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Old 06-17-2019, 03:51 PM
pagedr pagedr is online now
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Default Guitar shops making lowball offers

Those of us who sell guitars online (or even on Craigslist) I'm sure have dealt with individuals who make lowball offers and, frankly, just waste the seller's time. Recently though I've been receiving a number of lowball offers from actual guitar shops. Anyone else in this boat?

I guess I understand that smaller shops have to go out and find good deals and that the marketplace is tough for them right now, but I still find it annoying. If I approached them to ask what they'd give me that would be one thing, but to just send out random lowball offers doesn't make me want to ever do business with these shops.

For the record, most of the shops I've received offers from have been smaller, local places that I've never heard of. But one repeat offender has been Retrofret in NYC, and while I used to love that store I honestly don't think I want to give them my business anymore. Am I overreacting or is this as annoying to others as I'm currently finding it?
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Old 06-17-2019, 04:04 PM
Bill Sims Bill Sims is online now
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A guitar shop buying a used guitar (or taking one in on a trade) with the intent to sell it in the shop is going to offer ~50% of the price they can sell it for.
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Old 06-17-2019, 04:10 PM
lowrider lowrider is offline
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I'm just curious but what do you consider a low-ball offer?

I think most of the asking prices on Craigslist for used guitars is much too high. I can buy a Martin D-18, brand new, for just over $1800 from several online dealers. When I see people asking 1900 to 2200 for a used one, I have to wonder what I could pay them that would be fair. I think it's around 1200, more than that and I might as well just get the new one. But to negotiate with someone asking 2200 where could I start my offer that wouldn't be insulting?
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Old 06-17-2019, 04:12 PM
DesertTwang DesertTwang is offline
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I'm curious as to how a lowball offer wastes the seller's time. When I'm selling something on Craigslist, and someone sends in a lowball offer, I simply ignore it. How much time does this really waste?
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Old 06-17-2019, 04:18 PM
pagedr pagedr is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowrider View Post
I'm just curious but what do you consider a low-ball offer?

I think most of the asking prices on Craigslist for used guitars is much too high. I can buy a Martin D-18, brand new, for just over $1800 from several online dealers. When I see people asking 1900 to 2200 for a used one, I have to wonder what I could pay them that would be fair. I think it's around 1200, more than that and I might as well just get the new one. But to negotiate with someone asking 2200 where could I start my offer that wouldn't be insulting?
It depends on the guitar. To your point there are a ton of overpriced guitars out there. In my case my current listings are very much priced to sell, and the recent offers I've received would have given the buyer around a 30%-40% additional discount from what's an already reasonable buying price (going off of Reverb's price guides, not just my own price assumptions).
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Old 06-17-2019, 04:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DesertTwang View Post
I'm curious as to how a lowball offer wastes the seller's time. When I'm selling something on Craigslist, and someone sends in a lowball offer, I simply ignore it. How much time does this really waste?
Often the lowballers are the same people who initially ask a million questions, want additional pictures, etc.
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Old 06-17-2019, 04:27 PM
GKing34 GKing34 is offline
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Default Guitar shops making lowball offers

Quote:
Originally Posted by lowrider View Post
I'm just curious but what do you consider a low-ball offer?



I think most of the asking prices on Craigslist for used guitars is much too high. I can buy a Martin D-18, brand new, for just over $1800 from several online dealers. When I see people asking 1900 to 2200 for a used one, I have to wonder what I could pay them that would be fair. I think it's around 1200, more than that and I might as well just get the new one. But to negotiate with someone asking 2200 where could I start my offer that wouldn't be insulting?


On the Martin forum, most consider $1,500 to be the fair price for a used D-18. That’s a $359 discount off the 40% discount price the a couple of dealers offer. GC will write a check for $1,100 to somebody who walks in and sells them a D-18. So I can see why people scratch their head if they get an offer that is lower or equal to that. It seems like a used guitar transaction should be a win-win or there is no point. To me (having bought and sold a lot of guitars) a win-win is around halfway between selling to GC and the buyer buying a new one.

