What's up with the ridiculous offers?!?


Is it just me or are the high volume of low-ball offers surprising anyone else?

Example: I list an item at 60% off what a current, desirable  component sold for new, and I get an offer for half (or less) of what I am asking! I've have been buying and selling high end audio & video gear for over 40 years and I know the value of gear, but I have never experienced such an destructive trend. I expect it from Craigslst or at a garage sale, but not from Audiogon.

I understand an occasional low offer, and it's usually accompanied with an explanation or apology for the balz it takes to make such an offer, but I am getting absolutely offensive offers for more than 75% of what I list.  

Are there any other sellers that would like to commiserate with me? Am I missing something? Is it just me?

- REV
va6007
Your on the money these people should get a life it happens i laugh it off.
Yes it can be insulting but people  get offended by everything these days.   Except Donald Trump.  It's a bad trend.    Low ball offers should be the worse thing to happen.   Why so hard to just ignore and move on?  
" Why so hard to just ignore and move on?  "

This kind of negative trend can greatly affect our love and passion for the "art" of high-end audio. Trust me; I've been

Most people don't realize the impact that used gear value has on the entire industry for both new and used items. This trend of undervaluing components is very destructive, not to mention disrespectful.

Sorry...I just can't ignore it (but I'll try Mr. Yin Yang).
Post removed 
Va6007, the reason that I think Mapman suggests to ignore it is because it isn’t necessarily a reflection on the industry, or the value of your gear, or the state of audio sales or audio secondary market values. Offers like that are often a reflection on the individual making the offer. Now, granted, in poor economies - and regardless of whatever bat guano Grandma Yellen wants to feed us about how we are in recovery I do believe we are in a recession - it does become a buyer’s market and we have to expect that buyers will hunt for extreme deals. That doesn’t offend me, and it can go both ways...you may find yourself the buyer one day getting one of those great deals. But the really stupid offers, like you’re getting, those happen everywhere. My all-time favorite was an offer on eBay for a solid platinum Rolex Yachtmaster, a watch that usually sells used for about $25K - and I got an offer of $200. There are, unfortunately, people out there who in evolutionary intelligence are one step removed from Miocene monkeys, and you really do want to ignore them.
Ah, the voice of reason!

Thanks for the warm fuzzy bcgator!

For the record; I don't get offended by an occasional low offer; again, I've been doing this for over 40 years. I get offended by multiple ridiculous offers that don't even warrant the "strike" of my decline button.

I almost always accept offers within 10%-15% of my asking price. And when I am buying, I expect similar...no more.
Oil barons must be really pissed these days.  

I am not in the hifi business but can empathize with those that are.  It's always been a tough way to make a livings itch slim profit margins. Etc. .  I would not want to have to.  

Fact is it's easier than ever these days to get very good sound.  Heck an iPhone 6s and good phones probably could appease most.   It's hard to place big value on things that in the end may only performe marginally better than the norm if that even in some cases. 

It's a soft market now, I don't see the issue, can easily ignore the offers.  i find more offensive the listings that are near or more than msrp (not just mc gear).  or quotes raving about the items for sale that are from the seller.
It's not just in the Audio world. Even the hookers on Backpage say no negotiating and no bottom feeders. 

there does seem to be an increase in both super low offers, and sellers wanting 80% of list price on two year old items...
I agree with jl35. I have noticed a large jump in both bottom feeding buyers and overzealous sellers. It makes me wonder how many dealers are working on Audiogon these days. They make offers for 20-30% of list so they can turn around and sell it at 60-80% of list.
I think these are the types of folks destroying Audiogon. This isn't new, it's been happening gradually over the past 8-10 years or so.

BTW, va6007, I see that you have 36 items for sale here on Audiogon right now, with 6 feedbacks as a seller so far in 2016. I also see that this is your first voyage into the forums. Are you a dealer?
If so, it's general protocol here for a professional to disclose themselves for the sake of transparency.
Yes I have seen evidence of that too. 
I've been selling gear for years and years. Low offers are here now and were around years ago. You don't like an offer, thank the person, and move on. No one is obligated to pay your price and buy your gear. Potential buyers owe sellers nothing at all. 

