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eBay escapades. The low ball offer
Old 06-11-2019   #1
Steve M.
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eBay escapades. The low ball offer

I listed a few low priced photography items on eBay recently and it's been a crappy experience. I seem to have caught an annoying wave of low ball offers. The first ads were ended because three different people sent me messages trying to make low ball offers on ads that clearly had no such options. It's BIY or go home, which is how I sell everything. The second time I relisted things, well, it's happening again.

I put these guys on my blocked bidders list, but is this a trend these days? I'll bet these are the sort of people who go to Walmart, grab a package of briefs marked $10, and tell the cashier "I'll buy these for $5 if you want to make a quick sale, and could you ship them to my place for free?" These are not normal offers I would consider even iif I were listing a Best Offer ad, they're stupidly low.

Here's an actual example of how this goes. I have two cameras listed for sale, so someone messages me and asks if I can lower the price and they'll buy them both. So I give him a great price, and he then wants free shipping. I explain that things have been priced low already, and free shipping isn't going to happen, but I'll meet him halfway on it. We agree on that, and as I'm redoing the ad I see that he's messaged me again, and now he wants a Fair Trade Warranty included, whatever the !&#$! that is (on a $40 year old, $40 film camera!!!), and by then I decide this is NOT who I want to be dealing with and I pull the ads.
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Old 06-11-2019   #2
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It is a trend.

Along with buyers not reading description before buying and buyers ultimately not paying.

I’ve had to dig into my settings to restrict bidders left and right.

eBay is on the slope down.
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Old 06-11-2019   #3
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I've had lowball offers accepted on ebay (not often, but it has happened) and as a buyer don't know what the seller might consider. By lowball I mean 25 percent of asking price. Not photo gear though, but second hand stock from dealers.

What pisses me off are sellers who won't counter-offer. To me, offering 50 percent of your BIN price is saying - too high, how about something lower - your turn. And that's how it's designed to work, offer, counter-offer and so one until we run out of the bids we're allowed. And in my opinion sellers who only will accept a 5 percent discount might as well not use best offer.
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Old 06-11-2019   #4
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I agree Joe,

If your gonna use OBO you need to actually consider fair offers lol.

Although I love Roberts (UsedPhotoPro) they are guilty of using Best Offer only for at best a 5-10% discount. Still... they tend to have the best prices anyway.
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Old 06-11-2019   #5
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This is what I do. Put the item up as Buy it Now at a rather high price
with a make offer option, but place a minimum on the offer that matches
what you wanted for the item to begin with.
If the buyer doesn't meet the minimum you'll never see the offer.

It works for me.
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Old 06-11-2019   #6
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Low balling is just part of the process of selling stuff. Annoying but best to ignore and forget. The real inconsiderates come out for free stuff. Happily, they never show up.
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counteroffers
Old 06-11-2019   #7
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counteroffers

a 50% offer is not really a serious offer
some of us were brought up haggling and consider it fun
for others its just too personal and a pain in the butt

in the 1970's I went to look at a 1950's ford pickup
the seller kept saying make me an offer I won't be insulted
I offered about 70%
he closed the garage door and said that I insulted him

Quote:
Originally Posted by joe bosak View Post
I've had lowball offers accepted on ebay (not often, but it has happened) and as a buyer don't know what the seller might consider. By lowball I mean 25 percent of asking price. Not photo gear though, but second hand stock from dealers.

What pisses me off are sellers who won't counter-offer. To me, offering 50 percent of your BIN price is saying - too high, how about something lower - your turn. And that's how it's designed to work, offer, counter-offer and so one until we run out of the bids we're allowed. And in my opinion sellers who only will accept a 5 percent discount might as well not use best offer.
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Old 06-11-2019   #8
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I've run into the same problem. I even added in the description that if you contact me with an "offer", I will in turn make fun of you, then ban you so I never have to deal with you again and I get the last word too.
This way I get some amusement out of folks who are wasting my time. End of story.
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Old 06-11-2019   #9
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Is sending an offer of $20 to someone selling an Argus C3, listed for $200 BIN, considered low-balling?

