PDA

View Full Version : [Question] Why are sellers so afraid to post asking prices?


Peter Palmer
11-29-2016, 02:50 PM
This forum does have good information about a property I love and I've met some really good people who post here, but the sales forum here drives me nuts.

Why is it that so many sellers here seem incapable of posting asking prices when selling items here? So often, it's "make an offer" or "send me your best price". The appearance is that the seller who does this is afraid of not squeezing every last penny out of a sale, so they refuse to make the first move for fear of leaving money on the table. Is that it?

The killer is that often an item will go unsold here, so it gets listed on ebay with an asking price as it's required there. Why not just list that asking price here? You can always entertain offers.

I spend a few thousand dollars per year on TMNT-related items, but I find myself skipping over threads that simply say "make an offer". I love that they added the "MO" tag for sales threads. It saves me the time from even clicking on them. These "make offer" threads run a high risk of offending someone if your offer isn't close to the price they have in mind. Either the seller has a fair market value in mind and the buyer inadvertently lowballs the seller, or the buyer throws out a fair price, but the seller has unrealistic price expectations. Both cases can lead to hurt feelings or bad blood in a hobby where I would much rather derive nothing but enjoyment and fun.

Occasionally, if it's an item I really want, I'll post something to the effect of "I'd be interested in a price". If the seller posts a price, I'll consider buying it. If they don't, I just move on.

Other forums and online auction houses require asking prices when posting something for sale. In part, this keeps things orderly, but this structure is more conducive to sales as opposed to tire-kicking. So just because listing a price isn't a requirement here, people don't do it? These other sites will show you that you are for more likely to sell an item if you list an asking price than if you don't. If anything, you're costing yourself a potential sale by NOT listing a price.

Thoughts?

mrmaczaps
11-29-2016, 03:56 PM
TMNT fans are cheap bastards. I haven't listed anything for sale via here in some time...

Everyone wants to buy low, either because they are on a budget or because they're looking to resell.

ToTheNines
11-29-2016, 04:01 PM
I normally don't list a price just in case someone blows me away with an offer higher than I'd ask. Also if someone lowballs me, but I never sell it, I'll eventually just take their offer.

Seems silly to pass on a desired item just because your offer might get rejected.

CylonsKlingonsDaleksOhMy
11-29-2016, 04:10 PM
I normally don't list a price just in case someone blows me away with an offer higher than I'd ask. Also if someone lowballs me, but I never sell it, I'll eventually just take their offer.

Seems silly to pass on a desired item just because your offer might get rejected.

All of this.

No offense, Peter, but you're sounding a little petty... we want more money, and don't want to jeopardize a sale. Not that I've done much selling on here. :trazz:

Peter Palmer
11-29-2016, 08:21 PM
TMNT fans are cheap bastards. I haven't listed anything for sale via here in some time...

Everyone wants to buy low, either because they are on a budget or because they're looking to resell.

While this appears to be at least part of the case (being cheap), I'd say that the "cheap" stereotype may just exist mostly in the sales forum portion of these boards.

In my TMNT-related travels, I've noticed quite the opposite. My encounters with TMNT creators and fans have been largely pleasant. Compared to many other comic-related fanbases, I've found TMNT fans to be exceptionally welcoming and generous with people often giving others time, information, images, and even goods simply because another fan wanted those things.

That said, I don't think I buy into TMNT-fans being "cheap bastards" as a blanket statement as I've met far more generous ones than stingy ones. Though we may have a higher concentration of the stingy variety here on these forums.

Peter Palmer
11-29-2016, 08:39 PM
I normally don't list a price just in case someone blows me away with an offer higher than I'd ask. Also if someone lowballs me, but I never sell it, I'll eventually just take their offer.

Seems silly to pass on a desired item just because your offer might get rejected.

To your first part, it does sound like I got it right on the first post. Based on your statement, you are afraid you may be leaving money on the table, so you make a potential buyer submit an offer to you. I'd postulate that by not listing an asking price, you are limiting your customer base...people like me who don't pay attention to sales threads without prices. Especially considering you admit to eventually accepting low offers after not getting a better offer. I'd be willing to wager that the money you leave on the table from accepting a low offer offsets any potential "big scores" you may get from someone who offers you way more than you would have asked. Seems like it'd be faster and easier to just start with an asking price and sell quicker. Takes less time and the prices you realize as a seller are more predictable.

