What is "low ball"

A lot of ads say something to the effect "no lowballers please". So I'm curious what people think is "lowball".

I'm looking for a percentage from people. I'm thinking less than 75% of asking price is where "low ball" kicks in, but I'm interested in what the general consensus is (if there is one).
I would say it depends on what the buyers asking price is. If the asking price is close to what other similar items have sold for recently, then approx. 20% less than that amount or more might be considered "low". If the buyer is asking say, $1000 for an item that usually sells for $800, then an offer of $750 would not be considered a "lowball" offer, because his price is too high to start with.
lowballers = bottom feeders
Lowball is in the mind of the seller.
If the seller thinks the offer which is below his or her asking price is a lowball offer, than it is such.
I would say any offer below the asking price in an ad mentioning no lowball is going to be considered a lowball offer.
The closest to making a less money deal with such an ad would be to ask for free shipping. Even that would be an insult to many with such a blurb in the ad.
So Lowball is anything less than the asking price to the seller mentioning the phrase.

As for the potential buyer.. Why bother even making any sort of offer under asking price, to a seller with such an ad?
It is clearly a waste of time.
So in that sense, anyone who WOULD make an offer below asking price to a seller stating no lowball offers, is just being annoying, and thus deserves the title of 'bottom feeder'.
Lowballers=bottom feeders? I don't think so. It's the buyers who set the sales price not the sellers. I have been tracking sales prices on certain items and it is the sellers who are continuously trying to jack the prices up. So, if your price is too high and a buyer offers the going price, is the buyer a lowballer? I don't think so.
I agree with Rrog. The sellers who always crack me up are the ones who list a price and then also say "or best offer", and then complain and label as "low-balling" any offer they actually receive below their asking price. "Or best offer" clearly implies a lower offer. If you don't want to accept an offer below your asking price, don't imply that you will. If you list "or best offer" at all, you will get some low offers, period. You don't have to accept them, but you don't have to ridicule them either - you asked for them.
I have offered less many times on items listed with "no low ballers" or similar stated in the ad. CLOSED MANY, MANY DEALS!

I ignore such statements. It is used to make people think that the item is somehow exceptional and the seller is not willing to negotiate.

The fact that they are willing to pay to list and write the ad and maybe take pictures clearly sends a different message. "The item is no longer wanted and needs a new home." Anyone willing to go to that much effort would be a FOOL to not consider accepting money from a willing buyer.

Times are tough in a lot of places and this is a discretionary purchase. Certainly not a requirement by any measure. I guess it makes the seller feel better when they ad such verbiage to their ad. Like I said I either want the item or not and I have a price in mind. We either come to a professional, cordial and upfront deal or not. No Biggie!

New items show up every day and there are only so many of us that have the $$, the time and the inclination to buy. I agree with Rrog, the people with the money and the desire to buy are the market and set the price. Sellers can put whatever they want in their ad copy. I can choose to ignor it. Freedom of speech man!
Anything where the price is marked 'firm'. I always mark my price 'soft' with no 'low ball' or 'bottom feeders' welcome. Always get the price I think is 'fair', whatever that means.
Apparently Elizabeth has never used audiogon to sell anything. Her stance is ridiculous.

If a person says "no lowball" and also allows the "make offer" button, they are clearly willing to accept less than their asking price. It's just not clear what is too low.

When I sell, I usually price below the going rate and do not allow the "make offer" button. So I clearly communicate my bottom line. But many sellers prefer the "start high and take offers" approach. Which is fine with me, but then they add this "no lowball" thing which requires the buyers to guess what that means.

And then you have people that won't respond to your offer if they deem it below this unnamed low ball line. That's really offensive. How is the buyer suppose to know you would deem the offer beneath your dignity to even reply to?
Seller sets the price. No offers. It's the sellers that buy something they can't afford to keep that help out the bottom feeders, as long as the price is fair, especially if the item has always been handled with gloves and treated with the utmost care. If a buyer doesn't like a price, they can pay retail.
I don't use the make offer option any more because of all the bottom feeders that want to offer 1/3 of the asking price. Any comments that disagree with lowballers = bottom feeders must be offended because they are guilty of it. I have always gave asking price and never asked for anything less.
Come on guys, you know what a lowball offer is.

" I'm thinking less than 75% of asking price is where "low ball" kicks in....."

Really? Geesh

Apparently Elizabeth has never used audiogon to sell anything. Her stance is ridiculous.

