Is a offer of -20 percent on an OBO ad insulting?

I made a offer 20% below the sellers asking price on a Krell last night. The seller emailed that I shouldn't waste his time with such a ridiculous offer and that he was blocking me from his email list. Was I out of line?
It depends on if his price was good or not. If the price was already attractive, or the going rate, then a -20% offer is too low. If he was high on his price, then it is in line. If you are buying this type of item, you know what the going rate should be. If you were trying to get 20% below that, then you should expect a response like that. Low ballers are not viewed very well on this site.
I think sellers like that are being jerks. This has happened to me also. How do you know how low they are willing to go unless you make an offer? This is called negotiation. You can go higher but you can't go down so you have to start low. Maybe they are desperate, maybe they are just testing the waters, maybe they are just hoping someone really wants it and is willing to pay a high price. If they did not want to get low offers, they should list it as firm, not obo.

I have sold over 50 items here and have received offers that I considered ridiculous. It only takes a few seconds of my time to respond that the offer is too low and make a counter offer. A few times it has even resulted in a sale for what I considered a good price. Yes, most were just tire kickers looking for a bargain, but you never know. Why would I want to drive away a potential buyer?

I have also had items that I did not know the value of. I priced them higher than I thought I could get just to see how much interest there was. I could gauge the value of the item by the offers I was getting.

If these people are insulted by low offers, I would hate to be around when they get spammed with email for loan offers and offers to enhance their sex lives.
For something to be insulting, it must be personnel. A person that I’m not familiar with, cannot insult me. I do sales for a living. It’s not personnel, it’s a business. By listing equipment for sale, the seller is asking for offers. Most of the offers won’t match the sellers expectations. That, is by definition, how free markets work. If the seller doesn’t like the offer he won’t accept. As a buyer, if you make a lower than asking price offer, it may not be accepted.

What I like about A-Gon is that you can talk to people and determine what type of person you are dealing with. That is not always available on Ebay.. You may have gotten a clue about this person by their reaction to your offer. In sales, a simple no will always work. Why get upset?

Furthermore as a seller, there is no obligation to deal with unqualified buyers. What I mean, is that it is OK for a seller to only deal with high probability prospects. Sellers are under no obligation to answer all the questions that they are posed. I will qualify people by asking them, “If I answer all your questions to your satisfaction, are you prepared to spend $XXX.” It is an easy question to find qualified buyers. I learned the hard way, spending too much time with people who were not buyers.
Have fun and good listening.
While I agree with twi, in part; I also think OBO means just that.A -20% offer on a firm price is one thing. The seller must have thin skin--(Don't we all?--time to time?) He could have ignored you,or just said no thank you. Anyway,we shure know how he felt,huh?
I agree with Herman. While I typically offer about 90%, I don't think an 80% offer is deserves that type of response. A simple "your offer is to low would have been sufficient." Often with low ball offers I just send back a counter offer and to my surprise many times they will move up. I am surprised by people being insulted. Your selling an object; a thing. We are all looking for bargains that's why we buy and trade on audiogon. If not we'd be buying retail.

Also who determines going rate? As an example, I have looke at the prices of a Pass X250 (I own the x150). Look how many are on sale here and most of the going rate is around $3500 to $4000. None of them have sold. There is one for $3200 a 20% discount off of the "going" rate and it has not sold yet. I have not made any offers since I am not ready to purchase, but let's face it, the Pass x250 is probably worth in the low $3,000. Yet I'm sure many will be offended with a $3200 offer.

Just my thoughts,
I agree with Herman too. If you sell obo it's just that. You have to expect offers at that price(20% off).Especially in the audio market right now which is a buyer's market. If he has time to insult you he has time to simply say no. I think he's being a jerk. No loss being "blocked" from that. It's a blessing.

