case my answer would be “ten thousand dollars”.
 

loopfinding

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70% or 80% of new is pretty rich, I think. Most of the time I expect to get more like 50% of the new, out the door price. Depends on the item of course. But I think of it this way. Let's say something costs $100 at Musician's Friend-- their everyday price. It could easily go on sale for $80 and also come with a one-year warranty, which has value. So why would I buy that same item, USED, for $70 or $80? Yes, I'm saving sales tax and maybe some shipping, but still. So even if the item is in spotless, brand new condition, I'm not surprised at all to be getting at best $60 for that item.


Of course it also helps to look at actual sales to see what things are actually selling for. If something is an in-demand item then maybe you can get more, especially with the back order/supply chain issues right now.

Truly used gear like older guitars and amps are another issue. The original sales price is meaningless. What matters is what these items are actually selling for. For example, I see MIM standard Strats and Teles somewhere in the $350 to $500 range, all over the place.

well it matters what's on the market. if something is 100 bucks and there's nothing for sale for less, you can almost ask whatever you want and someone will grab it to save 10, 15, 20 dollars. maybe you wouldn't think it's worth it to buy used, but plenty of people (including myself) are penny pinchers.
 

tfarny

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It's an approach used by people who want a discount but don't want to engage in extended haggling. I don't see the problem. You can answer either the listed price is the lowest price, or you can hit him up with a price.
I just offered somebody 900 on a 1000 item and he said flat no, after saying he would negotiate. So my next step is to say, ok what is the lowest you'll sell it to me? I'm not going to banter back and forth over email about $20 one way or another.
 

Dennyf

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If a prospective buyer isn't even interested enough to come see what I'm selling before offering less money, I'm not wasting my time responding. I mean, at that point they have no rationale for offering less. If my price is out of line--well, if I'm interested in something but I think the seller's price is out of line, I just don't bother.
 

McGlamRock

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When I get asked "Is that your best price?", I'll generally offer a few bucks off if they come to buy it the same day and make the transition easy.
Even with my reasonable counter offer, I rarely here back from people with that sort of inquiry.
 

TomBrokaw

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It's an approach used by people who want a discount but don't want to engage in extended haggling. I don't see the problem. You can answer either the listed price is the lowest price, or you can hit him up with a price.
I just offered somebody 900 on a 1000 item and he said flat no, after saying he would negotiate. So my next step is to say, ok what is the lowest you'll sell it to me? I'm not going to banter back and forth over email about $20 one way or another.
I think that's fine - you're not leading with it, you've made the offer, and he said he'd negotiate but didn't give you a number. What else can you do? Aside from walk away.
 

loopfinding

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It depends on the situation... I've sold guitars that way so I guess it worked for me then.

I asked for £500

He only wanted to pay £400

I said no I can't sell it for £400

he said "What's your best price?"

I said "£450"

He said "Ok, I can do £450"

... I wanted £450 for it, so worked out perfect.

yeah exactly. i sold a bass for 5. i wanted 5 and knew no one was going to pay over 5. even 5 was high for it. i put it up for 6. tons of offers for 4. waited until one guy offered 475. i said 5 and it's a deal. boom, got it.

make the buyer think they’re getting a deal. it’s a game like any other. anyone who’s seen dealer costs knows that’s all they’re doing anyway.
 
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