You are only half right as Elizabeth has sold items. ;)

I agree with the first poster in that it depends on the asking price and how realistic the asking price is. I just sold an item which I listed for $650 OBO. I received three offers, $400 (lowball), $550 and $600. I accepted the $600 offer as that was my target. Unfortunately, with the new system I could not communicate with the other potential buyers once the offer was accepted. Oh yeah, the item sold the day it was listed.
Ah, one of the eternal questions; quite a few past threads on this.

As everyone is noting, this is pretty subjective, but I'm quite sure that 75% is too high for the lowball line; for example, pristine dealer demos, b-stock, or just sale items often come in with markdowns more than 25%, with warranty. I think it pretty reasonable to look for 60% of msrp for used electronics, and sometimes less for hard to ship speakers.

I've both bought and sold for 60% with no cries of lowballing, but this may be due the fact that I tend to ignore adds with things like "lowballers will be politely ignored," "no tirekickers," etc, because I prefer not to trade with people who initiate transactions by insulting potential buyers. If the seller has a firm limit, they should say so. If the seller doesn't want to list a firm price (thus leaving wiggle room in order to maximize their return), they should entertain offers.

Just my 2c. Takes all kinds.


I agree with Slikric, too many people today want something for nothing. They make excuses about the economy being bad. So do lots of companies that pay a lot less money to employees now. The company makes just as much money, but they take advantage of the employees. I may not be rich, but I'm glad I always bought and sold right to retire under 50. Good luck to all and remember, no lowballing.
I basically list everything at my lowest possible price. On very rare occasions I will take a little less. Unless I'm missing it somewhere when I list, there is no way to list it as "firm" anymore. Even when that feature was available on the old system, I still would get offers. Now, I usually have to list things as "buyer can only make offers" It doesn't mean I will take less. I do this because we sell retail, and at other sites. If I have one player, and it sells somewhere else, I don't want someone on Agon hitting buy it now, only to find out I don't have the piece any longer. With the way the wording is now, and they way I have to list, it's just a green light for people to make crazy offers. I get more "lowball" offers now than I care to think about. I sure miss the old system, but I won't even get started on that.
Timhru, with the new Audiogon format I have not seen "OBO" on any ads. Did you write that in yourself?
In many cases, it's subjective but overall, I think lowballing is when a buyer offers a price for a product that because it is so far below the current market value, it is actually kind of insulting to the seller. The flip side is that some sellers are so out of touch with their asking prices that maybe we should call them highballers. LOL
I would guess (if we were all to be ruthlessly honest) that the deviding line between what we consider to be fair and what is "low-balling" has a great deal do with wether we are the seller or the buyer. Having said that, I agree with Jdoris. I pay less attention to what the seller hopes to get and more attention to my "rule of thumb", as recommended by pre-Audiogon "Audiomart". Non-dealer, current production items: 60% of list price. Items one model removed from current model: 40% of original list. And let the chips fall where they may. Of course some flexibility is in order, taking into account condition of item, and desirability.
Audiomart... They'd recommend even less if they thought it would make them more sales fees. Think about it.
I would tend to agree with less than 70-75% of market or book value. I do not agree with it having to do with the asking price.

I'm basing this in part taht there seems to be a trend that some Agoner's are of the opinion that something that is 2-3 years old with no warranty should still bring 75% or more of it's MSRP. You may find someone willing to do that but good luck. For the small amount of difference for what you can really buy something for if you look (usually not at MSRP) I would opt to go with a new unit than pay such a silly amount for a used piece. Just my honest opinion of course!
Lowball is in the mind of the receiver, there is no set point. I'd rather get a lowball offer than another one of those "What's your bottom price?" e-mails. Personally, I'd rather negotiate with another party than negotiate with myself. Besides, some of those lowball offers are just downright funny. You have no choice but to laugh. :)
I agree with Cyclonicman. There are far too many "highballers". Need some examples? A recent listing for an Audio Research SP-8 (not MKII) for $2,200. That's $1,000-$1,200 over market. Maybe more depending on condition. The price was firm. How about a current ad for an Audio Research SP-4 with a scratchy volume pot for $1,600 rated 9/10? That price is about 4 times too high and it's not a 9/10. If you offer the right price will you be considered a lowballer?

I usually offer full price and ask for help with shipping. I recently offered to buy two items advertised by a well known seller. I offered full price for both items asking the seller to contribute $50 towards shipping and the seller declined. I will not waste my time with that seller again. Nor will I waste my time with sellers who are rude and show poor judgement in their responses on this forum since it is surely an indication of their character.

