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

tfarny

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I don't use EBay anymore but one nice feature of a standard listing (at least how they used to do it) is you actually have your lowest price as a floor, which is secret, but then it goes out for bid. And then you wait to see who wins as the highest bidder. You sell it for a number you were willing to accept, and they buy it for a number they were willing to offer. The listing and bidding process automatically creates competition, and the market determines the final strike price.

If I'm using Craigslist, or selling my house, or whatever, as a seller I'm basically trying to create the same scenario-- get ideally at least a handful of buyers and put them in competition with one another so I get a good final price.

If I'm on the other side-- the buyer-- I try to cut out the competition by giving a competitive offer and saying let's do the deal, now, at this price, and you don't have to hassle with other buyers or deal with this anymore. I will give you the $$ now, no flaking, and you can have this whole process over with, and I'm sure saving you more time and stopping the headaches rom dealing with flakes is worth something to you.

If a buyer does the same thing to me-- I'm OK with that. Make me an offer that's real and allows me to have this over and done with, and I'm all ears. I'd love to get this done right now....but I can't go too low, either. I might even say a number. Let's say it's listed for $300. "I tell you what. I think $300 is a great price, but if you give me $270 cash right now, and that's you saving 10% and me saving the hassle of dealing with other buyers that might be flakes." They might come back with $250 and I might take that. But no way am I going to reveal my true bottom price, just as I wouldn't do that on EBay....
This is all true, but...so exhausting! I'd be happier in a no-haggle society but we all do what we got to do, to get our mitts on more guits.
 

chris m.

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New prices have very little to do with the used market price. I understand why some people use it as a rationale, but it's not the right metric.

There are really only 2 things that count: recent sales of comparable items and comparable items currently for sale. Fortunately for music gear, ebay and Reverb give us good info on what items have been selling for. Apply some fudge factor for condition. If there are upgrades, add about 50% of the cost of the upgrade.

Take a DRRI for example. New price is $1500 for the standard one. 80% of that is $1200. Their price guide shows average recent sales right around $800-850, which is more like 55% of the new price. https://reverb.com/p/fender-65-reissue-deluxe-reverb-22-watt-1x12-guitar-combo#price-guide

There are a ton of them on the market between roughly $750 and $950: https://reverb.com/p/fender-65-reissue-deluxe-reverb-22-watt-1x12-guitar-combo?canonicalFinish=Black

If you think you're getting $1200 (80%) for a used one, I think you've badly overestimated the market. If I were selling one in very good condition, I'd probably price it around $800-$850, and wouldn't move much from my asking price for maybe a month. I'd clean it up well and post it with good pictures and lots of detail, whatever it takes to make my amp (and me as a seller) more attractive to a buyer than someone else's amp.

If I needed to move it fast, I'd price it around $700-750 and wouldn't budge. It's already a deal at that price, and I know it. Anyone who's spent 30 seconds shopping for one knows it too.

And if someone offered me $500, my response would be "For you: $900." :D


I agree with you, but your example actually illustrates my point. The new price for an item does tend to set a ceiling for a used item since if you try to sell it too high at some point most people will figure buying it brand new is actually a better deal.

There's also another ceiling on price--- You can look at the prices for used items from a seller like Guitar Center and most folks won't buy at a higher price from a private party than they could get by buying from Guitar Center. Just as a private sale of a used car is unlikely to receive as much money as a used car dealer sale of the same vehicle. One reason for that is if you buy from a dealer or Guitar Center you don't have to worry about being literally robbed or something weird like that. For example, if they sold you a Chibson instead of a Gibson they would likely take it back once you documented that it was counterfeit even if they sold it "as is". Good luck trying that with a private party.

Here's a listing of used DRRIs available at Guitar Center right now. These prices pretty much set a ceiling on what a private party can sell for....after taking into account sales tax, shipping, etc., and other factors..

upload_2021-9-23_13-10-3.png
 

Jared Purdy

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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.

I seldom do that. I look at the price and compare it elsewhere. I hate being low balled, and I refuse to do it to other people. If the price is ridiculous to begin with, I won't even ask.
 

brookdalebill

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I try to be reasonable from the start when I sell.
I’m sometimes impatient, and I want to sell stuff moderately quickly.
When I buy off CL, I offer roughly 75% of asking price at first.
Usually if I show up to look at something, I’m serious.
If they accept cool, if they counter, just as cool.
I try not to offend.
I also like to keep my bucks.
 

charlie chitlin

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[QUOTE="KokoTele, post: 10936893, member: 279"
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.
[/QUOTE]

I tell them I listed MY best price...now it's time for YOUR best offer.
As for lowballers...if I'm asking 2500 and they offer me 1700...I counter with 3200.
Some gets really pissed.
It's fun.
I have just the right temperament for those games.
Especially in person.
It's a gift.
Mama Chitlins calls it my "bucketloads of charm."
 

joe_cpwe

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I've used 'what's your best price?' in person and seen it work. I'd never ask that through messaging.