Sometimes (well, a lot of times) people list stuff at ridiculous prices, and then complain when people "low-ball." Just last week I contacted someone who had a camera for sale on a Facebook ad which they had received no interest for, and offered 1/8th the price, as I thought that's what it was worth and was willing to pay that. They came back at a bit more, which I agreed to after inspecting the item. That's how it works. If they said no, then fine.

If you find it troublesome, put a minimum offer on your "Make Offer" sale and you'll never get a "low-ball" offer again. That said, I've seen $500 items that auto-rejected offers at $475...so at least be realistic.
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Old 06-11-2019   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe bosak View Post
I've had lowball offers accepted on ebay (not often, but it has happened) and as a buyer don't know what the seller might consider. By lowball I mean 25 percent of asking price. Not photo gear though, but second hand stock from dealers.

What pisses me off are sellers who won't counter-offer. To me, offering 50 percent of your BIN price is saying - too high, how about something lower - your turn. And that's how it's designed to work, offer, counter-offer and so one until we run out of the bids we're allowed. And in my opinion sellers who only will accept a 5 percent discount might as well not use best offer.
Exactly. I lowballed a perfect condition Leica R9, because I did not need it and figured if he'd go that low then I need it..
He coulda said no. He said yes..

I love ebay. I get most of my stuff from it for excellent prices. If you don't like low ball offers, don't give the option to make offers.
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Old 06-11-2019   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
I love ebay. I get most of my stuff from it for excellent prices. If you don't like low ball offers, don't give the option to make offers.
Here's teh thing, if you click on "Contact Seller" ebay will give you the option for "Offers" even though the Seller isn't actually taking offers. low ballers know this play on that (even though you're not taking offers).
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Old 06-12-2019   #12
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OK. your intro shows something else than your example.
So, my take is:
1. on your intro: this is ebay. if you sell a second hand stuff, it is worth as much exactly as someone wants to pay for it.
Your "low ball offer" definition is possibly someone else's max budget.
If you get an offer that is too low, no need to be offended, annoyed, irritated, no need to whine about it, to ban anyone, to call the police, to write to sante: just reject it and that's it. If it annoys you then don't use ebay as buyers using ebay are entitled to use all services ebay offers them (including making an offer on a BIN item through messages, if they feel like).
2. On your example, my opinion is fully agreeing with yours. These are just guys who keep pushing their luck. At some point a good deal is just that, a good deal, and you have to take it. The enemy of good is "best".

I am highly annoyed by sellers who say something like reasonable offers accepted, or i will disregard low offers, or -the most annoying of it all - the knowledgeable buyer will know what this is worth. Typically they expect top price for old junk and they don't accept that a buyer is not obliged to offer what they have dreamed up.

There's no such thing as universal "fair offer".

For example i have seen a crazy dude asking 99 bucks for 6 rolls of expired film from 30 years ago (and not special film at all). And marked shipping at 30 bucks from Holland to Holland. So i was like *** and made him a 1$ offer just for fun
He made a counteroffer of 98$.
So i wrote him OK look it's old junk and you know it, i can give you 6 bucks plus reasonable shipping which would be around 4-6 more. He said no he can't ship it for that much.
End discussion. Nobody banned, i made my point, he made his choice, all civilized.
But it was an "OBO" type listing.

We all take our chances.
Crazy "high baller" sellers might hope for crazy buyers with more money than brain.
Crazy "low baller" buyers might hope for striking gold form an attic find with a "i don't know" or "i don't care" type seller.