To me this formula works for used Strats, Seagulls, etc.
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Old 06-17-2019, 04:30 PM
colder colder is offline
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There are a lot of people who make lowball offers on Craigslist because they fancy themselves flippers. I just ignore them. Sure it's a little annoying, but whatever - I just delete the email. I'm not going to mess with them like some people do, bickering with them by email or telling them to meet up with you somewhere and then not showing... then I'm wasting their time which isn't a good thing to do either.

On Reverb you can set it so you never even see offers that are less than 2/3 of your asking price which is nice.
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Old 06-17-2019, 04:38 PM
frankmcr frankmcr is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pagedr View Post
Those of us who sell guitars online (or even on Craigslist) I'm sure have dealt with individuals who make lowball offers and, frankly, just waste the seller's time. Recently though I've been receiving a number of lowball offers from actual guitar shops. Anyone else in this boat?

I guess I understand that smaller shops have to go out and find good deals and that the marketplace is tough for them right now, but I still find it annoying. If I approached them to ask what they'd give me that would be one thing, but to just send out random lowball offers doesn't make me want to ever do business with these shops.

For the record, most of the shops I've received offers from have been smaller, local places that I've never heard of. But one repeat offender has been Retrofret in NYC, and while I used to love that store I honestly don't think I want to give them my business anymore. Am I overreacting or is this as annoying to others as I'm currently finding it?
A store is never going to pay as much as an individual because a store has all its business expenses to cover plus it has to make a profit when (or actually, IF) they sell the guitar on to a customer.

Have you tried adding a tag line like "Selling to individuals only, please no dealers" to your ads?
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Old 06-17-2019, 04:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pagedr View Post
Am I overreacting or is this as annoying to others as I'm currently finding it?

I sell over 150 items a month on Ebay and Reverb. Guitars and guitar parts. I get lowball offers every single day of my life. From individuals and dealers. I guess I used to find them a little annoying but now I just ignore them. I don't even bother to counter offer the silly ones and it's not like they take up any real time in my day.

You can set listings to automatically reject offers below a certain point, which will almost certainly solve your problem.
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Old 06-17-2019, 05:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pagedr View Post
...Am I overreacting or is this as annoying to others as I'm currently finding it?
You're overreacting...
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Old 06-17-2019, 05:22 PM
sdelsolray sdelsolray is offline
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Like automobiles and trucks, there are basically three prices for a used acoustic guitar...wholesale, private party and retail. A dealer/reseller will pretty much only buy at wholesale. I see it as expected behavior.
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Old 06-17-2019, 05:50 PM
jschmitz54 jschmitz54 is offline
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Seems to be the flip side of the post that was circulating after ten years about a shopper asking for a written price and was roundly criticized by many as being unfair to the retailer.
Here are retailers lowballing private sellers.
My take is hone your negotiating skills, deal honestly, and respectfully no matter which side of the transaction you’re on. Try to get the best price you can without taking advantage of anyone. You’ll sleep well and be financially responsible. Nothing wrong with that IMHO.
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Old 06-17-2019, 06:11 PM
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Well, stores have to make a living...
But if you are not in a hurry to sell, you should be glad since
this "low ball" helps confiirm your aim.
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Old 06-17-2019, 06:24 PM
Paddy1951 Paddy1951 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowrider View Post
I'm just curious but what do you consider a low-ball offer?



I think most of the asking prices on Craigslist for used guitars is much too high. I can buy a Martin D-18, brand new, for just over $1800 from several online dealers. When I see people asking 1900 to 2200 for a used one, I have to wonder what I could pay them that would be fair. I think it's around 1200, more than that and I might as well just get the new one. But to negotiate with someone asking 2200 where could I start my offer that wouldn't be insulting?
I think used prices on both Craigslist and Reverb reflect one of two things.

The seller goes high, testing the market and figuring he/she will have to negotiate the actual selling price.

OR

They hope to catch some uninformed buyer/they are an uninformed seller.

If you place a realistic price on the guitar from the get go, buyers still want you knock off $100-$200.

Stores will use anything they can to give you less than they should. I traded a guitar in and left the non-original Gotoh 510s on it. The originals were Martin branded Pings. Supposedly, they were a detriment, not being original. Yet, when they advertised the guitar for sale, they made a big deal about the superior Gotohs.

It depends which side of the counter you are on.
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