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Old 11-20-11, 07:01 AM   #1
FieldEffect
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The "I got lowballed on Craigslist" thread

Posted a road bike I got two months ago (decided I wanted to buy something different) that I paid $1000 for and put $150 in upgrades on. Got offered $500.

One thing the used market has inspired me to do is to start thinking more carefully about my purchases.

What are your lowball stories?
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Old 11-20-11, 07:13 AM   #2
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Sold my daughter's Honda Civic as she moved overseas. CarMax tried ripping off at $2200 as Honda dealer was realistic at $3000, but daughter wated around $4k which was the book/trade-in value with retail around $5k. Knowing the Honda dealer's quote was good for 7 days/300 miles, advertised in Craigslist. Asked $4300, and most people texted. One person wanted to know if I would accept $3000 - replied "No." Why take the risk meeting a stranger when dealer offered the same.

Sold 3 hours after placing the ad. Met at a nearby shopping center parking lot (but my address was on the title) and negotiated down to $4000 cash.
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Old 11-20-11, 07:43 AM   #3
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Going rate for used bikes on CL and other venues like Veloswap seems to start around half retail.

That said, yes, I've had insultingly miniscule lowball offers on CL...like Ex-girlfiend-selling-guy's-stuff-out-of-spite low. Sorry, I don't care what your second cousin twice-removed hairdresser's dog paid for a ran-over stolen bike in the 1950's, I'm asking this much. Also, if you're not going to make a counter-offer, why contact me just to tell me my price is "wrong"?
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Old 11-20-11, 07:55 AM   #4
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Selling random item on CL for "$250 firm", clearly stated.

Buyer: What's the lowest you'll take for it?
Me: $250
Buyer: But I can get one on ebay for $100 shipped to me, with a warranty.
Me: That sounds like a great deal...you should jump on that.

Expletives followed...
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Old 11-20-11, 08:03 AM   #5
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Selling random item on CL for "$250 firm", clearly stated.

Buyer: What's the lowest you'll take for it?
Me: $250
Buyer: But I can get one on ebay for $100 shipped to me, with a warranty.
Me: That sounds like a great deal...you should jump on that.

Expletives followed...
I wonder if his wife has the same understanding of the word 'firm'.
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Old 11-20-11, 10:13 AM   #6
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Posted a road bike I got two months ago (decided I wanted to buy something different) that I paid $1000 for and put $150 in upgrades on. Got offered $500.

One thing the used market has inspired me to do is to start thinking more carefully about my purchases.

What are your lowball stories?
Like a used car, bikes lose about half their value when you walk out of the store with it. Sucks, but there it is.
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Old 11-20-11, 10:30 AM   #7
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I tried to sell a specialized toupe for $120 on CL, which was the price I bought it off of ebay with shipping. It costs about $160 including taxes if bought at a dealer. AND I also added this in "if you can find the same thing for a cheaper price at retail, then show me and I'll match it"

No sooner than a hour later do I get an offer for $30, citing an entirely different saddle from nashbar with "it's just like the toupe".

I put that 'price match' part in for kicks, but the citation offers I got made me
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Old 11-20-11, 10:45 AM   #8
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A year or so ago, I was looking to get rid of a approximately six-month-old Panasonic plasma TV. Retail when I bought it was about $900-950, and when I was looking to sell it, it was still a current model, and the second from the top of Panasonic's range, as I recall. Even so, I was reasonable about its value. I got a few offers that were $100-200 below my asking price. That's fine. Told them I was looking for more, but that I'd keep their offer in mind.

Then there was the guy who asked if I'd take $150, because he wanted to put it in his kids' play room. I laughed.
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Old 11-20-11, 10:45 AM   #9
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No sooner than a hour later do I get an offer for $30, citing an entirely different saddle from nashbar with "it's just like the toupe".

I put that 'price match' part in for kicks, but the citation offers I got made me
Not surprising at all. I find it laughable that people will low-ball you, knowing that they can't get it cheaper anywhere else. Like my $1000 bike which is essentially in new condition, they act like $600 is bad deal. Yet I'm the only one that has one for sale on there. I guess they think we're all addicted to crack or something.
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Old 11-20-11, 10:56 AM   #10
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The only times I wasn't low-balled on Craigslist was after I had sold enough stuff to realize I'd have to practically give things away to get rid of them. The most amazing thing is, you could try to sell something worth $50 for $5 and not get a single response, but if you put it up "for free" then you'll have 50 emails within five minutes. None of those people would pay $5 but if it's free, look out!

I use ebay now. More troublesome, but at least I can get a reasonable price for things.

Edit: The worst low-ball offer I got was when I was selling a $600 telescope. It had only been used about three or four times and was literally in mint condition, and only about a year old. I was asking $300, and the first guy to show up offered me $160. I turned him down. After about half a dozen other ridiculous offers, and my moving date fast approaching, I finally sold it for $220 because I just had to get rid of it. Pathetic.
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Old 11-20-11, 11:11 AM   #11
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I like the CL ads that say the bike's in " . . perfect condition, ready to ride". You get there and its got flat & rotted tires, cables that need to be replaced, bar tape falling off (if not replaced with black electrical tape!), doesn't shift at all, and probably hsn't been lubed since it left the bike shop floor.

