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  1. #1
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    How To Answer Question "Why Are You Selling It"?

    I'm back in ebay selling mode, and the one question from buyers that always irritates me is "Why are you selling it"?

    I used to give out this info, sometimes put it in the auction, but I decided that was bad practice. After getting an ebay stalker, I try to keep the chit-chat with potential buyers, at least ones I don't know, to a minimum.

    But even back then, if I didn't include a reason, when somebody asked, it always struck me as a little nosy. I don't ask why they are buying it, for instance, and the reason I'm selling something is about me, not about the item.

    I've yet to come up w/a graceful way to deflect somebody on this, although I'm getting there. If it is accompanied by other questions, I just answer the relevant questions and ignore the "why are you selling it", although one day, just once, I wanna say, "you crafty devil, ya got me, it is a POS that only an idiot would buy. Aren't you glad you asked?".

    Anyhow, these days, I tend towards something along the lines of "We/I don't give out reasons why an item is for sale", but that seems a little too cold.

    I'm wondering if this question bugs others and how they deal with it.

  2. #2
    Senior Member auchencrow's Avatar
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    My pat response is "I have too many bikes".

    (- and if that wasn't the truth, I probably WOULDN'T be selling it!)
    - Auchen

  3. #3
    incazzare. lostarchitect's Avatar
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    "I have too many bikes."

  4. #4
    Senior Member bikemanbob's Avatar
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    Good question!

    However, I rarely get asked why I'm selling. I guess I answer it before I get asked it. If it is a flip, I tell them upfront. For me, bike flipper is a labor of love, but I expect to get paid. If it is obvious that I have made the repairs, no one faults me for making a buck. If it is a keeper that is being replaced, I tell them that. Most bikes for me have a season, and when the season has passed, I list it.

    Just be genuine! If you are evasive, it breeds distrust.

  5. #5
    )) <> (( illwafer's Avatar
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    why are you buying it?

  6. #6
    DRF aka Thrifty Bill wrk101's Avatar
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    +3 I am in the camp, "I love bikes, but I just have too many of them right now." The word flip? I never, ever mention it.

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    If somebody comes to my house from a craigslist sale, I don't mind chatting w/somebody about why I'm selling something. Just something about some stranger on ebay, especially when they are leading w/that question, I find very off-putting, like I'm being accused of something.

    I'd like to find something pithy & perhaps poetic (see, there I go...) that would close down that line of inquiry w/out feelings getting hurt.

  8. #8
    Senior Member auchencrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robatsu View Post
    ....
    I'd like to find something pithy & perhaps poetic ...
    I'd ride this bike but it has to go -
    I want to keep it but my wife says "no"!
    - Auchen

  9. #9
    Dolce far niente bigbossman's Avatar
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    Just tell them your mom is dying and you need money for the funeral.

    That should shut them up.
    "Love is not the dying moan of a distant violin, itís the triumphant twang of a bedspring."

    S. J. Perelman

  10. #10
    Senior Member Capecodder's Avatar
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    I don't let it bother me. I think people ask when an item is described as a fantastic item in which case they feel, (if it's so good why are you selling it)? Most people are just guarding against getting burnt, and you can't blame them with all the dirtbag ebayers these days. I know first hand that ebay and paypal do nothing for you in the event your taken advantage of. They slap the offender on the wrist and let them keep on selling, and your still out your money.
    Amy, I'll always remember you...... I miss you so much, for you filled my days with so much joy.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by auchencrow View Post
    I'd ride this bike but it has to go -
    I want to keep it but my wife says "no"!
    Hey, that's nice, unfortunately I'm selling mostly parts. I almost put this in an auction for (friction) shifters:

    If you aren't riding friction
    You're on the road to perdition

  12. #12
    Senior Member auchencrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robatsu View Post
    ...
    If you aren't riding friction
    You're on the road to perdition
    Truer words, never spoken.
    - Auchen

  13. #13
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    Maybe I am too trusting, but I don't see the question as being nosy. I see it as another way of asking "If someone else didn't like this bike enough to sell it, then why do you think I would I like it any better?"

  14. #14
    FBoD Member at Large khatfull's Avatar
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    How about the truth? Wouldn't that go something like, "I have too many parts, need to clear some room in the house, and I could use the money."

    I don't know your specifics but why wouldn't that be an appropriate answer?

  15. #15
    Senior Member bikemanbob's Avatar
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    On occasions, I've asked sellers why they were selling. Although some sellers are dishonest, some answer honestly and tell things not included in their listing. They won't offer the information, but they can't lie when asked directly. For me, it is an appropriate question to ask and an appropriate question to answer.

  16. #16
    www.theheadbadge.com cudak888's Avatar
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    That question doesn't get my ire up as much as these lulus:

    -"Why is that tire bald?" - A question always asked when trail tires are mounted - the kind that are have MTB tread flanking the edges on each side, but are otherwise smooth in the center.

    -"It doesn't shift right." I test the bike. "Seems fine - what was wrong with the shifting?" "It made a lot of noise." "Sir/madam, these shifters are friction shifters. They don't click into place." "Then what's wrong with it?"

    - "There's rust on it." - It's asked as a question, but phrased as a statement. What do you want me to do about it? Magic it away?

    - "Can I bring it back? It doesn't fit me." - Asked one day after buying the bike. That in itself isn't irritating - what's irritating is when the same person wasted two hours of your time the previous day goading you to re-adjust every fit-related component on the bike, usually incorrectly - and admitted they were completely satisfied (for 24 hours, anyway) before the purchase.