I also agree with Frogman and Digitalaudio. A product's markup also comes into play for used market pricing. If an item has a 50% markup it is likely to be sold at some point for that price as a store demo or to make room for its replacement. Why would you want to pay more for a used one? Cables are a good example.
01-29-12: Polk432
Audiomart... They'd recommend even less if they thought it would make them more sales fees. Think about it.
Polk432 (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

Audiomart fees?
Whenever I sell some thing I always get low ballers. I have yet to put in item up for sale with or without OBO that I was not ask if I would sell for 10% to 50% off my asking price. ThatÂ’s the way it go's, I either ignore them or email back and tell them no. 10% to 15% I can deal with nicely but come on 30% to 50% is an insult.
Then there are people who will not take NO for an answer and keep trying to justify why I should sell the item to them at the price they think it is worth. Jerks in my opinion. I like to remember them so I add then to a list of people to totally ignore no matter what. These I call scummy bottom dwellers.
Agon has fees. Just ask them. I agree with Hevac. Either have the money or butt out.
Every item I bought here I bought at the asking price. Every item I have sold, I have sold at my asking price.
I ignore sellers asking crazy prices. Why bother?
When I see somethng I want at a reasonable price, I want it. I do not need to 'get' a better deal.
If others want to plan on dickering, and set an unrealistic price, fine. No problem. I did not have to buy thier item.

Some of all this is playing games. Buying and selling to buy and sell, and NOT to aquire equipment one really wants.
As far as I am concerned, way too many resellers. Folks just wheeling and dealing. The actual plain old Audiophile selling an item they used for a bunch of years, wanting to see it go to someone who can enjoy it as much as they had... getting rarer.

01-29-12: Polk432
Agon has fees. Just ask them. I agree with Hevac. Either have the money or butt out.
Polk432 (Threads | Answers | This Thread)

Either have the money or butt out. Real classy.

Make up your mind. You stated Audiomart.
If anyone thinks prices are too high, then just move on. Why make an offer to someone that is selling something for way too much money, even if they come down to your price? Just move on, there will be something else for sale later on.

A low offer is an insult? Really? An insult?

You put something up for sale on the internet and then you get offended when somebody makes an offer you decide is too low?

Ignore them if you want but to get offended is really pretty silly.

I've sold a lot of stuff here and closed deals with people who initially made very low offers. I have no problem with negotiating. The buyer needs to start somewhere and it has to be no higher than they are willing to pay. I don't care if they offer me 10% of what I ask. It is a start and if I counter offer I still might make the sale. If I ignore them or worse yet send back a scathing response calling them a bottom feeder or worse what does that accomplish?

If you don't want to negotiate then say firm and ignore the offers but to get offended is ridiculous. If you get offended that easily you might want to consider turning off your computer and avoiding the internet.

Herman, if you are referring to my post, I myself am not offended by any offers of items I have sold in the past. Like another poster mentioned, some of these offers are so ridiculous, you just have to laugh. I was recounting an episode that happened to me when I was making an $1100 offer on speaker cables and the seller was asking for $1200. The seller was upset and let me know about it. Apparently an 8% reduction was a big thing to him. As a buyer, I have never asked the seller to pay for shipping and have even haggled over the Pay Pal fees which many sellers pass to the buyer. As a seller, I did not ask for the buyer to pay the Pay Pal fees, only the shipping cost.

Cyclo, not directly at you, I just saw several comments from different people about insults.

I usually include ground shipping and raise my price just a bit to cover that as it so much easier than going back and forth to get a shipping price and buyers seem to like "free" shipping.

I also laugh when I see people who want to charge extra for Paypal. If they are so concerned about a few percent they should raise their asking price a little bit and and entice the Paypal buyer with the fact they aren't charging extra for it.

Got something you want to get around $1,500 for? List it at $1,700 and include free Paypal and ground shipping. Unless it is very heavy you can let somebody beat you down to $1,600 and still get your $1,500. Nobody is going to run away because you started at $1,700 rather than $1,500 and you just might get the higher amount from those like Elizabeth who just pay what you ask.

I'm no marketing genius but some of the stipulations people on their sales seem designed to drive away buyers. Make it as easy as possible for people to buy and you will make it easier on yourself to sell.

I have speakers for sale. I'm not charging a paypal fee. If the buyer pays with a money order, I'll deduct what I would have paid paypal. Why should the buyer pay it if I don't, unless they are a low baller.
Sorry, I meant agon. Still, if you don't have the money look elseware. Nobody else should have to deal with other peoples problems, classy or not.

Lets take your senario of "Got something you want to get around $1,500 for? List it at $1,700 and include free Paypal and ground shipping"

So you list it at $1700.00. And lets say that this item has (recently) sold on Agon before for $1500.00 to $1700.00. You get an offer of $500.00 to include shipping and Paypal. This is approximately the OP's 75% off of asking price (which is where he thinks lowballing kicks in).
What would you do?