To you second point, while I do pass on items without asking prices, it's not because my offer might get rejected. As I mentioned before, I enjoy this hobby and want to minimize any negative feelings. There have been a small handful of times where the seller was offended at an offer I'd toss their way, despite the fact that I had concrete data that my offer was at least on par (usually more) than I could get it for at another venue. Though my offers were fair, the would-be seller was offended because the offer wasn't as lofty as the expectations. The seller would either get despondent or angry. To this day, I don't remember what the items I put an offer on were. However, I do remember the negative feelings that were generated from the offers and the people affected. I like this hobby to stay positive, so this is my way of avoiding situations that breed these negative feelings.

Peter Palmer
11-29-2016, 08:53 PM
All of this.

No offense, Peter, but you're sounding a little petty... we want more money, and don't want to jeopardize a sale. Not that I've done much selling on here. :trazz:

While I understand where you're coming from, it does strike me as a bit ironic that you think I'm being petty as in my eyes, it seems that a fear of leaving a few extra dollars on the table terrifies people so much that they refuse to follow good selling practice (listing asking prices) is pretty darn petty.

Of course you want more money. Everyone wants more money. But jeopardizing a sale? You may have to explain that one to me. How on Earth does listing an asking price jeopardize a sale? If the price is acceptable, I'll buy it straight away. If it's a little high, I'll politely ask if it can come down. If it's very high, chances are the seller won't come down to a price I'm willing to spend, so I pass (and spare hard feelings). If there's no price listed, I pass.

There's a reason that ebay, amazon, heritage, comiclink, etc. require people to put asking prices on listings instead of just "make offers". It drives sales and wastes far less time dealing with tire-kickers. Compare that to something like Craigslist. You will get a hundred tire-kickers on craigslist before getting a sale on a "make offer" kind of post. Which site do you think has more sales: ebay or craigslist?

ToTheNines
11-29-2016, 08:56 PM
I'd be willing to wager that the money you leave on the table from accepting a low offer offsets any potential "big scores"

Whatever. I'm not running a business. If a turtle fan ends up with a good deal due to my poor poker face, then good. If nothing happens, then it goes on ebay and I sell it anyways. No harm, no foul.

And if I don't sell it, I probably didn't even want to anyways. I only sell stuff because of bills, not like I'm trying to get rich.



To you second point, while I do pass on items without asking prices, it's not because my offer might get rejected. As I mentioned before, I enjoy this hobby and want to minimize any negative feelings. There have been a small handful of times where the seller was offended at an offer I'd toss their way, despite the fact that I had concrete data that my offer was at least on par (usually more) than I could get it for at another venue. Though my offers were fair, the would-be seller was offended because the offer wasn't as lofty as the expectations. The seller would either get despondent or angry. To this day, I don't remember what the items I put an offer on were. However, I do remember the negative feelings that were generated from the offers and the people affected. I like this hobby to stay positive, so this is my way of avoiding situations that breed these negative feelings.

Just speaking personally here, but I'd never be a **** to someone for lowballing me. Just politely decline.

If it's someone I'm tight with on here, I'll cut them a deal. But most transactions I'm involved in are with very occasional posters anyways.

Peter Palmer
11-29-2016, 09:16 PM
Whatever. I'm not running a business. If a turtle fan ends up with a good deal due to my poor poker face, then good. If nothing happens, then it goes on ebay and I sell it anyways. No harm, no foul.

And if I don't sell it, I probably didn't even want to anyways. I only sell stuff because of bills, not like I'm trying to get rich.

I feel like we are thinking the exact same thing but going about it completely differently. If a turtle fan gets a good deal because I didn't squeeze every last penny out of an item, I'm happy. The TMNT community has been good to me and I try to return the favor when possible. That's why I don't sweat it when I sell an item to a TMNT fan here for less than I could sell it for elsewhere. It's going to someone who will likely enjoy it.