    And - last, but not least - the grandaddy of stupid questions:

    -"Is it stolen?" - Besides the fact that the buyer indirectly accuses you of being a bike thief, would an actual thief admit to have stolen it?

    Quote Originally Posted by bigbossman View Post
    Just tell them your mom is dying and you need money for the funeral.

    That should shut them up.
    Does that gain you sympathy with all the screaming college girls begging you for mixtes?

    -Kurt
    Last edited by cudak888; 07-16-11 at 09:56 PM.

  17. #17
    Gone World Hepster 23skidoo's Avatar
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    I find any questions about my motives or intent--be it eBay, Craigslist, or casual conversation--to be uncivil and beside the point and treat them as such. I describe the items in detail, provide clear, large images and state the terms of sale in plain terms; if that's not enough folks are welcome to move on to someone who doesn't object to their time being wasted or their privacy invaded.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by khatfull View Post
    How about the truth? Wouldn't that go something like, "I have too many parts, need to clear some room in the house, and I could use the money."

    I don't know your specifics but why wouldn't that be an appropriate answer?
    It sounds like you are implying that I'm a liar if I don't feel obligated to answer questions non-germane to the item for sale?

    I feel like it is none of their business whether I need money, have problems with my wife, etc. Furthermore, sometimes it feels like the buyer is fishing to see if I'm desperate (I'm not..).

    I take pains to photograph and describe stuff accurately, ship quickly, answer nearly all questions about the item condition and possible application promptly, even the impossibly stupid ones. Whether I'm broke or not doesn't change anything about the part. That is a question about me and I'm not looking for new relationships on ebay.

    I may be particularly sensitive about this because I had a real bad experience w/some guy who decided I was his friend, started more or less stalking me, somehow got my phone number, started calling me, getting hostile when I didn't pay attention to him. It was really surreal and creepy and it took a lot of care and effort to shake this guy successfully. At one point I was seriously worried about this guy showing up at my door in the middle of the night raving drunk or something.

  19. #19
    Dolce far niente bigbossman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
    Does that gain you sympathy with all the screaming college girls begging you for mixtes?

    -Kurt
    Squealing girls seldom ask questions........
    "Love is not the dying moan of a distant violin, itís the triumphant twang of a bedspring."

    S. J. Perelman

  20. #20
    www.theheadbadge.com cudak888's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigbossman View Post
    Squealing girls seldom ask questions........
    But the wife will.

    -Kurt

  21. #21
    FBoD Member at Large khatfull's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robatsu View Post
    It sounds like you are implying that I'm a liar if I don't feel obligated to answer questions non-germane to the item for sale?

    I feel like it is none of their business whether I need money, have problems with my wife, etc. Furthermore, sometimes it feels like the buyer is fishing to see if I'm desperate (I'm not..).

    I take pains to photograph and describe stuff accurately, ship quickly, answer nearly all questions about the item condition and possible application promptly. Whether I'm broke or not doesn't change anything about the part. That is a question about me and I'm not looking for new relationships on ebay.

    I may be particularly sensitive about this because I had a real bad experience w/some guy who decided I was his friend, started more or less stalking me, somehow got my phone number, started calling me, getting hostile when I didn't pay attention to him. It was really surreal and creepy and it took a lot of care and effort to shake this guy successfully. At one point I was seriously worried about this guy showing up at my door in the middle of the night raving drunk or something.
    Christ, you asked how you might answer that question, I gave you an example. You asked US how you might answer that question. If you don't want to answer it then don't.

    Why not just answer the buyers question? If you're unwilling or uncomfortable answering then they can decide whether or not to purchase the item.

    If you're uncomfortable answering those questions for buyers then why ask us how to do it? If you're concerned about potential buyers stalking you then don't sell your items.

    Whatever, but for God's sake quit complaining.

    Sensitive? Apparently.

  22. #22
    Dolce far niente bigbossman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cudak888 View Post
    But the wife will.

    -Kurt
    No she won't. She knows why I'm selling the bike..... so I can give her the money.
    "Love is not the dying moan of a distant violin, itís the triumphant twang of a bedspring."

    S. J. Perelman

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by khatfull View Post
    Christ, you asked how you might answer that question, I gave you an example. You asked US how you might answer that question. If you don't want to answer it then don't.

    Why not just answer the buyers question? If you're unwilling or uncomfortable answering then they can decide whether or not to purchase the item.

    If you're uncomfortable answering those questions for buyers then why ask us how to do it?

    Sensitive? Apparently.
    I took your response as fairly aggressive, this one even more so, you don't know me, to avoid a flame war, maybe better to keep observations about my character out of things.

    To be more accurate, maybe I should have said "how to respond to question".

  24. #24
    FBoD Member at Large khatfull's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robatsu View Post
    I took your response as fairly aggressive, this one is even more so, you don't know me, to avoid a flame war, maybe better to keep observations about my character out of things.

    To be more accurate, maybe I should have said "how to respond to question".
    Man, you need to grow a thicker internet skin...

    I can recall at least a few posts where you think respondents are "aggressive" or some such thing. There's hardly an aggressive word spoken here.

  25. #25
    www.theheadbadge.com cudak888's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigbossman View Post
    No she won't. She knows why I'm selling the bike..... so I can give her the money.
    To buy you shirts that the girls ripped to pieces.

    -Kurt

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