"What's Your Best Price?"

Maybe it's just coincidence, but I have experienced an increasing number of buyers lately whose only question is "what's your best price?" in response to an "OBO" listing. Should such moronic inquiries simply be ignored -- or is there an appropriate/productive response?
I typically put the words "best pricers look elsewhere" in the body of my listing.
Sorry you think its 'moronic'. If you can't think of an acceptable response, then don't ever consider moving into sales.

The obvious answer...give your best price. What else would you expect to do? It's called negotiating. Sometimes I make an offer for an OBO item, and sometimes I ask for a best price. Depends on my level of interest in the item and the asking price. The combo of the two determines which way I go.
Ask what they are willing to offer. I would not ignore their email. I've found it's best to put in a fair and firm price to begin.
Here's just a few suggestions:

"Whad'ya got?"


"My best price is $6.49, but then again I really admire $ 199.95 as well. I do like the numbers with a few commas too. What's yours?"


"My best price is going to be the one offer I accept. Since I haven't heard it yet, I don't know. Get back to me once I've sold it and I'll let you know."

I don't think they are "moronic" to ask what your bottom dollar price is...you must have given it some thought when you listed your item...correct? The "OBO" listing is optional to you...it gives the buyer the impression that "you will take less", he/she simply wants to know what it will take $$$ to close a deal "NOW"...quick and simple.

Auction is for those that like to dicker...I never go there.

On the other hand, "OBO" does imply "or best offer", ie...you expect them to make an offer so I understand your point....to a point :D

I will sometimes email a seller and ask for his/her best delivered price on an item to find out if they are flexible on the price and are willing to include shipping and or paypal. I hope I am not coming across as a moron. I seem to have good luck doing business on Audiogon and have never had anyone respond in an upset way.
It really tics me off when people do that. People who ask this question lose all credibility in my eyes. It's asking the seller to negotiate against themselves. If someone wants to negotiate the price they should make an offer to purchase. As a seller, I've already listed a price that I would sell it for. At the very least a buyer should have something on the table before asking me to lower my price again.
I agree with the good input from the posters above. Responding to some of these "obo's" I only ask for shipping on light items or perhaps 'include' pp fees and some treat this as a half-price offer. So I guess you run into all kinds---.However as a buyer, if their price is in line with what I want to pay,I offer to pay the whole deal. So--- when someone responds to one of my adds;I figure how much they offer is directly related to whether or not they want to buy the item.i.e.--reading between the lines,tells me. Someone will always will take the item; if I want to give it away.
I used to respond to these requests with a reasonable discount, and in some cases offered to include shipping and paypal fees. Sadly, this never resulted in a sale, not even once.

On the other hand, in nearly every instance where someone has made an offer, I have been able to negotiate a sale.

So now, I use these two different responses to my ads to separate the serious from the non-serious. I assume the guy who emails asking for the lowest (best, rock bottom) price is goofing of at work; I no longer respond to these requests.

PS; I really love Marco's third response:

"My best price is going to be the one offer I accept. Since I haven't heard it yet, I don't know. Get back to me once I've sold it and I'll let you know."

Too funny.

Bob R.
I think Kotta gave the best answer to this question so far. Lots of ways to respond to people asking what your "best price" is: I'd suggest just telling them your best price--or saying that you'll consider reasonable offers.
If they don't have any questions about the product itself, I find it hard to take them seriously. When their only concern is price, I assume they are fishing for things they can pick up cheap and turn quickly. That's O.K. because I too am fishing when I advertise.
Personally, I would suggest you follow Marco's advice. You've made the first move and paid $6.00 to do so. Now it's time for them to demonstrate some interest or commitment besides a mass produced "What's your best price?" I can imagine some guy sending out 250 of those a day.
I respond with, "What's your best offer?"