You say it's a good thing when a turtle fan gets a deal. That's why I think it should frustrate you as much as it frustrates me that sellers here use the "make offer" technique to try to shake down every last cent from other turtle fans. I think that level of greed isn't good for the hobby.


Just speaking personally here, but I'd never be a **** to someone for lowballing me. Just politely decline.

If it's someone I'm tight with on here, I'll cut them a deal. But most transactions I'm involved in are with very occasional posters anyways.

I'm the same way. I've gotten plenty of lowball offers from people over the years. It never offends me. A quick "thanks, but I'll pass" is all it takes and I move on. However, others take it very seriously.

And again, I'm the same. I'll cut a much better deal to someone I know personally than a stranger. Always nice to help out a friend. Especially when I've been on the receiving end of such generosity in the past. I try to pay it forward.

I feel like you and I have a similar stance on a lot of things. Does it make sense to you at all why I may pass on an item without an asking price?

CylonsKlingonsDaleksOhMy
11-29-2016, 09:19 PM
While I understand where you're coming from, it does strike me as a bit ironic that you think I'm being petty as in my eyes, it seems that a fear of leaving a few extra dollars on the table terrifies people so much that they refuse to follow good selling practice (listing asking prices) is pretty darn petty.

Of course you want more money. Everyone wants more money. But jeopardizing a sale? You may have to explain that one to me. How on Earth does listing an asking price jeopardize a sale? If the price is acceptable, I'll buy it straight away. If it's a little high, I'll politely ask if it can come down. If it's very high, chances are the seller won't come down to a price I'm willing to spend, so I pass (and spare hard feelings). If there's no price listed, I pass.

There's a reason that ebay, amazon, heritage, comiclink, etc. require people to put asking prices on listings instead of just "make offers". It drives sales and wastes far less time dealing with tire-kickers. Compare that to something like Craigslist. You will get a hundred tire-kickers on craigslist before getting a sale on a "make offer" kind of post. Which site do you think has more sales: ebay or craigslist?

You say it jeopardizes sales, and maybe it does with someone like you, but I've usually sold to people like me. And if something is too high, I sit and wait for it to go down. If it doesn't have a price, I bite and ask what they want to make a profit, and we try to meet in the middle.

The few times I've sold on here, it's to fellow TMNT fans who I know will enjoy something I've enjoyed. And if I don't get a bite, I take it to my local shop and take a little less. It's whatever. You sound to me like you've gotten irritated with people on here, or you're taking personal offense or something...?

Whatever. I'm not running a business. If a turtle fan ends up with a good deal due to my poor poker face, then good. If nothing happens, then it goes on ebay and I sell it anyways. No harm, no foul.

And if I don't sell it, I probably didn't even want to anyways. I only sell stuff because of bills, not like I'm trying to get rich.

Just speaking personally here, but I'd never be a **** to someone for lowballing me. Just politely decline.

If it's someone I'm tight with on here, I'll cut them a deal. But most transactions I'm involved in are with very occasional posters anyways.

Geez, except for my tolerance of Cubed, you and I are like of one mind. :tlol:

ToTheNines
11-29-2016, 09:21 PM
@Pete Yeah, I think we have very similar mindsets. We just lose each other at "who makes the first move?"

Maybe you had more dates than me in high school.

@Cylons You'll come around.

MrPliggins
11-30-2016, 06:58 AM
Yeah, hard to explain but I get turned off by make offer threads too. I think many times, a price listed helps me decide if I want an item or not. And I don't like making the first move. Seems sellers should have asking prices in mind.

It does come off like someone is trying to get the most out of the item, and maybe that's what turns me off. It's the equivalent of a high "buy it now" on Ebay which you watch, but never make a "best offer" because you think you'll offend the seller with a "lowball".

BUT someone makes a good point above that we are all collectors here, not dealers..so I get it. I just 90% of the time will skip making offers.

Peter Palmer
11-30-2016, 07:49 AM
You say it jeopardizes sales, and maybe it does with someone like you, but I've usually sold to people like me. And if something is too high, I sit and wait for it to go down. If it doesn't have a price, I bite and ask what they want to make a profit, and we try to meet in the middle.