If you are selling gear you have to have  a thicker skin. And you just never know- that lowball tire kicker migh just surprise you after the first round with a decent offer! On the other hand, if I've made an offer on something that the seller thinks is way low, and then the seller gets on my case about it or even insults me and tells me I am wasting his time (that has occurred to me once) you can be sure I will not, no way, no how, up my offer to that seller. There's very little here on AG for sale that truly is one of a kind so I'll just wait for the next time someone else is listing that product for sale. 
I guess I don't understand the issue. If a lowball offer is received then the person isn't serious and you can simply ignore them. You're not out anything. Sometimes people sell things because they need to raise money. I recently offered a seller 40% less than his asking price (full disclosure, albeit on ebay) for a very collectible cd and he jumped all over it. I anticipated a counter offer which is why I started low. I didn't try to offend anyone, I just made an offer and got lucky. Quite frankly I was fishing for the price point he would actually sell it for and I probably could have bought it for less. As it is, he's happy, because he sold it,  and I'm happy for the great price. I don't see an issue here. As a matter of fact, sellers make the market when they sell at a given price. Ever bought and sold stocks?
Don't put 'make offer' option and your problem is solved. Any offer received can be accepted or declined. 

Yes the listings are plagued with dealers and many of them run the same items over and over again,  to keep them in the new listings I suppose. Very frustrating for those of us who look at New Today every day.
I have had a few "buyers" who try to go around Audiogon, "local pick up", where we agree to a price on the phone, then they low ball me (one guy tried to snag an item for $600 less than we agreed on, when he arrived in my driveway).  It's just the way some people like to deal.  I'd just ignore them and move on, not worth getting worked up by those people.
The ones who really aggravate me the most are those who ask: "what's your bottom line?" When you give them the bottom line, that's where they want to start negotiating. Now when they ask for the bottom line ... I just reply with "make me an offer I can't refuse" 
Manufacturers also contribute, with their relentless drive to 'obsolete' their offerings with endless revisions, upgrades, and new models. Its understandable, but it creates a large pile of perfectly good yet 'outdated' product. Companies like ARC  create a new SOTA preamp with distressing frequency.
I think someone making a low ball is chancing their arm and there's no need to be offended. Be polite, if you must reply, or just ignore, the offer has term limits here. I usually reply (must be my Catholic upbringing) in the hope that with polite conversations, both parties might come to a meaningful understanding.

Am more frustrated by people asking unreasonable prices for used gear -- those who think they can own something for years and then have it fetch 80% of its current MSRP. Right now, there's a few deals on discontinued model amps from a well known manufacturer, and those selling used versions still reference the original MSRP as the basis for their near equivalent prices. Sorry, an item gets discontinued and discounted, the old MSRP is no longer relevant. I don't even being to negotiate with those folks.   At the end of the day, it's best not to get emotionally invested in folks' asking prices or offers. The market does not really lie.

"What's your bottom line?" Is that a problem? I guess it's a different world. If I ask for a best price and I'm happy with it, I will buy it. If not, well, the seller's bottom line and my top dollar are out of synch.

And who is to say who's being fairer? The presumption of the OP is that the asking price was fair and reasonable. It's not always the case. I get the impression that sometimes sellers overestimate the value of what they are trying to sell. case in point- I recently saw an ad, not here on AG, where I thought the seller was in fantasyland with the asking price. In that instance, an offer of 25% asking would be ballpark. That is not a lowball. 
I also agree that discerning between a current product vs a discontinued product is critical. Even if you own the original, and you believe the SE or the MK2 isn't as good, you're most likely out of luck. And yeah, manufacturers, not all, do rework their product line with distressing frequency. I am convinced that some companies plan this deliberately- they have 3 things to improve on a preamp, for instance, and those 3 improvements may be dragged out over a course of 3 years. You don't want to show the same old stuff at every CES or Audio show- right? 
While I think many of the observations are correct, I also think part of the problem is that there are more uninformed folks frequenting Audiogon.

These folks are familiar with Craiglist etc., don't subscribe to the Bluebook, don't educate themselves, and figure "what the hey." As an aside I've made some offers that were turned down rudely even though they were quite reasonable offers given the recent prices of that equipment (not anything like what you describe).

