Is Not Responding To An Offer Just Plain Rude?

Think about it in the context of a BUYER using the Audiogon system - 

1 - “Lowballers will be politely ignored.

What constitutes a lowball offer? Is there a percentage of the asking price below which the offer becomes a “lowball”? If so, what is it? 90%? 75%? ….Is it connected to or disconnected from the length of time the ad has been running?

2 - When the only option is “Make an Offer”.

What am I supposed to do here? Am I supposed to offer more than the asking price? Less than the asking price? If less is OK, then refer to point 1 above.

3 - When the only option is “Make an Offer” and the ad says “price is firm”

What the heck am I supposed to do with that one?

If you’re listing an item with the option of “Make an Offer”, wouldn’t it just be courteous to give the benefit of the doubt to the person submitting the offer, assume he or she is a serious buyer and not a tire-kicker, and just reply one way or the other, in a timely fashion? I mean, there’s nothing lost, right? Just say “NO”. Or make a counteroffer….what’s so difficult?

I just sold a nice preamp to a gentleman who made an offer on it, it arrived with the buyer safely and he’s thrilled with it. So now I have wires hanging loose in my system where a preamp used to be, and it’s almost the Holidays. I found a suitable replacement on Audiogon in the $7K range, made an offer within 10% +/- of the asking price, and…drum roll….….nothing. 

I sat around all weekend waiting for the seller to respond, but they didn’t have the decency to just message me and say no. So I was stuck with the “Seller has 48hrs to review your offer” BS, now I’m back to square one and without the means to play my favorite Kenny G Christmas albums. 

One bandaid fix would be for Audiogon to adopt the ebay system and allow sellers to automatically decline offers below a certain amount. Then they wouldn’t even have to interact with us lowballers and their delicate sensibilities wouldn’t get hurt…..heck, I’d even take a photo of me wearing a mask as I press the ’Submit Offer’ button, if this is a Covid thang…

Whinge over…

Merry Christmas :)

You've got way too much emotionally invested. Its a business transaction. Its a negotiation in a business transaction. There's a lot of lessons learned over the years. The one applies here is, "He who wants it most never gets the best price." The mistake you made is not knowing ahead of time just how much you want it. 

If you know you want it a lot then you would just pay full price and be happy to get it. If not then you offer whatever price makes you indifferent. What that means is, if you get it at that price you'll be okay with it. But if not you will be okay with that too. 

How fast a seller responds has no bearing on any of this. Where it comes into play is later on. Because if the seller is lax responding he may well be lax in shipping, packaging, questions, returns, everything.  

Please note this is completely 180 degrees opposite to the way you are looking at things now. Your way you are helplessly asking what are you supposed to do. My way you only do what you want anyway and don't even really care what the seller does. My way if he replies and sells its a pleasant surprise. But if not? That's fine too. 
When I’m selling, I respond to all offers. That doesn’t mean I counter or accept them. Some, I just say, "No, thanks."

I think it’s better business practice to respond promptly to anyone who bothers to send an offer. I’ll go further, I find it rude not to respond. But we are living in a time when rudeness is common, even celebrated in some circles.
First, don't take any non-response personally!
It is not necessarily about you, or the details of any
potential transaction.

You don't know anything about the seller, their
personality or communication style, or their
pandemic-related challenges.

Audio sales and purchases are not exactly like arranging for
a rental car at the airport, correct?

Did you ever look in the mirror and wonder
why everyone is not like you, or think the way you 
think?  (Didn't accomplish much, did it?)
A "lowball" offer is an what the seller determines to be "lowball". I've ignored such warnings in an ad, submitted what I want to pay. The offer always includes a detailed explanation as to why I feel my offer is justified. It worked on one occasion. The other times the seller whines about how it's "unique,flawless, blah, blah, blah-whatever.

As a buyer, I just cast a wide net to find the deal I want.Submit an offer, don't hold your breath. Move on and look for another listing. There's always something better that pops up eventually.

"now I’m back to square one and without the means to play my favorite Kenny G Christmas albums."
That may be a blessing.