Jack Conrad's strategy above is good.
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Old 06-12-2019   #13
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At one time Ebay represented great deals for buyers of rangefinder stuff. That was fifteen - twenty years ago, during the dark days. Now most of the stuff offered is terrible overpriced; more expensive then you would pay at a legitimate store. Occasionally you'll have a sprinkling of folks who just want to get rid of stuff. Low balls offers, I think, are maybe people trying to re-capture the past when ebay was full of good deals.
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Old 06-12-2019   #14
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Put the highest price you want to sell in BIN.
Enable OBO and put lowest price you want to sell.
Low ballers will send their offers , not messages and will get rejected automatically.
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Old 06-12-2019   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by filmtwit View Post
Here's teh thing, if you click on "Contact Seller" ebay will give you the option for "Offers" even though the Seller isn't actually taking offers. low ballers know this play on that (even though you're not taking offers).
You don't have to respond to such offers. Just ignore it. Educating buyers (or sellers) on eBay is not really productive or rewarding...
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Old 06-12-2019   #16
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Here's part of the problem: Ebay automatically activates the "Or Best Offer" option even when you don't want it. I list everything I sell as "Buy It Now" and I have to turn OFF "Or Best Offer" once when I list the item and then a second time several days (a week?) later when Ebay silently turns it back on.

I don't think it used to be that way; this is new. But I didn't sell very much prior to these past couple years, so maybe I never noticed it before.

So if you're a seller and you're suddenly getting offers you never anticipated getting, or you're a buyer but for some strange reason the sellers you buy from won't accept your offer, no matter how reasonable, this might be why.
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Old 06-12-2019   #17
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I hate selling. It's definitely not for the fainthearted, even more so on eBay.

As buyer I try not to offend with offers, but when I don't desperately want an item
I will occasionally make what I consider a low offer. Sometimes I get lucky.

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Old 06-12-2019   #18
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Quote:
Put the highest price you want to sell in BIN.
Enable OBO and put lowest price you want to sell.
Low ballers will send their offers , not messages and will get rejected automatically.
Seems like a good solution.



People in the northern hemisphere have forgotten how to bargain. I suppose that today the majority will only have some bargaining experience when buying a car or a house. Otherwise, all prices are fixed. In many countries in the south, you still have to bargain for almost all items.
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Old 06-12-2019   #19
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For common items there is an average price they sell for. That is "the going rate". To sell a common item, it has to stand out among all the others, or it will sit for months unsold because of the competition. So its price or your guarantee or your shipping have to be better than the others.

The problem is there are buyers like the OP encountered, that want it all. A "low ball" offer is any at half your asking price, if you are at the going rate. They think that "the buyer is always right" and that a seller should be either intimidated by their unreasonable requests, or just give in out of frustration. They have lots of time on their hands to surf and constantly try to find someone who will sell that $40 camera for $10. They may ask 50 people a month, but eventually get one.

It's different with uncommon or rare items. There are fewer comparable items so you will sell faster. You do not need to lower your price or offer free shipping. But some think they are in the same situation as the common item. I used to sell a lot, but have gotten out of it. I had a guy on a lens group post that he wanted a particular 1800s French wetplate lens. I connected, and he gave me an offer about half the going rate. When I told him they sell for double that, and that I wasn't planning to sell, but figured I'd help him out, he said "what's a few hundred among friends?" He tried cajoling me, bullying me, lying to me. Said "Oh...sorry, I just don't know anything about these old brass lenses, what are they worth?" I looked him up, and he's been buying and selling antique brass and wood cameras for many years, including that maker. Has shelves full of Alpas with Angenieux lenses too, dozens. Deal was off, and he's on the "I will NEVER sell to you" list.

Too many con men out there trying to rip people off on eBay.
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Old 06-12-2019   #20
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No, low balling is the about buying stuff, not selling it. I'll always accept a reasonable offer, but what I've been getting is, like I said, stupidly low offers. It's something that never used to happen on my auctions, and that's about 3,000 of them over 15 years on my account. So I certainly know how to word and sell something (hint: it's all about taking good pictures). Shoot, I sold our condo on eBay years ago in Galveston. That was so much easier than dealing w/ realtors.

All I can say is that I'm glad that I seldom buy or sell anything there anymore because eBay has have ruined it for small time sellers and the buyers are often royal PITA now. The problem isn't me, it's them. And the fees that eBay charges! How can they charge me a percentage on shipping fees! That's legal? But that's all besides the point. Selling is always a certain amount of hassle, and eBay gets used because that's where the buyers are, even if they are idiots. Life is too short of this sort of aggravation for so little return after all their fees are taken out.

