My opinion of this is simple, say you have an AudioEverything VT1000 amp, and if you look on Audiogon, Audioweb and Audioshopper and there are 10 others for sale there all between $500-$750. You have priced yours at $450. When someone offers you $250, that in my opinion is a low ball offer.
Short of developing a crack habit, I dont see myself ever being interested in selling something 50-75% below the fair market.
No set definitions. If the seller indicates that they are firm on the price, I believe that the only negotiation area is shipping. If nothing is said about being firm on the price, but there is no "or best offer" clause next to the price, I would say that anything below 90% of the asking price is low balling. If there is an obo clause (then the seller can't be firm), I believe low balling is an offer that is less than 80% of the "blue book" or market value. That could go to two-thirds if the item has been for sale for at least three months and the seller invites best offers (obo) in the listing. Gets complicated, doesn't it?
Speaking solely for myself, I always try to price items fairly -- to me, and to the prospective buyer. I deliberately do not inflate my asking price simply to leave a lot of "haggle room". Hence, I'd define a low-ball offer as one that is more than 15% below the price that I have asked. I usually succeed in selling most items for my asking price, or maybe 10% less.
I have had only one recent instance of a real "low-ball" offer. I was selling some Kimber 8TC cable at slightly less than half of the MSRP, and got an offer from a guy to buy the cable for 25% of MSRP (about half of what I was asking). I simply sent him a "thanks for inquiring" note, commenting that my ad stated the price as "firm".
LOW BALLERS BE DAMNED!!!!
There, now I feel much better :^)
I think that that most people who visit this site have a pretty good idea of the value of the gear that they are looking at. So if you make an offer of more than 15% percent less than the asking price of a "fairly priced" item, you are a low-baller and you just oughta reserve you purchases to eBay. That being said, if someone has had a piece of gear out there for a while and it is not moving, I think that you can start a discussion with them about pursuing a lower price, without out and out low-balling them. BTW the only thing as bad as a low-baller is a person who has a completely unreasonable price.
you guys are too polite.....
I fully agree with the above posts and follow SDcampbells method of pricing. I take the time to price my items fairly and at or below market and place my ads as FIRM. If I don't get any bites and someone offers $100 or so dollars less, then I may sell, or if I don't get offers, I will often slowly decrease my price. I have sold everything I put for sale here on Audiogon within 7 days, the expection being an amp I have currently for sale, which i felt was going fly outta here in a day.
There was a pretty popular thread here a few days ago, regarding annoying ads....in my opinion, and I kept from posting there, buyers by far can be more annoying than any ad ive read. I think, people have trouble reading ads, does it say FIRM or obo, if it is FIRM, it means unless you want it at the stated price, dont ask questions about price....is there a Big Red "SOLD" icon there?, if so, then no it is no longer for sale. How much does it weigh?, well there is a little window that has the weight of them item. How much is shipping? well, since you are in front of a computer, and the Audiogon peeps, took the time to create a link to UPS, Fedex, USPS, and you as a buyer hopefully know your own zip code, how about putting it in the field and discovering it for yourself?
I am currently receiving emails from someone interested in my amp,....he never returns my emails....he has given me his cell phone,..it is never on, it has no voice mail,,...i have given him my phone #s on several occasions, he has never called me.....i am beginning to think someone I know is playing a joke on me
Wheeeew....that feels better.....
It's a combination of things, as others have said. The most common form of low-baller is somebody who offers 60% of your asking price. I have no problem with somebody asking about getting it at 80% of a competitively priced piece if they explain their offer. Usually, when somebody is wanting to give you 85-90% of what you're asking, they explain their reasoning. Low-ballers tend to ask for 60-70% (and sometimes even much lower) and give no context. -Kirk
No set rules for me, but I don't humor buyers when the offer 20% or less then asking price. Guess I don't deal with that sort of thing to well :) Though once I made an offer on something that was for sale after talking to the fellow for a few days, and it was super low- more like a joke- but he accepted it! I was shocked, almost felt bad too. Answering the question at hand low baller comes into play when the deal is only beneficial to the buyer and seems to be screwing the seller- ie not fair market value. ~Tim
some of these guys are resellers looking to pick up your component very cheaply so they can resell elsewhere at a profit. While their offers are indeed insulting at times, I'll normally politely respond "your offer may be considered if no others are received within a reasonable time, meanwhile please consider a more reasonable offer". So far though I haven't taken any of them, as a legitimate buyer has eventually surfaced every time.
I used to be bothered by bottom feeders but I have come to enjoy the humor and creativity that many evince when forewarding an offer that is truly incredible. Many seem to be lonely and more interested in correspondence than in actually buying anything; some try to use the presumptive close like the one who e-mailed me last week: "What is your best price, I don't have time to haggle and kind of wanted to try your Dyna ST-70 Series 2. When can you ship it?" Excuse me, isn't asking for a best price haggleing?Apparently not on planet Audiogon. Bottom feeders as entertainment.
I too try to price fairly, and when these offers come in I am usually already corresponding with qualified buyers who understand value. But ya gotta laugh to keep from cryin'.
I agree with Ozfly and Tireguy that there is no specific
deffinition for low-ball offers. If I feel I have priced an
item fairly - considering condition and what similar items
are being listed at - and I receive an offer say 15% or more
below my asking price, I do consider that a low ball offer.
I rarely consider such offers, as in most cases the item I
have for sale has already been replaced with a better item.
And since I buy all my equipment for cash; I'm usually in
no big hurry to unload anything.