Do you think he is really going to even come close to your $1500.00 by negotiating with him? I don't get offended, but I also won't give this person even one minute of my time to respond.
I agree with Markpao... but you never know, $600.00 might just do it.

Mark, I would respond with a price near my bottom line. "I can take X including shipping and Paypal and no less." It takes about 20 seconds to respond, why should I ignore a potential customer no matter how low they start? Some people start very low looking for desperate sellers.

I'm not charging a paypal fee. If the buyer pays with a money order, I'll deduct what I would have paid paypal.

Polk, yes you are charging a PayPal fee to those who want to use it. If you charge $100 by money order and $103 if I use Paypal then you are charging a fee to use Paypal. Your logic is the same as the pizza places that have free delivery but give you a discount if you come pick it up. That is not free delivery.

Fair enough Herman. I guess you never know.
Herman, how am I charging 100.00 by money order? I'm deducting paypal after the fact. You don't make any sense.
I bought a Sony VPL100 RUBY 1080p projector here 3-4 yrs ago, the ad was for $2700 with 200hrs on original bulb w mount "no low ballers". I wrote him on how flexible he was, he asked me what my offer and would and I said 750.00 "no offense" he accepted it lol. So be polite, ask if its ok to make an offer and worst that can happen is no.
I get offers on ad's with no greeting, no introduction just a dollar amount that is often very low, those are bottom feeders as they combine rudeness with insulting offers to buy.
The main point is not to be frustrated either way:
a) if the offer is to low
b) if the seller would ask not to low-ball(it does not guarranty that the low ball won't be offered)
c) your personal opinion on what is really low-ball

and please remember: low-balling is legal as well as buying for low price. in case of low-ball i can smoothly decline the offer with no furstration shown as well as offering a low-ball(cuz i'm jewish and i have to do it:-)) especially if seller explicitely requests not to low-ball LOL!
Bottom feeders are getting worse than the ones on ebay. I never thought I'd see the day, but then again, I warned people about jumbo mortgages and variable interest rates 5 years ago, and its all come to pass. Keep on wanting what you can't afford, because you'll never learn anyway.
And don't forget, the lowballers want it like NEW no scratches. And you better be keeping track of how many hours you have put on it as well as how many hours previous owners have too.
Slikric, lowballers will always be lowballers unless they winn the lotto or turn to crime. Oh well, I guess hope is a motto of the desparate after all.

Polk, it is very simple.

Do I or do I not have to spend more to use Paypal with you?

If you pay more for a pizza when it is delivered than you do when you pick it up then you are paying a delivery fee. It doesn't matter that they call it a discount for picking it up... it is a delivery fee.

Ever been to a store that gives a discount for paying cash instead of using a credit card. That isn't a discount. They are charging you a fee to use your card.

If it costs me more to buy it from you with Paypal then you are charging me a fee for using Paypal. It doesn't matter that you call it a refund when I send you a money order, I end up spending more to use Paypal so it is a fee for using it.

That makes perfect sense.

Ok, if you think you are right, I'll knock off 500.00 now please put your money where your mouth is or shut up. You don't have the money anyway, so what's your point? No paypal fee no money order fee and no anchovies. Whaaa Whaaa Whaaa.
Low ballers are just attempting to be savy shoppers, they dont owe the seller anything. Do you try to lowball offer on a home, a car, a service? You do if your smart. The game is to save money on anything you buy, a seller can accept or decline but to not even ask is way dumber than any question about how low a seller will go. Simply being insulted about not making the money you want on a sale doesnt make the buyer stupid for trying his best to get the lowest price possible.
How dumb do you have to be to not see the value of a good deal? Just be polite, respectful and move on if its not working out...thats a two way street incase some didnt see that as obvious.
I think the sellers are trying to discourage the Neanderthal type of buyer. The more or preferred term would be "no knuckle draggers."
Instead the usage of the politically incorrect term referring to another part of the anatomy is in poor taste and unprofessional, IMO.
How offending can you really be? Click "no" and move on. Done.
Chadnliz, there's nothing wrong with a good deal that benefits the buyer and seller, but I didn't retire at 49 by letting people walk all over me when I made sales. I'm not against shoppers, just people that think that they are entitled to things for nothing. I'm never insulted when a prospect offers something so low that they are not fit to be responded to. I dropped my selling price by 500.00 just to prove that the person complaining couldn't afford the item in the first place.

01-29-12: Polk432
Chadnliz, there's nothing wrong with a good deal that benefits the buyer and seller, but I didn't retire at 49 by letting people walk all over me when I made sales.

In other words, your a "professional lowballer".