Maybe it's our times, "But as we arrive at the house of the water sign. We're living in strange times."
We are living in dangerous and uncertain times and that is putting it mildly. People that have disposable income are now thinking twice before parting with it and the ones that don't are making unreasonable offers. I have only purchased from sellers that have priced their gear reasonably. If it offers no synergy or I get bored with it  I could pass it on to the next buyer for a sensible price. If the seller has something I want real bad I will offer their asking price.
Well, it's bazaar economy not patrician house of culture, so any offer and counter-offer is legitimate. I don't like it and almost never bargain, however I rarely buy and never sell here - I put things on ebay auction and let the auction run.
I always respond to all offers, the ones I get most most kick out of, are the ones that low ball and then expect the seller to pick up shipping and Paypal fees as well. Normally I will decline or make a counter offer, and then the potential buyer disappers. These kind of offers, are put -forth only to see how desperate the seller is to sell that item. Sell yes...give away no.  
I think that the spate of lowball offers is derived from a recent article regarding the markup on "consumer electronics" and a pending lawsuit by Radio Shack against its suppliers.  There's a post somewhere on here about that...

While I don't begrudge any dealer from making a return on investment, I am curious as to why there appears to be what in other industries would be termed price-fixing by the manufacturers.  A manufacturer that restricts its dealer network from advertising prices anywhere should be questioned about such policies because MY money is just as important as their's is.  

Back to subject:  When I tender an offer to a fellow member I explain in detail my reasons why;  bluebook reference,  Paypal fees,  shipping, and anything else I feel is pertinent to the item itself.  I've had perhaps two or three offers rejected,  then countered,  usually resulting in a purchase.  

Most members here belong for a reason.  That reason is that most members here take care of their gear,  some even give up children,  spouses,  smoking and drinking to ensure the condition of it. 

Many ads here do contain the caveat that "lowballers will be ignored" or "not responded to."  It's worked for me.


"What’s your bottom line?" Is that a problem?
@zavato , that in itself is not a problem, personally though, I’ve found these folks just to be tire-kickers or lowballers.
As @oregonpapa mentions, most of these folks tend to use the bottom line as a starting place for negotiations.

Personally, I believe it takes two to negotiate. I don’t enjoy negotiating with myself. Most of my sales come from someone making an offer and then we negotiate from there.

Folks that just throw out the "what’s your bottom line?" question are not seriously interested in what you are trying to sell. They are simply scavengers looking for steals.

Nothing wrong with that, if that is your bag. I usually will reply to them with "what is your best offer?" question, and never hear from them again.
Hence, I don’t look them as a potential buyer when I get those questions, as I am not a desperate seller or buyer.
Patience is a virtue on both ends.

As for lowball offers and ridiculously high asking prices, they don’t bother me much anymore. Life is too short, why waste time with buyers and sellers who are just fishing and not really interested in buying or selling?
Let people be...we live in a society with enough rules. If you don't like the communication simple don't follow. If you don't like low ball offers don't put the option if you think your emotional value on the piece is part of the price you are wrong as well...
I have been there both ways..
I guess no one here has ever been to a Middle Eastern Bazar

Or read Herb Cohen's book. 

Look, no one is forcing anyone here to sell anything or buy anything

Audio is my hobby, not my business. If I buy something, I would love to get a great buy. And let's face it, no on who has gone shopping and found something on sale insists on paying the higher pre-sale price. And when I sell I want to get a decent value. 

Remmber the pre-Internet days? It was so hard to sell stuff. You either put an ad in a local paper or sold to a dealer and got pennies on the dollar.
On a related issue: 

When selling, I am now thinking of using the ‘make offer only’ approach. I am concerned that the ‘buy now’ option removes the option the seller has to refuse to sell to certain buyers, like those with no feedback and what you to ship to an address that differs from that posted on AG or Paypal.  


Maybe what is needed is a free online Blue Book site for used audio equipment just like NADA blue book or Edmunds blue book for used vehicles. That would establish a common baseline for both the seller and the buyer to start from.

To the OP, call a B&M dealer in your area and ask him what he will give you for your used equipment.

Just say no.  Or yes.  Whatever.
not really an issue, just an annoyance and a reminder how much this site has changed...
C'mon....ya gotta haggle!  (Monty Python)
Audio is my hobby, not my business.


When you list a component for sale, it's no longer a hobby but a business.

I agree with jmcgrogan2, negotiation starts from someone making an offer and negotiate from there.    I don't reply to "what’s your bottom line?" ... I don't negotiate with myself.
Seems like the poster disappeared after jmcgrogan2 asked if he/she was a dealer.
What's up with that?