I've also had a number of truly low-ball offers from
dealers who are obviously looking to get some nice gear at
cut-rate prices. I have no problem letting them know they
can get it at their price when hell freezes over!
I think some of the posters need to lighten up . Remember for most of us this is for fun. The Value or selling price of an item is subject to many variables including buyer and sellers motavation. Are they in a hurry to buy or sell? Are there 6 of this item for sale this week? Is the piece mint or flawed? Is the piece out dated ? I am not offended by a low ball offer. If you write firm then don't respond . I like to be curtious and respectivly decline offers that are below my needs and wait for a better offer ! Sometimes the "new" piece is already on its way so I may be inclined to move a piece faster. I am very thankful that places like Audiogon and others exsist, they have helped me grow my system to near State of the Art on a Beer budget.
Seems some of you guys are more tolerant of low-ballers than me. I hate it when I have a firm price at, or a little above, the average selling price, and I get all these cheapskates who totally ignore the FIRM part, and usually the perfect condition of the item, and insist on offering hundreds less.
On the other hand, there are sellers who overprice their piece, and then get pissy when you offer them $100 below asking. But, as others have pointed out, there are all kinds on Audiogon. For the most part, though, I think many of the classier audiophiles that sell on Audiogon are very fair and price their equipment very well.
Now, why are none of these guys selling a Levinson 37 at a reasonable price?..........Oh, well.....
I agree with much of what a number of you have said about low-ballers. That said, speaking only on behalf of me from the buyer's point of view (as that's all I know), I always look at a product I'm thinking of getting and ask myself what I'm willing to pay, and that's what I'll offer. Sometimes the offer's accepted, sometimes not.
If I really want a product and there've been several listed and sold recently, then I'll jump on the very next listing with a "fair" price and end up paying more than I probably should have paid.
I don't view classified listings as any different from auctions. Decide what it's worth, make an offer, and either you win or you lose. It's that simple and that difficult.
Regards, JimL, A Buyer's Point of View
Lowball? You're crazy! I'm just looking to pay a fair price if the whazzit is in absoutely, positively better than new condition and you'll assure me that I'll be happy with it if only I could afford it at the price I'd offer if I had the money and wanted it.
I'm committed to buying a Panasonic and well... it's just too bad that you didn't accept my offer to negotiate about whether I'd be interested, if I had the money and wanted it.
The phantom buyer.
The pitcher for the Arizona Cardinals Kim Byung Hyun is a real low baller. He throws the baseball practically off his shoe laces!!
It depends. The true value of anything is how much somebody is willing to pay for it. Weiserb makes some valid points about what determines market value. "Lowballing" is relative to supply and demand, regardless of what the seller thinks is a fair price.
Thanks for the sellers' perspectives above. I've only sold a few items here, I'm primarily a buyer. If the price is firm and fair, I pay it; if offers are being accepted, I offer what it's worth to me at that time. That may not be what the seller had in mind - no harm, no foul. I don't see what the big deal is (is a "No thanks, have a better offer" email that difficult?) if we differ on waht the item is worth.
I have noticed that 'gon prices tend to be at or above market value (contrary to what is posted above), although the equipment is usually in great condition. Sellers should keep in mind that buyers are spending hard-earned moolah on equipment that they have not been seen or auditioned (that's why ads with pix sell better - ask anyone). The component may not work with the buyer's system or it may not sound as great as it was cracked up to be. Shipping is always dangerous (insurance doesn't quite make up for that irreparably damaged pair of Duettas you've been saving two years for and sold your Maggies to buy). There is no product guarantee and negative FB is little recourse if you're out a couple of grand!
My point is, sellers shouldn't always expect blue book prices from an internet sale. Thanks to all my sellers who've been flexible, patient and willing to let their bablies go to a good home - you can't put a price on that! ;^)
Weiserb,Leigh, Ultrakaz are right. If you are selling something, anything, you should take things in stride. That's what supply and demand is all about. As a buyer, I always cringe when I see someone indicating that the price is firm. As a seller, I am slightly annoyed when someone tells me he can get the same whatsit on e-bay for way less or from a local shop, but c'est la vie... Reminds me of the joke about the fellow who comes into a fruit store inquiring about the price of bananas, the shopkeeper tells him fifty cents a pound, to which the shopper replies that they are only twenty-five cents a pound across the street. When told that he better buy them across the street then, the shopper replies that, unfortunately, the other shop is fresh out of bananas. Not to be undone the shopkeeper replies that when he is out of bananas, his price is ten cents a pound.
First off, me definition seems a little different. When i think of a low baller, I envision someone who is offering you a ridiculously low price on something to keep you interested and then when it comes time to close the deal, won't honor his price.
Anyway, my position may also be different with regard to buying and making an offer. Using Justlisten's example, is it so out of line to make a significantly lower offer if there are 10 of the same thing for sale, at the same time? If the 10 are for sale at the same price and aren't moving, then that price is not fair market value of the item, whether you believe it to be or not. As for myself, when I'm looking at used stuff, I'm looking for an outright bargain. Some of you might say 'steal'. :-) Now, I'll agree there is a point of absurdity, but if an offer is made below what you think is 'fair', all you have to say is no. You have, after all, entered the free market with your product - and in most cases, OBO is listed next to the price.
Anyway, really playing Devils Advocate here. Perhaps those selling are offended by low offers because they have an emotional attachment to their gear. ;-)
Anyway, no hard feelings when I bid on your stuff! :-)