They usually don't reply, which is for the better, IMO. The question, "What's your best price", is seldom asked by serious buyers.
I agree w/ Tvad. The response to 'obo' should be an offer, not a 'what'll you take?' request.
"What's your best offer" usually separates the buyers from the browsers.
"Give it your best shor, Kid -- you'll never know until you put some skin in the game."
If you dont want the hassle dont offer OBO and say the price is firm, you cant fault a buyer for asking when your the one who gives an impression of negociation. Once again this is a thread that has popped up before.
I agree too.
I agree with Tvad. these questions don't usually come from serious buyers. Further, my best price, until I receive an offer to consider, is the one I post in the ad. Isn't that sort of implied? I recall one time however when the correspondence I had with an interested party before he asked "the question" had me comfortable he was sincere and ready to buy. I responded with a slight discount from my asking price and sold the item to him. Net is I think you can tell from the tone of the request whther it deserves a direct reply. The only inquiries I ignore are the ones that go like this:
hey - i'll give you $nn right now you pay shipping to my home
. . . where nn is a ridiculous number below my asking price.
It's a harmless question that takes all of five second to produce a response for. If you didn't want dumb questions asked, you shouldn't have posted an ad, let alone one with "obo".

Don't get me wrong. I can get irritated myself too. But, for the most part I can usually tell when items for sale will move quickly or take a little longer. It's these items that take longer that I would most likely pose the question...

Which brings me to my next point. In every instance that I've bought an item, I always ask one question in the very beginning to start the communication flowing. Most times it's: "Is this still available?" I almost always know the answer, but again, it's just to open the lines of communication.

Take it with a grain of salt. If you can't, I suspect you won't be selling too much on this site.
I do my OBO listings above what I'll take...I don't mind the "bottom dollar" question as long as it gets me my bottom dollar. If I have an amp listed at $1,700 OBO and $1,500 is my "what will you take" price...I shoot back an email stating $1,500...bottom dollar.

It does not matter how you do your listings...tire kickers are a fact of life.

I agree with Sgood51-

I know what I'd like to get, but I also know what I'll take to sell it "right now" and that price may be different at different times. If I've just listed the item, my best price is going to be close to what I've listed it at. If the item has been for sale for a couple of weeks, my best price will be a little lower.

It all depends on how badly I want to sell the item at that moment.
I don't think asking "What's your best Price?" is any more "moronic" than asking "what's your best offer?".
Here,s a question back to some of those sellers ( no disrespect meant either!!! ) who are offended by the words what,s your best price . When you have researched ,listened to and read the reveiws which always state the "suggested retail price" and descided on your purchase when you bought it new , did you walk into the dealer and pay the "suggested" retail price without asking for his best price? Both sides here have valid points from there respective positions . Stating price is firm resolves sellers aggravation of emails for "best price" . I also read a valid point here that if the buyer states a dollar amount in his response to the add he would be taken more seriously, I agree . The best answer is always a polite one rather than the opposite or none at all . With so many options that this site offers for the same product at differant prices and the shipping costs due to greater or lesser distances to conscider, buyers do have options . Please don,t think I,m knocking any of the sellers on here for expressing their discord as without you we would not be able to access and purchase the great audio products you offer ! Buyers should be reminded that most of us have jobs and families and because the sellers are sometimes overwrought with best offer replies it,s easy to see that that would get annoying . Maybe if the site had 2 boxes to check when items are listed , one for price is firm the other for best offer would help . S.
I've only been a buyer, and I never ask that question, but of course it's always in the back of my mind. If I'm going to make what I consider a low offer, I explain my rationale, usually in terms of utility to me. Every purchase experience I've had with AudiogoN has been exemplary: Knowledgable honest sellers who have delivered items just as posted, and at prices far below MSRP.

An old story: A couple decides to sell their home for "$120,000.00". A potential buyer comes along. He's sensitive to others feelings. So he tries breaking the ice by replying " whats your best price?" The seller then accepts a 50,000.00 cash offer. Who is the fool here? Neither! The prospective purchaser was smart enough to at least ask the opening question and therefore winds up with a killer deal. The purchaser ends up with the funds he needs in an emergency situation. It's a win, win situation. This was an actual real estate transaction while I was selling real estate.

Another story: A friend of mine had heard about a guy in trouble with a corvette for sale. He figured what the heck and took the time to go look at it. His wife said "they were asking $7500.00 for it". Turns out the owner needed the funds very soon so at to avoid going to jail. So my friend asked "what was the best he could do on it". The guys wife said " I could take $6,000.00 today". My friend offered $3500.00 and the guys wife accepted to offer with out hesitation. My friend then sold the vehicle only weeks later for $5,500.00

Moral to the story is you don't know if you don't ask. We all see ads stating "we buy homes" "we buy furniture" "we buy autos". You can bet your bottom dollar these ads would not keep reappearing if they were'nt making money.
I myself have purchased many homes at 30% discount to retail not by placing these ads though.