Next time I'll just donate the stuff to someone that's interested in photography but is strapped for money. That's a much better use of my time.
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Old 06-12-2019   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Wijninga View Post
Seems like a good solution.



People in the northern hemisphere have forgotten how to bargain. I suppose that today the majority will only have some bargaining experience when buying a car or a house. Otherwise, all prices are fixed. In many countries in the south, you still have to bargain for almost all items.
To me it is awful experience, never worked for me. Wasting of my time. If people are good for me, they will give decent price. If they treat you like idiot, they start with high price.
The whole culture of buying one mutton all day with tea brakes and negotiators on commission is not my culture.
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Old 06-12-2019   #22
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Remember folks, as a buyer, you're under zero obligations to buy anything on ebay, espeically if it's junk and/or over priced. Let it sit, rot and collect fees. If the seller doesn't make the appropriate changes over time, then they lose money and sales.
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Old 06-12-2019   #23
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I have had to start asking for more than I want for items in hopes of getting what I actually want as a low-ball offer on Kijiji and eBay.
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Old 06-12-2019   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steveyork View Post
At one time Ebay represented great deals for buyers of rangefinder stuff. That was fifteen - twenty years ago, during the dark days. Now most of the stuff offered is terrible overpriced; more expensive then you would pay at a legitimate store. Occasionally you'll have a sprinkling of folks who just want to get rid of stuff. Low balls offers, I think, are maybe people trying to re-capture the past when ebay was full of good deals.
I get excellent deals on ebay all the time.
My like new Nikon S2 w 50 1.4 that just showed up last week was $317.
Just bought a like new Lomo LC-A 120 for $250. They are $430 in the stores.


No-one is making anyone buy anything. There are plenty of deals out there, and plenty that are not. As in anything in life.
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Old 06-12-2019   #25
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Quote:
To me it is awful experience, never worked for me.
Maybe, but I suppose that you are familiar with the institution of bartering. A driver once told me that when a truck with wine from Chisinau arrived at its destination in the former USSR, half of the cargo would have been bartered for construction materials; cement; tires; clothing etc...
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Old 06-12-2019   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by filmtwit View Post
Remember folks, as a buyer, you're under zero obligations to buy anything on ebay, espeically if it's junk and/or over priced. Let it sit, rot and collect fees. If the seller doesn't make the appropriate changes over time, then they lose money and sales.
Unfortunately not. Nowadays you have to literally try really hard to be charged an insertion fee on eBay.
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Old 06-12-2019   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huss View Post
I get excellent deals on ebay all the time.
My like new Nikon S2 w 50 1.4 that just showed up last week was $317.
Just bought a like new Lomo LC-A 120 for $250. They are $430 in the stores.


No-one is making anyone buy anything. There are plenty of deals out there, and plenty that are not. As in anything in life.
I was thinking more of Leica rangefinder cameras and especially lenses. Nikon stuff has really dropped in price. Limited demand.
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Old 06-12-2019   #28
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eBay is weird. I make most of living buying and selling stuff and I often price things with decent prices as I generally find it cheap enough to pass along for a good price and good profit for me as well. Yet, sometimes things just sit there or I'll see same items sell at higher prices than the stuff I have listed.

If I get a lowball offer through the messaging system, I just ignore it and put them on my blocked bidder list. No need to get worked up over it, for me at least.
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Old 06-12-2019   #29
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I was thinking more of Leica rangefinder cameras and especially lenses. Nikon stuff has really dropped in price. Limited demand.
Not at all. The same Nikon rf gear sells on ebay for over $450 in auctions, not BIN. And has sold for more than $500 on this site. Spís are over $1000.
Leica M cameras are going up in price no matter where you look. An M6 a couple o hears ago was about $1k, now minimum $1500.
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Old 06-12-2019   #30
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I always send a message when making offers. I have to say this, about 90% of people making BIN listings are smoking crack when they come up with prices. They literally have less than a clue what they're doing. So I often will bring up recently ended auctions and give the final prices (my offers are usually the exact same amount as the closed auction when I do this). Some people go "oh ok" and accept, or make a reasonable counter offer. Most? They take another hit off the crack pipe.