The few times I've sold on here, it's to fellow TMNT fans who I know will enjoy something I've enjoyed. And if I don't get a bite, I take it to my local shop and take a little less. It's whatever. You sound to me like you've gotten irritated with people on here, or you're taking personal offense or something...?



What I'm trying to convey is that there are more people out there like me than just me. That is to say there are plenty of people who won't give the time of day to a listing without a price. However, these same people who don't invest time in threads/listings like that also don't usually take the time to discuss their reasons with the sellers. With no one speaking up against it, these sub-standard selling practices may be going on without sellers realizing that they are just that...sub-standard. I figured I'd ask the community to see what the general consensus is and to get a general feeling of why this behavior thrives here.

As an engineer by trade, I tend to be very logical by nature. Any perceived irritation stems from the counterproductive nature of this situation. In short, sellers withhold asking prices in an attempt to drive prices up, but withholding prices can limit the buying pool, which drives prices right back down. So a practice meant to make more money is now costing money...and with a smaller buying pool, it's taking longer to sell. Counterproductive.

In your example, you ask what they'd like to make in profit and then work from there. I submit that if the seller were to list that "after profit" price as the asking price, they buying pool would be larger and things would sell faster. The current "make offer" system is pretty ineffective. What percentage of sales threads here are actually successful?

Your statement about "it's whatever" regarding the prices you realize is largely my stance as well. You derive some joy out of knowing that the item you've sold is going to someone who enjoys it. You're also willing to let items go for cheap to a local shop if you don't get any bites and it doesn't really matter to you because you've already gotten some sense of joy or use out of the item and you don't feel the need to maximize your sale. Are those fair statements?

If so, you're just like me. I think people like this are good for any hobby. I'm not irritated with anyone or taking offense. Instead, I hope this thread helps a few people to improve selling practices. So many items here go unsold. One has to assume there's a reason. I'm trying to bring that reason to the surface.

Peter Palmer
11-30-2016, 08:04 AM
BUT someone makes a good point above that we are all collectors here, not dealers..so I get it. I just 90% of the time will skip making offers.

Thanks for chiming in. I agree with most of what you're saying, but I'm a little unclear about this last line. "We are all collectors here, not dealers."

I can't tell which direction you're going. One could interpret this as:

"Dealers are doing this for a living, so they must maximize profit to be successful while collectors do not."

or

"Dealers turn over a lot of volume and thus don't need to maximize each and every sale. Collectors don't have a ton of inventory, so when they sell, they should try to get the maximum value."

Care to clarify?

***First of Two Latin Kings***
11-30-2016, 08:41 AM
TMNT fans are cheap bastards. I haven't listed anything for sale via here in some time...

Everyone wants to buy low, either because they are on a budget or because they're looking to resell.


You say this but you only offered me $20 shipped for a pair of Giant Movie Star Mike nunchakus. That's pretty low ball, man.

Peter Palmer
11-30-2016, 10:42 AM
You say this but you only offered me $20 shipped for a pair of Giant Movie Star Mike nunchakus. That's pretty low ball, man.

I'd like to cite this as an example of the negativity I'd like to avoid in reference to "make an offer" posts.

MrPliggins
11-30-2016, 05:38 PM
Thanks for chiming in. I agree with most of what you're saying, but I'm a little unclear about this last line. "We are all collectors here, not dealers."

I can't tell which direction you're going. One could interpret this as:

"Dealers are doing this for a living, so they must maximize profit to be successful while collectors do not."

or

"Dealers turn over a lot of volume and thus don't need to maximize each and every sale. Collectors don't have a ton of inventory, so when they sell, they should try to get the maximum value."

Care to clarify?

I suppose what I meant was that there is a certain dealer etiquette which usually includes stating an asking price and not asking for a personal paypal payment or for paypal fees to be covered, which is sometimes lost with the more "casual" seller. Perhaps I hang out on the CGC boards too much, where these rules are all in place. But it all seems to run pretty smoothly there, for the most part.