Everyone likes a good deal but not everyone treats their equity the same. To some equity in things like homes, autos, furniture, audio etc... is not treated the same as cash in their hand. I just don't think we should get overly excited when someone is looking for a deal, after all we don't have to take it. For what ever reason some of us are more frugal than others and some not frugal at all. Actually this can be proven.

Just look at the sales history on some of the equipment sold here on Audiogon. Some are selling for less than actual value and some for more. I'll also bet there is a lot of reselling going on here at Audiogon which they could not afford to do this if they were'nt getting a deal some where.

Happy Holidays!
Maybe I just don't get it.... But this thread (and the majority of the posts) are people complaining about interest in their items for sale?

Someone is sending you an email because they may be interested in purchasing it... otherwise, why would they be sending the email?

When someone asks what your best price is, you simply turn around and ask a question of them. "What price would you feel comfortable with paying?" Who knows, maybe it will lead to a sale. No need for emotions.
Did you ever see those commercials for the dollar store, where the customer keeps asking 'how much does this cost?' and the clerk keeps responding 'for you, one dollar'?

That's a great reply.

"What's your best price?"

"For you, one dollar."


You nailed it for me. I put up a number so now it is time for the buyer to put up a number. "What's your best price" especially irritates me when it comes five minutes after my ad has been posted.

As someone else pointed out, I have never sold an item to a "what's your best price" buyer. But I have had very successful negotiations with serious buyers who were willing to make a reasonable opening offer.

I pretty much ignore "WYBP" buyers unless my ad is about to expire. I also never list an item as "OBO". I almost always get other offers regardless of how the ad is posted.
It seems negotiation may be a bit of a stretch for some of those responding. You want to buy or sell with no effort.

"best offer" and "best price" simply gets things started. If you don't respond to either positively nothing happening is usually the result. Try not to take it as personal affront when someone starts a negotiation.

When you buy you want the lowest price possible and when you sell you want the highest. Getting to either place is part of the fun for many of us.


Is an auction really a negotiation? Once a price is established it always goes up not down.
Why do some feel rubbed wrong with asking what is lowest price, best offer, and so on......I bet none of these complainers ever negociated over a new or used car, or haggled over a business contract, or even with maybe a carpenter? But oh no! not over my amp that I owned for 6 months and just had to get a new one...thats just wrong.
One of the classic textbook tactics used in negotiation is to get the other person to bargain with themselves. In other words, you get them to lower their price before you even make an offer of a price at all. You've then caused them to move a step without having to take a step yourself.

There's no need to be rude and brush them off, or have any emotion at all. It's just part of the game. O they may just not knoe if they are not sophisticated or experienced in negotiation.

When somebody says "What's your best offer?", one good response is: "My offer to sell is stated in the ad, what are YOU offering?" You've already committed to a negotiating figure. It's up to them to do the same so that the boundaries of a negotiation range can be established.

You're not trying to take advantage of anybody (I hope), and you're not looking to be taken advantage of by anybody else. The goal is a fair value transaction for both parties. Countering by lowering your offer before they've even suggested a figure on their part is the first step towards being taken advantage of yourself.

If they're serious, they'll state a figure and you then work from there. If they still don't give a figure, you dont need to rudely brush them off, but just politely tell them to come back when they're ready to negotiate,... if the product is still available. In the meantime you have other potential buyers to talk to.
i had no idea my post would generate such strong emotions! in fact, i have a very strong position on "what's your best offer" buyers -- i was just looking to see what others thought. i am decidedly in the camp that any buyer whose first question is "what's your best price" is not worth responding to. to me, this kind of an opening communication suggests a very strong likelihood that the buyer is not serious, or is simply interested in "window shopping." In fact, I find this approach rude. When I list an item "OBO" it quite plainly is AN INVITATION TO MAKE AN OFFER -- either at my asking price, or AT THE BUYER'S BEST OFFER. It is NOT an invitiation to ask me to negotiate against myself. True, listing something "OBO" indicates that the seller is willing to negotiate -- but not against himself!
Goatwuss, Our complaints (well at least mine)are because, for the most part, WYBP buyers are not really interested and just waste our time. If they were serious about purchasing the item they would make an offer.

