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Low-ball offers

Started by Doug Peterson, 08/20/2007 05:46AM
Posted 08/20/2007 05:46AM | Edited 08/20/2007 05:48AM Opening Post
The vast majority of transactions on AM are smooth with people who are serious about buying or selling.

Every once in a while I get a strange low-ball offer. Such as a lot of vintage oculars, many orthos, that I expected to get maybe 40 or 50$ each--a guy offered 12 dollars and 50 cents. A 500 dollar scope, an offeror who said he only had 150. Of couple of people asked for time payments, people I didn't know with zero feedback. A friend advertised a restored Cave 8"--a fellow came out, looked it over and asked him if he would take 75 bucks--he was run off with a pitchfork.

The low opening bids in an auction I understand. You want to get in line in case there are no further bids. But insulting cash offers make you want to reach for the feedback button.

My question is, do these unbelievable offers really ever work?

"--Granted, that's a worse case scenario. The destruction might in fact be ... limited to our own galaxy."
Posted 08/20/2007 11:26AM #1
Hi Doug,
I guess you can not keep them from trying? grin

[SIZE="Large"][/SIZE][COLOR="Blue"][/COLOR] Floyd Blue grin
Amateur Imager
Posted 08/20/2007 11:47AM #2
Print a map locating the local WallyMart and wish them great happiness with their purchase! wink
Posted 08/20/2007 11:52AM #3
>>>My question is, do these unbelievable offers really ever work?

Here is my take:

I have gotten some pretty amazing deals over the years but it has not been by low-balling someone. It has been because they have a low asking price. These days, I make sure they know that the price is low. An extrodinarily low price is normally someone who just wants to be rid of something, wants it out the door.

I think there is a place for suggesting a significantly lower price and if it is done properly, it can be effective. In the situation that the buyer knows the market, the seller doesn't, sometimes seller recognizes that that buyer is knowledgeable and asks the seller "what do you think it's worth?"

Other times an honest "I would really like to own your gizmo but I am unable to pay what it is really worth" has been known to work. (works on me sometimes.)

But the sort that you describe, flaky... flaky...

Posted 08/20/2007 09:31PM #4
Keith Estes said:

...And then there's the guy with almost three hundred deals, that offered me half of items worth, so he could use the equipment working with kids at his church. Maybe I'm just a skeptic?

I've heard that one before. There must be a lot of church astronomers out there. I'm a skeptic also.
Posted 08/21/2007 08:02AM #5
I hear ya! I have had so many low-ball offers that if I am selling something rather high end, I tend to add blurb to my ad that low-ball offers will cheerfully be ignored!

Midway, FL
Posted 08/22/2007 04:21PM | Edited 08/22/2007 04:24PM #6
Okay, here is a true story: a low-ball offer from a SELLER.

I put an ad on AM looking for a Takahashi CN-212. An AM'r of a couple years but no feedback asked me if I wanted to buy his, said it had some issues, but wouldn't take any money until I looked at it first. The price was $1000 plus shipping--if I thought that high, he would cover the shipping.

How could I loose?

I told him the scope may well be worth twice that (and was indeed insured) even with cosmetic issues, a 2mm chip on the primary. After I looked at it I decided it was a steal. The tube blemishes were primarily the felt imprinting in the paint from being over clamped, I can't even see the chip, a few scuffs inside from the secondary sliding down the tube. Optics needed cleaning, but perfect.

He was happy, I was happy. I am sure that this was a one time event.

"--Granted, that's a worse case scenario. The destruction might in fact be ... limited to our own galaxy."