@tablejockey +1, you beat me to the punch about the Kenny G thing. Enjoy the music
@millercarbon  Thanks for that perspective. I tend to buy and sell fairly often so I'm not really that invested at the initial offer stage, and I've dealt with my fair share of whackjobs over the years, both buying and selling. (nothing much surprises me).

Think of it this way and see if it gets you closer to where I'm at - The seller pays money to list an ad. They take the time to post pictures and write a description. The seller is really the one who is "invested" at this point, not the potential buyer. Someone comes along and submits an offer on an ad which is inviting people to submit an offer. To my mind, that's step 1 of a negotiation. I don't mind if the person comes back and tells me to sling my hook. That would be part of the negotiation process, step 2, if you like. At that point (and not before), I decide how badly I want this thing and either continue the negotiation or walk away. That's how it's supposed to work, I think, and not....submit an offer....then....silence. 

In this particular case, had the seller responded and said something like "Look, I really want my asking price". I would have paid it, in full. But paying full price up-front without starting a negotiation when someone is inviting an offer, makes no sense to me. 
@tablejockey - I was actually kidding about the Kenny G
In the last year Audiogon buyers and sells have gone down hill big time.I have friend with 100% great feedback for almost 20 years the seller told him he was waiting for more offers after he offered him his asking price.These people are on a different planet then the rest of us this is a very sad state of affairs.
Rooze when they don’t respond, I assume they are just busy working. Don’t take it personally, I always just to ignore it as well.
If the seller will only take the asking price he/she should have listed as buy now only. If you submitted an offer of 10% less that is more than fair on your part. It is sure not a low ball!
I just put my very first item up for sale on Agon. There are now 6 "watchers". What is a watcher? What does a watcher want? What is the right way to go, Auction or Classified? 

Maybe they are waiting to see if they get a full price offer or one higher than your offer. They may end up accepting your offer if they don’t get a better offer.
"I was actually kidding about the Kenny G thing."

rooze-I think most of us are in on the Kenny G goof. Especially  Jazz fans and listeners of Pat Metheny.

Anybody that asks a question is just kicking tires and will never buy.
I think it’s plain rude not to respond. If you have COVID - don’t place an in Agon - wait until
you’re better. Same applies if you have other issues. If you want to sell in a public forum, you should play by the rules. Agon should automatically accept offers if not responded in 48 hrs.
If the ad states, "Lowball offers will be politely ignored", and he doesn't respond to your offer, you've been politely ignored.
@yogiboy,   " If the seller will only take the asking price he/she should have listed as buy now only"

I never list it as buy it now because you can end up with  someone with zero feedback or bad feedback that you are obligated to sell to.  I like being able to sell to someone I am comfortable with and has positive feedback.
Thank the higher powers for starting AudioMart.
I have always sold here with buy now only and I never had a problem. As long as I get paid using paypal. If a buyer wants to pay less than my asking price I will get an Email from the buyer.
If I want to sell it for less then I will change the listing price to what we both agree on. It has always worked out good for me!
 BTW, many buyers check HIFI shark looking for an item that they are interested in and join Audiogon the same day just to purchase a certain piece of gear and they have no feedback!
I wish there was an option to choose the amount of time the seller has to respond. 48 hours is too long in my opinion. Ebay changed their format from 48 hours to 12 hours and 24 hours. Sometimes the sellers don't respond at all which means you waste 48 hours waiting when you could have bought something else.
@genesis777    That’s my beef with the system, exactly. It would work ok if people were responsive, but it doesn’t work so well with the way some people are. Were it the only time this has happened I wouldn’t have made a fuss, but it isn’t. I think some people use the fact that they’re holding us hostage for 48hrs as a ‘virtual middle-finger’.