Last year I'd driven to go see a beat up (home relic) '84 mij Kramer guitar, and was comfortable with the already low $250 price. I happened to ask the guy, since he had made excuses about it the entire time we were together, what his best price was. He said $200. That was good with me, I had the $250 and was willing to pay that. He saved me $50.

Same thing car shopping with my daughter. We found one she liked (from another young lady) so I told my daughter(while in the car after test drive) to ask the girl her best price. She dropped $300. Again, we would have paid the ask, but some sellers will drop. Why not ask?

When selling, I usually list higher than what I'd like to get. I'd never offer a lower price first as a seller. In my sales I usually don't move down too much anyway. I'm usually listing at a reasonable price. The idea is to SELL and get money not deal with strangers and psychos for weeks or months.
 
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Happy Enchilada

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I never ask for their "best price." Chances are they won't truthfully reveal that to you - after all, they don't owe you, right?

If I'm negotiating on a used item, I always start with "Why are you putting this up for sale?"
The answer they give, if truthful (and it's NEGOTIATION, so that's not often the case), tells me a lot about how desperate they may be to unload it. Usually a POed wife is a good motivator. And that can also be a direct segue into "Is there anything that needs repaired?" which tells me do I want to dive into this or walk away.

Always helps to have some idea of the street price of the item - normally lots lower than their asking price. That gives you an idea of how much wiggle room they actually have, since most people list items above their value to give themselves a comfortable fallback position. Doing some homework beforehand like looking at similar items on Reverb or eBay gives you a card to play during negotiations: "There's one on Reverb that's in better shape and priced $200 lower with free shipping," or "My bass player bought one a month ago for <insert price>."

My best advice is never pay full asking price - unless it's something extremely hard to find - or you're buying from me. :p
 
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Marc Morfei

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I usually price things about 10% above what I really want to get out of an item. If someone asks what my bottom dollar is I tell them it is what is in the ad, but if they will bring cash today they can take 10% off.
Usually this gets us going, I get what I want and the seller gets a little bit better deal which is what he wants.
This is a good approach. Some sellers get very easily pissed off by buyers. But do you want to sell your thing? Sometimes annoying buyers actually come through and buy it.
 

Festofish

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Works for me. I got a text response the other day that simply said “what’s the lowest you’ll go on x pedal”. I didn’t even text him back. Just rude. I had another cl message with him in my text history and it was the same way. If you can’t at least be cordial then don’t bother. Who does that?
 

KokoTele

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I don't even answer why I'm selling something, and never ask. The answer is self-evident: I have something of value and want the money more than I want the thing :D

If someone's gone to the trouble of coming to see an item I advertised, I usually figure they were willing to pay the asking price and don't really budge much. But going along with that, I try to describe thing thoroughly and accurately, so there are no surprises.

If I go to see an item and the condition isn't as described, then I negotiate pretty hard. I can usually tell when that's going to happen. Dimly lit, fuzzy pictures and a description that the guitar is like new almost always mean it's not "like new."
 

tfarny

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The one piece of CL negotiation that is iron clad for me is: Once we've internet-haggled over a price, you come to see it and either pay that price in cash or walk away. No grinding me down finding little faults and so on. I had a car buyer do that to me once , I came really close to punching him in the nose.
Anything else, eh, whatever. Different people have different approaches which is what this thread demonstrates. Don't get bent out of shape it's all just business.
 

ce24

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So they are asking MY best price... Always 20% more than what I'm asking.... Now are you asking what best price for you the buyer?
 

JL_LI

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German performance cars are now being sold by dealers over list price. The lots are empty. There’s no inventory. Folks I know are so put off by prices that they’re buying their cars at the end of the lease. So the prices of off lease cars is going through the roof with very limited inventory of desirable models. This has created a crisis at Woodbury High School. My nephew (and other kids) won’t be getting the off lease X1 he expected. Dad took him to look at a CRV but those are priced through the roof too. It seems that everything there is to buy is priced at what the market will bear.
 
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