I did respond to an ad for a junky-looking bike once, and it was exactly what I wanted. The 'expendable' stuff (tires, cables, MTB grips, etc) were bad, but the rest of the bike was great (Tange steel frame, Araya wheels, Sugino crank, LX FD & RD). The seller was realistic and knew he'd have to sell it to someone like me who saw the potential. Bought it for $60, put about $120 into it (replaced the entire brake system, too), and now have a great, reliable commuter bike. We both won in that deal.
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Old 11-20-11, 11:12 AM   #12
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The only times I wasn't low-balled on Craigslist was after I had sold enough stuff to realize I'd have to practically give things away to get rid of them. The most amazing thing is, you could try to sell something worth $50 for $5 and not get a single response, but if you put it up "for free" then you'll have 50 emails within five minutes. None of those people would pay $5 but if it's free, look out!

I use ebay now. More troublesome, but at least I can get a reasonable price for things.

Edit: The worst low-ball offer I got was when I was selling a $600 telescope. It had only been used about three or four times and was literally in mint condition, and only about a year old. I was asking $300, and the first guy to show up offered me $160. I turned him down. After about half a dozen other ridiculous offers, and my moving date fast approaching, I finally sold it for $220 because I just had to get rid of it. Pathetic.
I noticed that with the free section so I rarely put anything in there anymore unless it's really cumbersome to move. If I can move it, I'll just take it to Goodwill.

I use to use ebay, but I got sick of paypal. Now I think I'm just sick of selling in general. My new philosophy is to try hard not to accumulate stuff and just be happy with what I've got. Then I won't have to go through the hassle of getting rid of things.

Sad story about the telescope, though I've been there a time or two. But I think this time with my bike, I'll just keep it and enjoy it.
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Old 11-20-11, 01:05 PM   #13
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I noticed that with the free section so I rarely put anything in there anymore unless it's really cumbersome to move. If I can move it, I'll just take it to Goodwill.

I use to use ebay, but I got sick of paypal. Now I think I'm just sick of selling in general. My new philosophy is to try hard not to accumulate stuff and just be happy with what I've got. Then I won't have to go through the hassle of getting rid of things.

Sad story about the telescope, though I've been there a time or two. But I think this time with my bike, I'll just keep it and enjoy it.
I'm selling some things on ebay now, and parting out a bike and listing the parts as well, and after I get rid of all that stuff I'm not planning on selling anymore because I'm not planning on accumulating anymore. I've learned my lesson collecting things I'll never really use (I once had about twenty bikes), and now I just want to own a small amount of good, useful things and live more simply.
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Old 11-20-11, 01:13 PM   #14
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I advertised a like new Iro Mark V at $350; no one bought, so every week, I increased the asking price by $50, knowing I'd take $350 for it. Worked, sold it for $350 when someone asked if I'd take the original $350 for it when advertised at $450.

Hint: half of what you originally bought it for is reasonable; upgrades don't count.
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Old 11-20-11, 01:19 PM   #15
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Too many people watching Storage Wars & Auction Hunters TV shows. I have had people show up and offer low ball prices even when I state "firm"; I tell them I won't sell it to them, they can't afford it.
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Old 11-20-11, 01:47 PM   #16
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Hint: half of what you originally bought it for is reasonable; upgrades don't count.
I'll have to disagree with that. Lots of factors come in to play: age, condition, upgrades, etc. Now a particular person may not place value on certain things, but that just means the seller should wait for another buyer.

For me, I don't subscribe to the school of thought that says the laying of my hands upon an item magically reduces its value by 50%. I understand there's value in the guarantee a store can offer, which is why used things will always be worth less (even if they aren't used), but the value placed on that guarantee depends on the buyer's perceptions.

Say you're looking to buy a new widget X, and your local store has it for $1000 while an individual has it for $700. The store offers a guarantee, the individual does not. If both widgets are in new condition, the only question you really have to ask is if the store guarantee is worth an extra $300. Some people would say yes, some no. I'm in the "no" category.