I always put out a low offer just to check the waters. I am sure some are offended but I would rather get something for a good price if possibe( unless I really want it). I think a seller that really wants to sell something should atleast couter offer (takes no time). You never know if the person will step up. Good commuication goes a long way. If you counter you may be increasing your chances of selling. But to each there own:) I agree that the seller should atleast decline( or not have 48 hours as stated above to do nothing) so if you are also looking at other items you can move on to the next one. (You may only be working with so much money and if one accepts you may not have enough or want to spend more for the other item or items)

The OP is only telling part of the story. What happens if you are selling something and the potential buyer offers you 1/2 of what its worth? 40% off? Do you respond to requests like that? I don't. 10% off, sure I will respond, not sure if I will take it. 
You don't say anything about the buyers that lead you on for a bit, you both work out a deal, then the buyer vanishes? There are many times you know not to get involved with a certain buyer based on the questions they ask.
“Is Not Responding To An Offer Just Plain Rude?”

Meh. People are strange.....
I've had the same experience trying to buy here. I offered 95% of asking price with a "make offer".  I waited. Offered again. No response. Next I messaged the seller to tell him I paid a higher price elsewhere.
As a buyer, I will almost always ask a question or two regarding a 'classified' style ad. This gets a conversation going, where I can get a feel for the seller.  Love the ads I reply to, and months later the item is still for sale.  Makes you wonder about the seller.  And yes, by the time I ask a question I am serious.  Sorry, ebm, not all of us are like that.  Courteous is as courteous does.
I tried to buy a McIntosh amp on Audiogon back in February.  The ad said make an offer so I did and never got a response. I think the price was $6,500 and I offered $6,000. I then asked what did they want for the amp. Never got a response. Gave up and bought from a dealer. FWIW the amp is still for sale. 
I understand exactly where you are coming from. Despite what some of the jaded members might say, common courtesy shouldn't be dismissed as you being too "emotionally invested". If the seller is providing "wiggle room" in either the selling price or the offers he will respond to, then he is also obligated to presume that not every responder is 100% aligned to his particular parameters. Based on this premise, to not respond is both rude and counterproductive. Even if the buyer's initial offer is offering significantly less than asking price, I would still expect a response. How polite that response is, is up to the seller, but many successful negotiations are the result of offers and counteroffers. That being said, every person has their own way of doing business and that will never change.
If you knew how the offer system worked when you made the offer and agreed to the conditions, why whine about it? The seller is in the driver's seat, not you. 

I made an offer today for an item, at the seller's asking price. They declined it. No reason was given, and none was expected. Maybe someone offered more. Maybe somebody offered full price before I did. Who knows? I knew I might get it and I knew I might not. If you don't like the way the offer system works, don't participate. 
+1 blainer55 I ask questions frequently and follow up by buying, frequently. Ebm’s comment was farcical. 
I wish there is an automatic reject option to offers that are lower than seller's desired asking price. eBay has such options that if the offer is too low than it will be rejected automatically so seller does not need to respond. 

In this particular case, the seller stated low offers will be politely ignored. So he will not respond to offers he does not accept, some will not even say that up front. is 10% too low? It is up to the seller to decide. The seller would not wait for even a day if he think the offer is acceptable. 

@dchang05 - "I wish there is an automatic reject option to offers that are lower than seller's desired asking price" - that would go some way to fixing the problem. As I've said, a big part of the issue is being in limbo for 48hrs wondering whether the hole in your equipment rack has been filled, or not.

"In this particular case, the seller stated low offers will be politely ignored." - actually that wasn't the case. The ad had the 'Make an Offer' button and there was nothing in the text that said anything about (low) offers being ignored. 
Yes, I think it’s rude. But, not as much as so many other indignities that we suffer through out each day. I don’t sell often. I price by what I believe is fair value. I always get my asking price, with little wait. If I get an offer below asking, I simply reply:” Thank you for your offer, no.”.
Only once did I have problem with a buyer. I was selling an amp, that was not frequently available. Strangely enough, there were two others offered for sale at the same time . All three were listed within $25 of each other. This buyer actually started a thread suggesting we were all rip off artists trying to take advantage of the public, and tried to shame us into lowering our asking prices. Mine sold within two days at full asking price, and the other two sold in less than five days. BTW, my buyer told me it was not the first sample of this amp that he had purchased. He knew full well what he was buying, and was happy to do so. That thread was taken down by the moderators shortly there after.
The Audiogon rules are the seller has 48 hours to respond and if they don’t, then you don’t get the item. It is pretty simple. When you put your offer in, you are agreeing to Audiogon terms. You shouldn’t whine afterwards that you didn’t get a response.

