Lowball offers

Some of us sell our cards on eBay and on the forum and every now and then we do get an offer from potential buyers that we feel is on the low end of the price. It’s all a matter of perspective and there’s no hard and fast rule on making offers. Personally, I am very careful about making offers so as not to offend the seller and have a good chance of obtaining the card that I want.

This is just an exercise to gather other members’ perception. As an example, if you’re selling a card for $100 based on previous sales and you believe this to be a reasonable price for the card, what would you consider as a lowball offer if you received one?

Please feel free to respond by posting a price or price range that you consider as lowball.


for $100 , I’d say anything under 80 would be a low ball but saying that I have nothing against people who do it,after all we all try to get a great deal for ourselves

when I offer I shy away from offering first as I like to know where their head is at before I do ,so I know two things, 1 if they are wanting a realistic price or the second an unrealistic price

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This is a very hard question.

I think low balling is hard to determine and is often accidental. It’s extremely subjective. Generally speaking, if you’re offering less than half of someone’s original asking price, that’s a lowball offer. There are exceptions, but they are rare.

I’d also say that low balling is a technique more than an individual distinction. Spamming extremely low offers in hopes that one sticks is low balling. Thinking a card is worth less than it is once and offering poorly is just an honest mistake.

Thanks for all your responses. All very good and valid points. Yes, it’s all about perception. For me, for a card listed for $100, an offer less than $50 is a lowball and I would likely decline the offer straightaway instead of making a counteroffer. In my opinion, a lowball offer is an indication that the buyer either has no clue on the value of the card or is just after a bargain without any regard to how the seller will feel about the offer.

If you shy away from offering and so does the buyer/seller then a deal won’t be made will it?

I’ve always advocated the person who INITIATES the deal should make the first offer.

And regarding the op’s question…anything under the true normal value is a lowball. I will always pay the proper price as many here know and I appreciate it when others do the same. Even paying a little extra wouldn’t kill me or most of us…just to be friendly and neighborly.

well for me that never happens as the sellers I buy from always have a price they want, and then I have a price I’m willing to give or I’ll match what they want…

I’ve paid over market many times cause I take into account the time it takes a seller to complete our deal. Just last week I paid well over market for a dozen legendary reverse holos cause I was filling a set. The seller, whom you all know, had to take a lot of time digging and searching to help me and that has value IMO.


The auto-reject is nice on ebay. Certain items I set an auto-rejection as low as 50% and others as high as 80%. It depends on the item. eBay asks you to make your BEST offer - but that rarely happens. People like to try and get it for as cheap as possible. Usually when the offer is auto-rejected, the potential buyer makes another “best” offer until they get one that is sent in.

When I get buyers making offers on multiple cards around the same price, they will slowly decrease their offers just testing for where I consider prices… which can be annoying to deal with. I have no problem accepting good offers, but if you nickel and dime me - expect it back.

I completely agree with Gary - the person initiating the deal should have to make an offer.

I usually counter the question of “Whats the lowest possible you will go” with “Feel free to make an offer if you see my prices as unfair”


Everyone should just get rid of ‘best offer’ listings. The only exception I’ve found is when it’s an item you don’t mind sitting on for a while, or it’s an item that doesn’t have an easy price point to pin down.
Other then those two options it’s completely unneeded, when people see it it’s an automatic “I can get it cheaper,” to them, and it does nothing but waist time.

I rarely use it, and I still have people make me offers. I’m sure there’s others that have used the messaging system to make offers as well. It just makes the ‘best offer’ listing redundant and less efficient.

Personally, I’m not a nickle and dime “I can get it cheaper,” person (most of the time). It actually irks me that when I make a best offer I almost always have someone else counter offer me. Most of the time I send the same offer and explain that that’s truly my best offer and it ends up getting accepted nine times out of ten.