The only time I've low-balled somebody, without citing a previous auction, and simultaneously making a less than 50% offer on the item, I just explained the issues with the item I was seeing and how much the local shop would probably charge to fix them. Unexpectedly they accepted my offer.

There's a running joke in car collector circles about craigslist listings that contain "No low ballers, I know what I have" because it's almost always somebody asking 400% of market value on something not particularly rare.
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Old 06-12-2019   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve M. View Post
...And the fees that eBay charges! How can they charge me a percentage on shipping fees! That's legal?...

Apparently, it is legal. Of course, this was Ebay's response to sellers listing, say, a Nifty Fifty for $10, with $65 shipping.
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Old 06-12-2019   #32
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If you're not accepting offers, then just tell them that. That's what I had to do recently. It's actually against the rules for people to make offers for items that don't have the "make offer" button anyway.
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Old 06-12-2019   #33
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Apparently, it is legal. Of course, this was Ebay's response to sellers listing, say, a Nifty Fifty for $10, with $65 shipping.
Ya, the bigger problem I have selling is the ebay charges that make selling nearly not worth it most of the time.
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Old 06-12-2019   #34
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Maybe it's time for eBay to charge money for listings again. Allowing seemingly infinite free listings seems to mean that many sellers set absurd prices and nothing actually sells. In the old days, listing something at above $100 meant it would cost you $5 to have it up. For a week.

Or maybe eBay could adjust the fee structure so that you don't get jaw-dropping final value fees (these used to be 4%, capped at $100), thereby impelling more sales. It's not like eBay is doing any more work to sell a $50,000 item than a 50-cent one. All of those fees end up priced into items, most frequently, overpriced into items.

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Old 06-12-2019   #35
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Quote:
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It's actually against the rules for people to make offers for items that don't have the "make offer" button anyway.
I don't think you are correct about that.

Even if there's no Make Offer button, when you click on Contact Seller,
Make An Offer is an option that is displayed. When clicked on it states:

"How do I make an offer?

The seller hasn't enabled offers for this item. See if they'll consider — send a message with your best price."

I doubt eBay would suggest you violate their rules...

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Old 06-12-2019   #36
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Remember folks, as a buyer, you're under zero obligations to buy anything on ebay, espeically if it's junk and/or over priced. Let it sit, rot and collect fees. If the seller doesn't make the appropriate changes over time, then they lose money and sales.


The challenge is that you cannot block sellers or listings. So, the same crud keeps re-appearing in your searches or triggering alerts.


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Old 06-12-2019   #37
taemo
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Funny enough, yesterday I had a lens listed on ebay for 1250$ OBO.
Someone lowballed me to 1100, I countered 1200, then he offered 1150 and I responded back 1180 but again he still offered 1150.
At that point I just declined his offer.
Few minutes later he messaged me back why I declined for 30$.
I responded that I wasnt in a rush to sell and can wait for 1200 or more.

Couple of hours later someone offered me 1200$ and I accepted it
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Old 06-12-2019   #38
LCSmith
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What lovely stupid nonsense. I suppose we must dream what we dream and when we wake we find that what we dreamt is merely prevarication. And thatís the very painful thing of life, the infinite chasm between sultry dreams and sting of wakefulness.
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Old 06-12-2019   #39
Thatspec
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I occasionally get offers from Ebay for reduced final value fees, the latest is FVF's capped at $20. It seems like every time something sells though they still try to charge me the full fee (once they got it right). If you call them though, they really have excellent customer service. They have never not solved my issue. Wouldn't be surprised if one called and asked for a reduced final value fee offer, one might receive it!
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Old 06-12-2019   #40
Corran
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Quote:
Originally Posted by taemo View Post
Funny enough, yesterday I had a lens listed on ebay for 1250$ OBO.
Someone lowballed me to 1100,
12% less than your listing is low-balling?!

Not saying you were wrong to decline - after all you did sell the item - but 12% less than the offered price is hardly low-balling.
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