Once I posted an amp for sale and I got over a dozen offers and none met my price range. I was not about to write to all those people to say “no”. The poster who offered 6K on an item that was going for $6500. I would never be willing to drop the price $500.00 on something I was selling unless it was a fire sale. That is insulting to the seller and I wouldn’t reply either. Had you offered a couple of hundred less, if I was the seller, I may have gone for it.

What about the person who lowballs the item and then wants free shipping and insurance too? I have come across that many times. I won’t sell to them because I am pretty sure they will be trouble even after the sale. Bottom line, if you don’t like the Audiogon rules, buy elsewhere.
You never know who you’re talking to, the safest bet is to use proper manners no matter how goofy the other person on the other hand acts. If you were rude to them it would give them reason to post some thing and your profile. I just as soon be nice, you sleep better at night.
12  “no” return e-mails would take about a minute.
@unsound ,

If you actually read the Audiogon rules regarding making offers, it speciffically states "if you do not hear from the party within 48 hours, consider your offer rejected." Perhaps you need to go over the rules of service again? When I get 12 or more low ball offers, my obligation to the other party is zero, nada, zilch.

If you are offended you do not get a response, go elsewhere to buy, no one is stopping you. You have very few sales here so you probably haven’t run into many lowball offers compared to me with well over 100 sales and all positive feedback. If you want changes made, take it up with Audiogon management. No need for all the whiners to continuiously whine about it here.
@stereo5 You seem to take a very "black and white" stance to buying/selling online, where some might consider the exchange of goods for cash between two complete strangers to be more of a process.
My point is, as a buyer, we've little idea what's in the mind of the seller unless he or she specifically tells us - "Price is Firm" - "Make me an Offer" etc. So all we can do is pitch in with what we believe to be a subjectively fair offer, assuming there's a 'Make an Offer' invitation.

I can't see the hardship in saying "NO" to a dozen people. It releases them from the obligation of buying from you, and, more importantly, they don't have to sit around for two days waiting on a message from someone who has no intention of conducting business with them.

"Bottom line, if you don’t like the Audiogon rules, buy elsewhere" - No, I don't like Audiogon rules, nor do I like the rules imposed on me as a buyer and seller at Amazon and eBay. That doesn't mean I should pack-up and leave.

Offers are interesting and I guess it comes down to your philosophy.  I respond to all offers as quickly as I decide.  I have let one sit for a day because I was pondering it.  Automated rejects would be nice but then again, I like discussing things.  I will usually state what "range" they need to be in for the offer to be considered.  I have never sold an item to someone in this scenario but in the same token, it takes a second to respond.  

What is clear though is what each of us define as a "low-ball offer" is wildly different.  If someone comes in with a reasonable offer that is a bit too low I will almost always counter offer.  If you are within 10% of asking, I can't see how that is offensive.  Worst case, I would counteroffer at asking price and say the price was firm.   

If you are trying to sell something and someone raises there hand and says "I want to buy it", seems like it is probably smart to try and negotiate with them.  Basically, if I don't respond to you within 48 hours, I am likely in the hospital.  Can't imagine why you wouldn't respond to someone.  
Offers are interesting and I guess it comes down to your philosophy. I respond to all offers as quickly as I decide. I have let one sit for a day because I was pondering it. Automated rejects would be nice but then again, I like discussing things. I will usually state what "range" they need to be in for the offer to be considered. I have never sold an item to someone in this scenario but in the same token, it takes a second to respond.  

What is clear though is what each of us define as a "low-ball offer" is wildly different.  If someone comes in with a reasonable offer that is a bit too low I will almost always counter offer. If you are within 10% of asking, I can't see how that is offensive. Worst case, I would counteroffer at asking price and say the price was firm.  