I remain,
Thanks for the conformation folks. I must say my ears were burning after I received that response and that I wouldn't what to deal with that seller. Also, I am ready to buy and would like to try a Krell.
Still shopping, Jim
It doesn't take alot to be polite. OBO is just that. Your offer may not be his best, but if you're a serious buyer, if he wasn't willing to accept an offer then he should have put firm or courteously declined and counter offered. Many times I've bought and sold equipment right here for +/- 20% off OBO and in the end both of us were happy to have been able to put together a deal. This guy is just too proud, too stupid, or just a putz!!!
As a frequent seller and buyer here I agree with the posters that asking 20% off a OBO is probably low but with in reason. I always acknowledge all offers as a courtesy and if the price is lower than I will accept I ask for a counter offer or give them my bottom line selling price. I avoid ads that state low ballers will be ignored(what is a low offer to the seller may not be one to the buyer) and ads that say don't ask me again about condition ect. If the seller states the price is firm and I want to purchase this item I pay the asking price, if the price is a little on the high side I may ask to include the shipping or even split it.
To Moto: Sorry to hear about your unpleasant experience with your offer. As mentioned, the seller may have a thin skin or he may have his item fairly priced and is looking to get an offer close to his asking price. As with many of the others Audiogon members in this thread, I've bought and sold a number of items here and had few problems. When I get a really low offer, I usually just send a simple "Thanks but no thanks - your offer is WAY too low to consider" and move on. Hope this bad experience does not change your opinions about Audiogon. There are some really great people who both buy and sell on this site - and as noted, unlike E-Bay by exchanging e-mails and phone calls you get to know the folks you are dealing with. Good listening! Dave
Whenever you place an ad to sell an item you should not be suprised when you receive low offers. A simple courtesy e-mail is all the response that is required. I have sold a couple of houses thru realators as well as one on my own and received offers that I considered low. These offers required formal responses by me which took significantly more time than an e-mail. The people making the offer maybe doing so for various reason. However, as one person above stated; this is business and as such we need to understand that and not take it personnel.
What is OBO except an invitation for low offers? An offer of 80% of full price does not deserve rudeness. The buyer may well have gone to 90% or even 100% with a little bargaining.
20% under is not an insult. I listed some speakers a long time ago and got offers at 50-60% with "advice" that I was way overpriced. Those were insults. I kept the speakers, sold them years later for little less than I had paid for them, and recently saw them on Ebay (yes I recognized them from the picture and serial number) for even more. I listed a sub and got offers 20% under, those were not insults. But I kept and still use the sub in my second system. An insult is an insult. 20% under if the seller says "obo" is not an insult
i think it depends on the selling price. if the selling price is low then 20% is too much. i look @ things a little differently. we are a small group of people that "do" this hobby. if you are "doing" the hobby then you know what is a fair price and what is not. to take advantage of someone because they are in a bad spot is not honorable. i would not like someone to take advantage of me if i were in a "pickle". its not all about money. if the person cant afford it then they need to save the money. gee what a concept.
20% is probably not terribly unreasonable. Being a seller myself, I can understand the sellers point of view here. It's exteremely irritating to get many low ball offers in a row. For example, I had speakers listed at 825 for the pair plus shipping. Someone wrote me and said they would give me 500 shipped to their area. I noticed a lot of people don't do research before they make offers. Look at other units similar to what you want and see what they are going for. Then consider an offer.
what a clown...
He cannot block your email, because it was delivered via Audiogon emailer; if he blocks that then he's blocked ALL email from the remailer utility, & therefor will not receive any offers at all. Duh! This seller with no manners whatsoever has just eliminated himself for you, saving you the trouble of finding out after the fact what a jerk he really is. There's no telling what you might have received, very likely *not* in as-advertised condition.
I've received a similar discourteous response at one time & my offer was quite reasonable, esp. compared with the ridiculous asking price which was in fact an OBO listing. I responded back & set him straight. Guess what, no one bought his merchandise & I later saw it advertised on AudioReZoo.
An offer of 20% discount from an OBO-type ad is completely within reason. Everyone reacts differently to offers.
I recently had someone make a lowball offer on some goods (which is perfectly fine), but they also added a lecture on how ridiculous my selling price was. That was uncalled for.
Particularly, due to the fact that the goods sold within four hours at my asking price.
I believe courtesy usually prevails in both buying and selling.
Anyone who is insulted by an offer that is only -20% should ask rock bottom and list as "firm". If you list obo you have to leave some room for negotiation. I have responded with "too low" and I have ignored stupid low offers. Dont think its rude if the offer is obviously ridiculous. Dont take it seriously, feces transpires.
Seller could have added "lowballers will be cheerfully ignored" or "price is firm" or similar text as I have seen many times here on Audiogon.

