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Thread: Classified etiquette

  1. #1
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    Default Classified etiquette

    I have not seen this discussed, but is it considered poor form or is it allowed to make an offer with a slightly lower price on an instrument offered in the classifieds? My MAS is "kicking in," but the instrument is a little higher price than I can afford right now.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Classified etiquette

    No problem offering less. They may or may not work with you.

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  4. #3

    Default Re: Classified etiquette

    The classifieds is a market. Market rules apply.

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    Mando-Afflicted lflngpicker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Classified etiquette

    I agree with both answers above. I think those of us that sell instrument on the MC, Ebay or Reverb all expect that those interested will make an offer that is within reason. I would rather hear from an interested party and have the opportunity to negotiate than have no nibbles on the price I have posted. You can't loose by offering what you think is fair and you can afford. Good Luck!
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    NY Naturalist BradKlein's Avatar
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    Default Re: Classified etiquette

    There are many times that I've made offers far below the asking price on an instrument. If one is polite, and a straight shooter, I've rarely had a bad reaction. And at times I've said, 'I totally understand. See how you do in the marketplace, and if my offer interests you in a few weeks or months, feel free to get back to me. An offer is an offer, and always better than no offer at all.
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    Default Re: Classified etiquette

    Okay, I did it. I sent an offer, now to see what happens. It was one of two mandolins on my "most want to own" list, now to see if it is meant to be.......

  11. #7

    Default Re: Classified etiquette

    I think it's part of the dance. Both sides get to "win", it makes a more pleasant experience.

  12. #8
    Registered User mingusb1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Classified etiquette

    Quote Originally Posted by BradKlein View Post
    There are many times that I've made offers far below the asking price on an instrument. If one is polite, and a straight shooter, I've rarely had a bad reaction. And at times I've said, 'I totally understand. See how you do in the marketplace, and if my offer interests you in a few weeks or months, feel free to get back to me. An offer is an offer, and always better than no offer at all.
    That's called "lowballing", and could be considered impolite regardless of the wording.
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  14. #9
    Martin Stillion mrmando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Classified etiquette

    Quote Originally Posted by mingusb1 View Post
    That's called "lowballing", and could be considered impolite regardless of the wording.
    Not necessarily. If somebody wants $3,500 for a run-of-the-mill vintage Gibson A, and I offer $900 for it, that's realism, not lowballing.
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  16. #10
    Registered User mingusb1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Classified etiquette

    Quote Originally Posted by mrmando View Post
    Not necessarily. If somebody wants $3,500 for a run-of-the-mill vintage Gibson A, and I offer $900 for it, that's realism, not lowballing.
    I'd agree, but an unrealistic list price as you've described would seem pretty rare here on the classifieds.

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    Default Re: Classified etiquette

    To me, there is a difference between making a reasonable offer and an unreasonable one, which would be lowballing to me. For example, someone offers an instrument for $3000 used in great shape that was 4000 new. If I were to offer 2750, or ask to split fees, or ask them to eat the shipping, that would be reasonable. It could result in a counter offer or just a flat no, but it would be an insult. If I were to offer 1500 dollars, that would be unreasonable and therefore lowballing. It is difficult to define lowballing but I know it when I see it. It's great when the classified ad in question is specific about expectations. For example, if they say "FIRM" after the price that pretty much settles it. Also, some say something like "reasonable offers considered."
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  19. #12

    Default Re: Classified etiquette

    So, what did you make an offer on?

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    Default Re: Classified etiquette

    The Weber Gallatin Oval hole. Weber and Pava are on my "want to have one" lists. That one just looked so nice to me, so I figured "why not?" once you all said offering was okay, and not likely offensive. Now the wait for the reply.......

  21. #14
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    Default Re: Classified etiquette

    Negotiations are like that, and we in North America have lost that haggling skill. Don't worry and good luck with your offer!

    One thing I *really* hate is when its time to renew the mortgage or buy a new car and the sales guy goes "what would you like to spend today?" For the record, the answer is always "nothing" just like yours is always "as much as you can".
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  23. #15

    Default Re: Classified etiquette

    Using eBay as an example, I often list an instrument with the "Best Offer" option. You would be surprised how many people think offering 25 percent of my asking price is reasonable......I guess because it is the internet and somewhat anonymous. I don't think those same people would go into a music store an offer 25 percent face to face with the store owner, IMHO. Of course, on eBay you also get people who like to offer $1 or $5, just to be "cute" I guess.......and to remain in good standing with eBay, I am prevented from telling them just how "cute" I actually think they are behaving..........