If you are trying to sell something and someone raises there hand and says "I want to buy it", seems like it is probably smart to try and negotiate with them. Basically, if I don't respond to you within 48 hours, I am likely in the hospital. Can't imagine why you wouldn't respond to someone.  
Agreed ^^

When I list something for $300.00 and get offers of $200.00 or less, thats lowballing and pretty rude.  If the offer came in at like$275.00, I would take it in a heartbeat.  Some people here are quite shameless in what they offer.   I had a pair of GE Triton 2+ for sale here back in 2017 which was a current model (I paid $3500.00 from my local dealer) and less than 3 months old.  I was asking $2800.00 and would have compromised at $2700.00.  Some buffoon offered me $2000.00 and wanted ME  to pay for shipping and insurance from Rhode Island to California!  At the time, it cost me about $200.00 to ship the speakers elsewhere.  Do you really think this person was warranted a reply from me?
@stereo5 In scenario number one the offer is 33% below asking?  Yes, the initial offer is low, but I am not sure how rude it is.  They offered to buy.  Worst case, you can just straight up decline. 

In the latter scenario, that is an arrogant person making an offer that is 28% below asking and making demands on top of it.  I would click the decline button and maybe tell them it was absurd.  Maybe not bother saying anything.  In the end, we are talking about clicking a button and typing maybe 10 words.  

In both cases those scenarios are well outside of my 10% threshold. I would agree that in both cases, the offers were low-balls.  Believe me, I have received silly offers from folks on certain items.  Sometimes less than 50% of asking.  It takes me a few seconds to hit decline and say "not even close, needs to be X."  

Alternatively, your scenario above had someone offering $6000 on a $6500 item.  That is 7.7% below asking.  In that scenario, I would probably counter offer for $6250 or $6300.  I am not sure how an offer that is within 10% of asking price is "insulting to the seller."

In the end, makes not difference to me. Everyone is entitled to handle their business the way they see fit.  I was merely explaining my POV.  
@stereo5, if you had read my previous post, you would have read that I posted as much. It’s not that big of a deal.  I’m not that offended.  I don’t need the rules changed. I just think it polite to reply to an inquiring response. If you don’t, don’t.
Happy holidays.
When you make a low offer and it is ignored, that is a pretty loud response. Re being tied in for 48 hours- total nonsense. Go try again.
Most items for sale have a blue book value.  Basically, a low, average and high sale price range for the item.  I believe that Audiogon had/has a blue book option here as well.  Same for cars, watches, etc.
So, first, in my opinion, people that are selling and buying should do their research first on the price range for the item. I typically do.
So, when I list an item for sale, I typically price it to sell.  I don't have much room for dancing on the price and don't tolerate lowballers.
They come in many forms.  There are many out there that are dealers or flippers.  They want to buy something as low as possible so they can flip it for as much as they can. 

So, I am assuming that the potential buyer did their research first.  If they come at me with a ridiculously low offer, I simply ignore them and could not care less if a person feels that it is rude.  to me their offer was not worthy of even a response.  As I mentioned, there is some room for negotiations, but lets be real here.  You have an item that is blue book priced at (average) at $10,000 and some yahoo offers $2000? , $7000 or $8000.  yeah, that's lowballing and won't get a response from me.  Offer $9,000?  I probably would respond.

Lowball offers are like pornography. Difficult to describe, but you know it when you see it. 10% is a reasonable (not lowball) offer, however.

Me? I’m more likely to accept a lower offer from someone who takes the time to attach a brief note. So much of this is instinct/perception of how much pain the buyer will end up being.

As far as prompt replies are concerned, people have lives and don’t hang out here 24x7. More importantly, keep in mind that Audiogon is the ABSOLUTE WORST forum architecture on the interwebz.

I’ve noticed sometimes, I have a message in my inbox that doesn’t display in the notification bar, and if I didn’t catch it in my email inbox I’d miss it entirely.

At the end of the day (as noted above), this is business, and taking things personally is no good for either your physical or mental well-being.