I've spent the past 38 years in the real estate business. The haggling is predominant there too.  I can't tell you how many times I've had a seller and a buyer come to an agreement, opened escrow, then 15 days later the buyer wants to start nickle and dime-ing the seller to death. For example, if one flaw is found in the property during the professional property inspection, that's a signal for the buyer to ask for another few thousand dollars to come off of the agreed upon price. I've seen a drastic change in this over the past 20 years or so. I've come to the conclusion that its a cultural thing. The days of the handshake being a man's bond is way past us guys ... way past us. 
"I have come to the conclusion that it's a cultural thing"

I guess that is a way to be politically correct. 

"Thank you, no".

"I agree with jmcgrogan2, negotiation starts from someone making an offer and negotiate"

negotiation stars the moment you list something for sale
Whats something worth ? What someone else will give you .
negotiation stars the moment you list something for sale
Is this a new feature in Agon?  Listing AUTOMATICALLY negotiates by itself once listed?   

schubert2,777 posts01-25-2016 10:28amWhats something worth ? What someone else will give you .


I think this is the 1st time we agreed ... what someone else, a BUYER, will give you.  Only STUPID sellers negotiate with him or herself.




The OP may well have been one of those dealers who lowball offers here in order to buy cheap and resell that have been mentioned.   Trying to deter the competition.
You don't have to respond, and if you decide to respond, just say thank you, no.  No explanation required.

An item, any item (car, watch, art, audio equipment, camera, etc.) is worth exactly what someone is willing to pay. Regardless of what you feel the item is worth is really irrelevant.

You can post the item and list a price and the negotiations start from there.  If you are firm in your price, then say that, and ignore anyone that lowballs. 

If a buyer is really serious, then they will contact you with a serious offer.

I collect rare books, watches, classic cars, etc.  I can tell you there are two types of buyers.  1) the collector and 2) the dealer.

The collector wants that item and is willing to pay near or above market prices for that item.  The dealer simply wants to flip the item and therefore, they want to pay pretty much nothing for it, then turn around and flip it for as much as they can.

No difference in the audio industry here on audiogon.  You don't know whom you are dealing with. I try to not be desperate to sell something and therefore, I can list the item at what I feel is a fair price based on market values.  Maybe slightly lower than the average market rate and I typically have no trouble selling the item.

I ignore the lowballers that come in with stupidly low counter offers. 
Someone will eventually want the piece.

enjoy
i acknowledge , by any accepted standard, acting  that this is american and a buyer should be free to make stupid lowball offers, which the seller is free to ignore. however, some of us still cling to the illusion that audiogon, as opposed to other marketplaces, is (or is supposed to be) a community of enthusiasts who are bound by some code of courtesy and fair dealing. hence i get more annoyed than i should at buyers or sellers who, by any accepted norm, making dumb offers.
Meh not that big a deal, I either decline or make a reasonable counter-offer. Seriously nothing to lost sleep over.
"Is this a new feature in Agon? Listing AUTOMATICALLY negotiates by itself once listed?" 

No, but listing something for sale commences the sales process thus is the start of the negotiations process because the seller is posting at a price point. 

I do do not and have never advocated negotiating against ones self
IMHO, it began in earnest when cell providers started 'giving away' cells with contracts.  People noted the retail price of the item, and began to think that this sort of pricing might apply to any electronic item.  This line of reasoning was augmented by the pricing applied to flat screen TV's.  What used to be 'pricey' would be marked down so quickly that it would appear that anything a year or two old in terms of it's appearance on the market was now available for a song....and not even one sung well. *L*  And i've not even gotten to the 'haggle factor', because they don't know if you're serious even if you've posted that it's not up to negotiation.  If priced fairly, those that know will respond appropriately.  Those that don't, or just want to jerk your chain to see if you'll bite can be dealt with however you feel is or isn't worth your time.  We're in the 'buyer beware' era.  Nobody wants to get hosed, but nobody wants to give things away, either.  This sort of 'combat zone' exists on our freeways in a related fashion.  Most will 'play nice', but there's the few that seem almost psychopathic in their approach to driving.
I'd prescribe a grain of salt, but modern society seems to have inflated that to the size of a salt lick BLOCK.  Just roll with it, and channel your better self.  You'll sleep better... 
The annoying part for me is getting messages stating something like "if you can lower the price to x, I will take the item".  When I do respond with "yes", they never make the offer. Now, I just decline ridiculous offers and tell the others to make a formal offer using the Agon process and I will consider the offer.