  24. #16

    Default Re: Classified etiquette

    I reserve the "L" word for a special kind of offer.

    It seems the term "lowballing" has taken on the meaning of "an offer lower than I want to sell it for." I see it rather, as the obnoxious, almost robo-dialing, methodical, ridiculously low offer. It's the worst on Craig's list where I can almost expect, "I give you $500 cash today." To my mind, this is a routine sort of business where a person sends out scores of these offers every day and hopes to get one or two. It's like spam in that way.

    To the point, why not make offers? Sellers often take potential offers into consideration with their original price, don't you think?

  25. #17
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    Default Re: Classified etiquette

    I don't get upset with any offer if I list something for sale, you make the offer and if it is way low I know we aren't going to reach an agreement so I turn down your offer with no counter offer. If that upsets you I'm sorry. II'm not upset but I won't waste your or my time if we aren't going to do business. Same way if I'm buying, if your price is out of the ballpark I won't waste your or my time with an offer.

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    Purveyor of Sunshine sgarrity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Classified etiquette

    Quote Originally Posted by mingusb1 View Post
    I'd agree, but an unrealistic list price as you've described would seem pretty rare here on the classifieds.

    Z
    I've got to disagree with this statement. We have the whole spectrum here from ridiculous prices to killer deals.
    When I have something for sale you can offer me whatever you want. The worst I can say is no!

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  29. #19

    Default Re: Classified etiquette

    Making offers and counter-offers is part of doing business. Only if an ad says "firm" will I not make a lower offer.

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  31. #20

    Default Re: Classified etiquette

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Mando View Post
    Using eBay as an example, I often list an instrument with the "Best Offer" option. You would be surprised how many people think offering 25 percent of my asking price is reasonable......I guess because it is the internet and somewhat anonymous. I don't think those same people would go into a music store an offer 25 percent face to face with the store owner, IMHO. Of course, on eBay you also get people who like to offer $1 or $5, just to be "cute" I guess.......and to remain in good standing with eBay, I am prevented from telling them just how "cute" I actually think they are behaving..........
    I use the Best Offer option occasionally. There is an option where you can select to automatically reject offers below a certain amount and automatically accept offers above a certain amount. So, you can offer an item at, say, $500 and select to automatically reject anything below $300 or automatically accept anything above $400, or whatever. With this, you don't even see the low offers and don't have to bother with rejecting them.

    Haggling in some cultures is not only accepted, but a highly refined science. I've been to touristy areas in places like India, for instance, where it's quite common for an item to be offered at three or four times what the merchant actually expects for it. The guy may initially ask 1000 rupees and it's not insulting to counter with 200 rupees, for instance, and eventually settle on 500 rupees after maybe twenty minutes of haggling (for what is basically a ten dollar item that I could easily have paid full price for, but it's the principle, dang it!)

  32. #21
    Registered User Ivan Kelsall's Avatar
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    Default Re: Classified etiquette

    "Lowballing" !!!. Every auction i've ever been to begins that way. Offers at ludicrously low prices,until the offers begin to kick in.
    IMHO Brad Klein has it right. There's nothing at all wrong in making an offer at the price that 'you' can afford. The seller might not have had any other offers,& might therefor sell at that price,or,politely decline & hold out for his asking price. I've personally sold several instruments in the past for less than i'd wanted.The cash in my hand & an instrument back being played by somebody who needs one, is very rewarding,
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  34. #22
    Middle-Aged Old-Timer Tobin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Classified etiquette

    Quote Originally Posted by Petrus View Post
    Making offers and counter-offers is part of doing business. Only if an ad says "firm" will I not make a lower offer.
    Exactly. A seller should expect offers unless he says "firm". That is the etiquette in any used market.

  35. #23
    Dave Sheets
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    Default Re: Classified etiquette

    I think part of the etiquette of offering a price well below the asking price is to below pretty polite and almost deferential about it, probably even explain why your offer is low, "I really love this instrument, but my budget just won't go past $1000, would you consider that low an offer?", or "Look, I know you want $400 for this, but Elderly has them at $350 new...". Comes down to trying to start the negotiation without really antagonizing anybody.
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  36. #24
    Gilchrist (pick) Owner! jasona's Avatar
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    Default Re: Classified etiquette

    Now you are talking techniques of haggling.

    That bit from Monty Python's Holy Grail comes to mind.
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  37. #25
    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Classified etiquette

    for the record, you can ask me any price too.

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