The only thing worse is that the most common practice of a ‘Best offer’ listing is to make the listing over market value and accept a market value price…

In all I just don’t understand the best offer function, as a seller your automatically going to get someone asking for a lower price, as a buyer you’re doing nothing but wasting time on a deal that could probably be made if the items was priced at market to begin with. There’s just a lot less headaches without it.

All good points guys…
I do it all ways depending on numerous factors.

Witha $100 item anything below $75-$80 would be a lowball, an offer below $50 would be the equivalent of being hit below the belt in pricing terms.

Or they’re buying through the global shipping program and getting quoted $30+ for shipping! lol. Sorry, gsp is one of my pet peeves

I have a “Make an offer” option on every single one of my listings on ebay, not because I feel that the cards are worth less, but because I am willing to help the buyer find a price that works for them, and the availability of offers often invites buyer to seller communication. I will entertain anything above about 40%. If I get an offer of $1 on a $10 item the person usually gets a ban.

Like TheCharizardAuthority said, if they nickel and dime the deal, I won’t be as likely to work with them. A friendly straight up offer of “That card is my dream card, but this is all I’ve got”, or, “…but this is all I can spend” goes a long way with me, however.

Just put auto cancel on your offers. That’ll save you time and won’t waste the buyers time. It’ll also give them the chance to immediately reoffer.

So seeing as this thread has been revived, I’d like to throw in my personal look on it.

I’m probably guilty of making some “lowball” offers, but most of this is out of ignorance for some of the rarer cards with various conditions like the New Year Present card or the No-Rarity Gyarados when I first started looking for it. I always try to get a good deal too. Not because I’m “cheap” or want to rob someone out of their money or a fair price, but because I’m a college student who has a specific hobby and I don’t have the luxury to pay full price all the time. Otherwise my TCG collection would have been complete by now. I always worry about offending the other person so if I’m asked to make an offer, and I’m ignorant of the prices, I always say so.

I like the “Best Offer” option because it allows me to get a sense of what the seller is looking for, and it allows for a good buy for buyers. I got one item from a very popular ebay seller for 1/4th of the Buy It Now price because this seller, 1, wasn’t sure how much it cost, 2, put it at a high ball price because they figured they’d go big or not at all and didn’t want to undershot it.

I enjoy it when people put up Best Offer opportunities. Because it allows people like me, who don’t have a good income due to various reasons, to get some good offers and sales. I don’t blame the people who are about the business and want the fair price 100% of the time, they’re completely free to do that and I don’t hold resentment for them. But I always appreciate buying from sellers who allow for Best Offers to be sent, and if anything, I’m more committed to buy from them in the future for their Buy It Now prices.

Long story short. I’m all for those who are making a business, but if I like you, and you offer good deals, I’m also more willing to buy your stuff when it’s even a bit more expensive for my tastes just because you allow more flexible opportunities.

I considered doing that but the number of buyers that offer under 40% is exceedingly rare, which is something I’ve come to recognize and respect about the Pokemon community as a whole, so I’m not as concerned about weeding out the low-ball offers. :blush:

I agree with Azul.
Nothing makes you want to spend money less than putting in an offer of 70-75% to have a counteroffer of the original highly inflated BIN price sent back to you. Sellers have every right to do this but buyers like myself definitely have a memory for who you shouldn’t even bother making an offer to.

Not sure of your experience but 95% of the offers I get are ridiculously low. Even when I don’t allow offers I get pm’d asking for my low offer price.

@garyis2000, I find that WICKED disrespectful. I may ask for low offers, but if there’s an auction up for sale that’s out of my budget, I pass it by. Simple as that. I find it really disrespectful to email sellers about a low offer price when they never had one to do so anyway. I’m sorry you’ve had that experience. :slightly_frowning_face:

I’m not sure why that would be. Since we’re a small operation we have a relatively small customer base, so we get a lot of repeat customers. Do you think it could be the attention you get?

Edit: I agree with Azul. Depending on how the message is worded, that is disrespectful.