... Thom @ Galibier Design
Day and night on this one. Seems many of you change your audio systems like I change my socks. I keep and maintain my equipment a long time. I've been on USAudioMart for several years and bought one thing. I was only looking for one specific item and purchased it. I had no transactions at the time, so what's the big deal? My money was good on USAM, made a reasonable offer and it was accepted. I have more than 2K transactions on eBay and don't even use the make offer option, I was tired of absurd 'low ball' offers. If someone is really interested they will contact me with an offer. If you have a number in mind don't solicit offers! Buyers seem to commonly think sellers always ask more just to see if they can get it. If a seller has zero transactions, that's a horse of a different color. But paypal guarantees my purchase, only accepting cash, M.O. or wired funds? I don't think so. By the way, all you sellers adding 3% to paypal payments is contrary to their regulations, but I digress. I'm now looking for 3 McIntosh pieces and again have no transactions here. I have found what I'm looking for and about to offer a bit under 10%. That's not a lowball! I'm looking to keep these as long as I have my MC2105 and C28 (many many years). I know what I want and am willing to pay for them but I'm also looking for the best condition/best price (you know retired/fixed income, blah, blah, blah). One seller has 2 of the pieces and am going to offer 9.75% under asking. Most guys, not trying to be sexist here ladies, like to do a little 'horse trading'. Hope they're not offered from a certain seller on this blog, me thinks you don't seem to grasp the fact you're not the only game in town, and apparently you don't care either. And that's OK, I can always look elsewhere. AB
If you're patient and informed, as a buyer you can use the offer system to your advantage.  I've had my eye on a DAC upgrade and had a couple in mind.  I made an offer on one and it was rejected. 

There were a couple of others that I've been watching for a couple of weeks.  There were two of the same item, with identical asking prices (one of them lowered their price after the 2nd one showed up). 

I made an offer to one of the sellers for $500 less than the asking price, sending a nice note with it, and the buyer accepted.  Did I "lowball" him?  Did he have it over-priced?  I say neither, we met at a place that was reasonable for us both. 

Context matters.  If I put something up for sale and they offer 80% of what I'm asking the first day I list it and use text speak, I'm going to ignore them.  If I've had it listed for a while, and someone approaches me in an intelligent way and sends signals that they'll be easy to work with, I'll be much more receptive. 

The system is what it is.  People will "work" the system in different ways.  If you'd rather just straight up pay an asking price and not have to deal with the risk that your offer might get rejected, then by all means do so.
Just a quick response to the Paypal fee issue.  in the past, Audiogon had the paypal option, but also allowed payment via check, or other methods.  Actually, it isn't Audiogon's business at all what form of payment I prefer.  They chose to get into bed with Paypal and now Paypal is setting the rules for Audiogon.  That is well and good.  however, Paypal protects the buyer, not the seller, so I have zero use for paypal as a seller.

So, I tell potential buyers that if you chose to use paypal, they you are responsible for the paypal fee.  

Most of the items that I have sold here were sold directly out of my home.  Buyers, indicated on Audiogon that they will purchase the item.  They then came to my home and I had the unit in question connected and operating so that they can not only see it but hear it also.
Most times (actually all the time) each one stayed for over an hour listening and talking about music and equipment.  it was actually fun.
What I sell (when I sell) , it is because I either have too many pieces at home or typically, I am upgrading, purchased something else and want to sell the previous unit.

What I sell is exactly as advertised.  
But, as far as paypal is concerned, I don't appreciate Audiogon's new policy of only allowing paypal transactions, instead of cash or even checks.  I wouldn't ship the item until my bank told me that the check cleared.  Yes, there are ways that forgers can get around that, but that's on me.

Again, paypal protects the buyer, not the seller, so yeah, if the potential buyer only wants to use paypay, (not happening if they come to my home to pick up the unit, it is cash then), then, they pay the paypal fee.  

I recently listed an item on Audiogon for $1050 that sells pretty regularly for $1500 or more. One guy offered $500. I rejected it right away, then he offered $600, I felt no obligation to do more than also reject quickly. BTW, the item sold quickly on Audio Mart.