I see quite a few individuals on craigslist that sell bikes they just bought with hardly any miles on them. When you consider that LBS's allow test rides, or that even the employees may have rode the bikes around and then put them back on the sales floor, it becomes a matter of nomenclature when talking about used vs. new. Better terminology would be store-sold vs. individual-sold. In any case, if I see a $1400 bike someone has barely used offered for $1000, and I've been looking for that bike, I'll get it from them at that price, because I believe it's more than a fair price. In fact, I'd feel bad for the person that they just lost $400 over basically nothing. But that's just the way it goes. Given that, I believe there must be other like-minded people out there that share my opinion in this.
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Old 11-20-11, 01:48 PM   #17
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I'm selling some things on ebay now, and parting out a bike and listing the parts as well, and after I get rid of all that stuff I'm not planning on selling anymore because I'm not planning on accumulating anymore. I've learned my lesson collecting things I'll never really use (I once had about twenty bikes), and now I just want to own a small amount of good, useful things and live more simply.
That's basically my plan, too. I currently have 4 bikes and that's enough.
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Old 11-20-11, 01:51 PM   #18
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Too many people watching Storage Wars & Auction Hunters TV shows. I have had people show up and offer low ball prices even when I state "firm"; I tell them I won't sell it to them, they can't afford it.
Those shows are humorous to me. I guess buying and selling is a way to make a living, but at the end of the day, it doesn't seem like it would really be satisfying. When you think about it, you really haven't created anything or helped anyone with anything. All you've done is put $ in your pocket. I suppose if your world is ruled by the almighty $, that's satisfying. But for me, it would never be enough. That's one reason I don't invest in the stock market. For me, it is far more important how I make my money than how much I make.
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Old 11-20-11, 01:56 PM   #19
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I have had people show up and offer low ball prices even when I state "firm"; I tell them I won't sell it to them, they can't afford it.
I have similar, but as a Realtor. I have buyers that insist on not listening to me when a house is fairly priced within a market "but they have heard on Zillow that..." and subsquently offer 50% of offering price which I am required to submit. Usually, they receive no counter...just outright denial of the offer by the seller. I then have to explain that they succeeded in insulting the seller who would not prefer to sell to anyone BUT them, even if they offered full price.

I had to laugh when one seller responded to the lowball by countering with a price 50% ABOVE the original asking price. I wish they would all do that. Essentially, the deal wasn't going to go through so they have nothing to lose by insulting them right back. Essentially, they were going to sell it for $100k, but in responce to your $50k offer, they will now sell it to you for $150k (while they continue to offer to everyone else for $100k).

While I tolerate the low-ball buyer and try to educate them the first time, if they continue not to listen...the second time, I fire them. Let them got waste somebody elses time.
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Old 11-20-11, 03:20 PM   #20
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I like the CL ads that say the bike's in " . . perfect condition, ready to ride".
I like the ads that say "paid $$$" for the bike, or has "$$$ in upgrades" like that has any bearing whatsoever on what its value in the used market may be. You could have paid $5000 for something and way overpaid for it. Or paid that much because it was the latest and greatest only to find out it really wasn't worth that in the first place and it's now worth barely a grand.

Also, I like the people who quote the MSRP to try and justify their unrealistically high price, knowing full well they haggled the seller way down from that price in the first place.

As for paying "$$$" and trying to sell it at whatever, it's only worth what someone will pay for it... NOT what you paid or what you think is reasonable. Let's look at the telescope example above. Paid $600, listed at $300 and had an offer of $160. Since it sold at $220, that's what it's worth. That's the free market at work.

Now, the real low ballers are probably trying to get you to take a loss and resell it to make a few bucks themselves... for the price you were originally asking. Can't blame 'em for trying... as long as they're professional about it all and don't get bent out of shape when you tell them no, just like you can't blame folks for trying to get as much as possible out of what they're selling, whether it's reasonable or not.
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Old 11-20-11, 03:25 PM   #21
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You could have paid $5000 for something...only to find out it really wasn't worth that
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Since it sold at $220, that's what it's worth.
Contradictory statements.
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Old 11-20-11, 05:25 PM   #22
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Those shows are humorous to me. I guess buying and selling is a way to make a living, but at the end of the day, it doesn't seem like it would really be satisfying. When you think about it, you really haven't created anything or helped anyone with anything. All you've done is put $ in your pocket. I suppose if your world is ruled by the almighty $, that's satisfying. But for me, it would never be enough. That's one reason I don't invest in the stock market. For me, it is far more important how I make my money than how much I make.
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Old 11-20-11, 05:31 PM   #23
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Like a used car, bikes lose about half their value when you walk out of the store with it. Sucks, but there it is.
Half value is well overstating the instant depreciation hit. As a vague, general rule I don't think good bikes start hitting Half original price 'til at least 5 years old.

In extreme cases there is instant appreciation. Not too long ago you could buy a new Mini Cooper and sell it for more than MSRP as soon as you took delivery. I think this happened with Prius at some point as well.

Last edited by LesterOfPuppets; 11-20-11 at 05:37 PM.
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Old 11-20-11, 05:51 PM   #24
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I think it is stupid when negotiating and not having the right amount of money. Posted something for $100 was offered a lower price so we met at a lower price but the person had a $100 bill. I mean really? Be prepared at least.
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Old 11-20-11, 06:01 PM   #25
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Contradictory statements.
Good point. At the time you paid $5000 for something, it was worth it to the purchaser. But that doesn't mean buyers don't get suckered in sometimes, too. Still, you're right... if someone paid 5 grand, then at that instant, that's what it was worth.
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