Of course the buyer wants to pay the least possible but WYBP offers ignore the other half of the equation. The seller also wants the best price they can get. When selling, I would like a little appreciation that I need to be treated fairly as well. That is why I appreciate a reasonable offer. That respects me as a seller (person) and lets me know the buyer is serious. Frequently my asking price is the price I expect to get. I have done my homework and know what the market is.
I suppose the only reason i'd send a question like that is if I think the ad is about to expire and I want to top whatever might get it when i really want it. Length of ad and such could be a negotiating point. But they don't have to agree with it.
What bugs the heck out of me, maybe my own ignorance cropping up again is the $1 start on a $12k item and "reserve not met". It makes me feel like the seller is more interested in either a marketting survey or interested in making people jump through hoops. I think it is true that many of the folks do not read thoroughly and we may see something that excites us to respond without catching something that is odd about an ad so we may send an odd question.
To this one specifically I don't use the "obo" I'll just lower my price to the next lwest need plateau so my needs are net.
But in some cultures a big part of the game is dickering.
You don't want to be insulted with a lowball offer, yet you get irritated when someone sez "I'm interested and will follow thorugh with the sale if we can agree on a price. I don't want to make a low offer and offend, I'd like this transaction to meet both our expectations. Please advise your best price and if it's acceptable (no more haggling) I'll send the money off today". What's wrong with that???
I think that Markphd and Onhiway61 and Tvad are correct; at least that's my reaction. I will not negotiate against myself. I am always courteous and reply as the others said "Make me an offer and I'll let you know". Few people, IME, are willing to come back with that price, even if its reasonable. The few times I have done that, the next step is to offer 66-90% of that #, with shipping and pp fees included. You have to be polite, because there is that one guy in a hundred who will is serious, but virtually all negotiations that started that way, did not result in me making a sale.
12-14-06: Jeffreybowman2k
i am decidedly in the camp that any buyer whose first question is "what's your best price" is not worth responding to. to me, this kind of an opening communication suggests a very strong likelihood that the buyer is not serious, or is simply interested in "window shopping."

Bingo! Not always, but 99% of the time they are just looking for a desperate seller who will 'give' it to them. Usually it will be back up on the 'GoN within 2 weeks, at a higher price. Yes, there are those here that are not audio enthusiasts, they are here to make a buck. Kinda like vultures, preying on the weak or desperate sellers. The sad part is that I have seen this work, which only fuels the approach. After all, everyone wants a steal.

Now I should mention that not all are like that. I'll usually check to see if they are a forum member. See if they are interested in the hobby. Most of the WYBP questions come from new folks with little feedback and no community participation. I view these fellows as the vultures, only here for the $$$.

That's just my $0.02.

From reading some of the above responses I now know that asking WYBP is not an insult, but a strategy for negotiating. It's kinda' like walking into a club and approaching a woman with the line "Let's screw". You always could get lucky, but it shows you to be a pretty lame pickup artist and/or equally amateurish negotiator. Any negotiating strategy or ploy has to be judged by its effectiveness. If it works for you..., but I'm going to ignore you.

Thank you very much.
based on the weight of the evidence, i will concede that "moronic" is not the best way to describe the WYBP inquiry. "!neffective", "annoying," or just "lame" are better.
So it seems the appropriate response would be "I have stated a starting price in my ad so what is your best offer?"

They either offer or they don't & you either accept or refuse. Seems pretty painless to me.
I've never had a single sale to anyone making those kinds of queries. One or two have turned out to be real jerks as far as dealing with the their subsequent emails. A few have initiated transactions only to back out later. Many have been a tremendous waste of my time, and have led only to frustration, so I've simply just stopped responding to such queries. My experiences from doing online trading since 97' via eBay, and later through Audiogon, do not reflect a single exception in my recollection. YMMV.