As a newbie to the 'sport', I have found it isn't always easy knowing what etiquette is in this arena. I for one probably wouldn't know what is fair game for a used Krell, and may have incurred the wrath of this seller too.
Anybody with an OBO ad calling a -20% offer ridiculous is probably out of this world. If he thinks his gear commands a PARTICULAR price then he has to state it as PRICE IS FIRM, not OBO.
Let's not waste time with that sort of sellers; there are lots of gears on sale by others..
how long does it take to type n o and click send message button?
If his ad included OBO then you should be able to offer any reasonble amount. Otherwise, he shouldn't have listed the ad that way. Anyway, he sounds like your typical audio snob, probably a salesman in a high-end audio store.

Besides, Krell is way over priced for what is essentially a big power supply.

Ditto Herman and Bundus.
If he is so uptight/disgruntled, let him rot in.........
I think it's the way you make the offer. How it's worded. Be polite, and maybe even acknowledge that while some might consider it a lowball offer, you don't mean to offend. Personally, I'm not insulted until about the 40% mark, but even then I'll thank them for their offer and politely say no. Bill and Ted are right--be excellent to one another.

Peace, Love, Dope
People here seem to have trouble with supply and demand setting the price. I love the guy who posted that "OBO" can mean more than the figure actually asked. "OBO" to my mind means the person has made a firm decision to sell on short notice and is willing to accept what is offered. If you can't stand the heat in the market place, get out of there. A polite "no" is all that is required when you think the offer is too low. Such audiophiles on top of being audio snobs in all likelihood are prima donnas. Let them keep their equipment. I suggest they become collectors. BTW I like the Canadians who want to sell in the US telling other Canadians wanting to know how much they want for it in Canadian funds that the item is sold and then who keep on advertising the item for two months on various sites. Jerks come in many shapes, sizes, nationalities etc but share one point in common.
20% off is not insulting, but depending on the circumstances it could be naive - which, of course, doesn't warrant a smack.

With that said, last week I put up for sale a very hot item NIB OBO at what would be market price for used ($700). Even given that, two people shot right back with "SOLD for $550. Give me address, I give you $!". This is annoying, regardless of the OBO advert notation because, even given that, these people were low-ballers. Even with that, I told them, thank you, no, and just reminded them of what they were bidding on - which is my way of getting rid of the people trying to swoop in on a price hoping for a newbie scared about spending too much (invariably guys trying to play used equipment dealer for a awhile...)

We do not know how this person asked for the price, or what the model was he was making a counter-offer on, but given his/her tone here, he hardly seems to be one of those guys.

There are lots of asses in the world just looking for a spot, always anonymous, where they can shout at the world. And so it goes...
Again, thanks for all the interesting discussion!
BTW, my offer was worded "I'm interested in your amp, would you consider $XXXX and splitting the shipping?"
I don't have access to the Blue Book prices but his asking price, compared to the new price, did seem low. I know from personal experience, if I'm selling something that I've purchased used, I'm willing and able to sell at a much lower price, of course I didn't know if he was the first or third owner. Most everyone expects and has tolerable amount of loss when reselling an item. It's only through friendly negotiation that a good deal for both buyer and seller may be struck.
FYI, I've just sold a Cinepro 3K6SE ($7000+) for $2499 and I paid the 2nd Day Air, PayPal fees, & auction fees. I guess I'm just easy!
Still looking, Jim
I had a similar situation recently - a pair of speakers was listed for about 25% off retail. I thought that was a little high all things considered - they weren't just a week old or anything - so I offered something around 33% off retail and got a somewhat indignant and insulted no... (but he didn't do antyhing weird, like block audiogon!) I never got around to replying because someone else posted the same set for around 50% off retail and I grabbed them within minutes...
Maybe the seller has his thoughts that the asking price is more than fair, and that the buyer should be educated to know. What the seller fails to take into account is that there are always lots of Krells for sale. So its buyers choice. Seller is a tad upset that he's not getting enough response on his ad, not moving fast enough. If the seller tried to meet him half-way, 10%(take the hit and move on), it would have been a fair deal for both. The seller could easily have ignored his email.
Tweekerman, brings up good point. If a piece is put up for sale with "o b o" then a negotiable sale is implied.
In any given instance - yes or no.

Assuming the price is listed out fairly, an offer of 80% is insulting.

Lets take a Nordost Quattro Fil cable of 1 meter - they usually sell for between $750 and $800 on Audiogon. Assume a listing price of $750, and an offer of $600 - that is ridiculous, and not worth a reply.

Of course, the seller takes a risk of never selling the product too!
OBO means offers are being solicited. No, but I will take X is far easier to type and much more appropriate than the flaming you received. I vote for "putz" and agree that you are better off w/o him (esp. for a high availability item).