OBO = Or best offer. "What's your best price?" is neither an offer, nor an agreement to buy at the asking price. I agree with Entrope - clearly you have set a starting price. If you are also opening the sale up to offers then if the interested buyer really wants the item they should make an offer. Why would I list an item at a price that is significantly higher than the one he/she would accept? Is there anyone participating in this thread who's had great results in approaching a seller with that kind of question?

Maybe I'm just out in left field...

I ALWAYS ask the seller, "What is your best price?" I don't see it as tire kicking, trying to push a seller into negotiating with himself, or whatever. I don't waste a seller's time with a lot of back and forth. I just see that one with an "OBO" is willing to consider a price lower than what he's listed. I don't respond to an ad in the first place unless it's a piece I want to buy (and, will buy if the seller doesn't come across as a total you know what), I have the money, and the seller's Audiogon feedback indicates he's someone I can feel comfortable with.

I simply want to know what the bottom line is, and then I can either buy it, or move on.

In the end, I'm left feeling confused - not that it's rare for me. Put forth an offer which may be construed as a "low ball", which will offend. Or, ask the seller what their best price is, which will also offend. So, which is the lesser of the two evils?
Simply put -- If a person is only interested in the price without any regard for the product being offered, I do not regard him as serious. There are two sides to any purchase negotiation. Seller has a product or service and buyer has money. Presumably someone will be concerned enough to find out what is being offered before he asks about price. There is always a relationship between the two and anyone who ignores one side to focus on the other is not properly motivated.....in my opinion.
I don't need the business of someone who doesn't even say hello.
The simplest solution to those that get offended by offers far lower than their own expectations is to put the word 'FIRM' in the ad.
Trelja, as a way out of your confusing you could always offer to pay the asking price. That way you get the equipment the seller gets the money and everybody is happy. Right?
In the end, I'm left feeling confused - not that it's rare for me. Put forth an offer which may be construed as a "low ball", which will offend. Or, ask the seller what their best price is, which will also offend. So, which is the lesser of the two evils?
Trelja (Threads | Answers)

Joe, personally I would vote for the lowball offer. I don't really get offended by any e-mails. The WYBP responses just lack imagination, IMHO. Nothing personal, they don't irritate me enough to start a thread, but they are just so boring. Now a good lowball offer can make my day. Seriously, I've gotten some great laughs and stories out of some of those offers. I don't find them annoying, and they do show some imagination. In some cases, a lot of imagination.........yes, these are the ones you remember....

That doesn't mean that I haven't sold gear at less than my asking price, I have. So I'm not trying to discourage offers at all. I do feel that the seller had the imagination to come up with the initial asking price, the least an interested buyer could do is show a little imagination of their own. That is if they are really interested. I think the main feeling a seller has is that if the buyer can't even be bothered to give a moments thought to what they think a fair value is, they are not really an interested buyer.

One of the best things about these forums is the sense of humor many members have. I don't know about the rest of you, but I am literally LMAO in here from time to time. My opinion is that asking for a best price is not a good way to start a negotiation. If your selling price is fair, then someone may make an offer very close to it. The person that wants me to give him a price is going to wait while I wait for offers to buy. I have sold items here that I could have sold several times at full price. When I want to buy something here, I do my research, and make an offer to buy and I am very serious about it. It's all a matter of respect for the other party and I can imagine someone getting "my best price" if there is dialog and genuine interest. I think it's the one liner "what's your best price" that is annoying.
If you have "obo" (or best offer) next to your price then I feel the buyer is justified to ask the question "what is you best price". Some potential buyers do this so that they don't offend the seller with an offer that he may consider too low. If you feel you should ignore the question and wait for a potential buyer to make an offer then that's your choice.
So far, not one person in this thread has reported an instance of actually closing a deal with a buyer who began the negotiation with "WYBP?" I would conclude, therefore, that any SERIOUS buyer would either accept the seller's ask, or accept the invitation to make an offer (however low) implied in the specification "OBO."

As a seller, when i specify OBO, I mean YOUR best offer, not mine.

Ok, I'll report....I have bought and sold "WYBP" (or terms along that line anyway). It reads to me that others (above) have done the same?...all deals went fine and without a hitch.

That said, thats not my standard mode of buying, ie...if I think the OBO price is fine for that component...I don't even mention price.