Who Should Make FIRST Offer In A Deal

I know we discussed this one time before but with all the new UPCCCers here now I thought it’d be a good time again.

Whoever initiates the deal should make the first offer.

If you sell on eBay you are initiating the deal so you have to set the first price.
If you have a garage sale…you set the first price.
Walmart and Sears sets the price.
Pawn shops set the first price.
Craig’s list normally does too.
You get the idea.

Of course, most of the above will consider counter offers but they initiate the deal so they set the FIRST price.

Sometimes I’ll have a set listed and someone will ask, “How much for just one of the cards?” Well that person is initiating the deal cause it’s not a counter on the item listed but on a single card.

There are some who say, “I never make the first offer even if I initiate the deal!” Well that person NEVER gets a reply from me because I believe its disrespectful to order that though they never do, I must.

So, in my perfect world,
if you post a thread here that you need a Square Cut No Stage Blastoise…STATE WHAT YOUR OFFERING FOR IT!
if you post here that your selling a Square Cut No Stage Blastoise…STATE WHAT YOU’D LIKE FOR IT!

Wouldn’t it be nice if we all followed the same, fair and equitable rules instead of always maneuvering to get the best of everyone?


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*the following isn’t to be taken as a hostile tone, it’s simply a rebuttal filled with my opinions*

First off, all your examples are of a seller making the first price, the only example you have where it’s the buyer is the hypothetical situation in which is the cause for the debate.

Personally I operate in that the seller makes the first price, it has nothing to do with trying to get the best deal. It’s that if I’m going to sell I should do the work and figure out what’s fair, or not sell.

Even if it was about the best deal what should that matter? It’s a free market, competition is a part of how our economy works. If you don’t like it book a plane ticket to Cuba *please ignore this comment if you’re going to make this an argument that’s pro Cuba, I could care less and will give in to your argument*.

There’s also the question of how is someone trying to get the best deal different then you wanting to get the best deal out of someone who over bids on an item. The difference here is that once someone says a price they’re almost locked into it, vs being able to judge an offer that’s made by a seller.

In all there’s really no right or wrong, but I do think it’s foolish to loose a deal just because someone doesn’t mention a price.

Chill out cullers . No need for the attitude lol.
If all would agree to the seller always making the first offer that would be wonderful. It would be fair to all. I just think it would be tougher to follow.

If your car is parked on the street and a guy comes up to you and says, “How much you want for your car?” Then you say you weren’t selling it but what would you offer? To me, that would be a reasonable reply.

Just about every time the guys here post a ‘things for sale’ thread they ask you to pm offers. That goes against your idea that “Personally I operate in that the seller makes the first price.” None of them agree with that.
Interestingly, that goes against my idea TOO that whoever initiates the deal should make the first offer.
Others have even different ideas than yours.
This is why I posted this…to get other UPCCCers opinions:)

I think sellers should definitely set their prices. As a buyer, I get uncomfortable offering as I do not want to offend sellers with my prices. Everyone has an idea of what they would like to get for their items, so it should be stated. This way, buyers have a base to go off of and can offer accordingly. But then buyers also need to not be offended by what sellers are asking and actually make offers. Far too often I have seen people not make offers because sellers set a decently high price when they would have for sure gone for a lower offer. As a rule of thumb, I like to have a base price a litter higher than what I actually want when I’m selling so I can get an offer closer to the number I actually want.

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Ok I’d have to disagree a bit. When it comes to naming the price as the buyer I struggle with your convention. So if agree if I see an item on eBay and I want to make a deal I message the buyer and offer them my price for their item. However in the case of what one item costs from a larger set I would rather the seller tell me how much they want for that specific card and then I can always haggle with them if I feel the price is too high. Either way neither party wants to feel like they got a bad deal. Theoretically it can work either way. As far as putting up how much your willing to spend for a card you want on the forum, I definitely disagree with saying how much your willing to pay. It takes away your bargaining power before you even get to see the condition of the card. Idk just my 2 cents and not a very thorough argument

Bargaining power should be present on both ends but I don’t see how it takes away yours? You initiate the deal and offer 100.00. Why can’t the person with the card counter etc?

I can agree with both arguments. I have a feeling saying you are both right won’t resolve this.

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There’s more than just those two arguments though…which makes this more interesting;)

Ya I see your point but in general low offers from a buyer (me) tend to get no response from the seller a lot of times. Sometimes it’s just hard to know the actual price of something. I see both sides as well but I do disagree with having to post the amount you are willing to pay for a card your looking for. I won’t say that until I see condition

I think what Sammy said is true. Buyers tend to avoid making an offer if an item is listed too high. Which is partly because of an issue with ebay, which was slightly touched on in another discussion. Since ebay lets buyers buy something without paying, the high price is a way to deter that from happening.

With that said, I think a buyer should feel free to offer regardless of a high price. I sell items for half of what their BIN price sometimes, mostly because the value is not really set or quantifiable.

When I am buying something, if I really want it, I will pay more. I think as a collector, your personal desire for an item is the determining factor for how you will negotiate. Also, the items rarity plays a significant role. If you are foaming at the mouth for say an illusive Gyarados Snap card, as most of us are, you are going to break the bank and avoid the whole dance of trying to save a buck.

On ebay, I think buyers should offer whatever they want as the system favors them. I think making offers and having dialogue in general will continue to increase in the future. If you look at ebay from 6-7 years ago, things were much slower. Bidding auctions were the standard. Now, the advice is to just list your item as BIN/MAO so someone can see it and make an offer. Technology today is almost immediate. We discuss auctions within minutes of them being listed. That is how a lot of offers happen.

Basically, I don’t know if there is a clear cut black and white answer. It is varies from each transaction.

Which eBay hates. Less money. So they have specifically eliminated free fixed price listings in the collectible section of eBay for non-store members (essentially everyone). I read the email today and I’m extremely unhappy.

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Absolutely! Ask for exact condition before negotiating price.

Appx 10 times a day, from all my multiple eBay IDs, I get inquiries like: Do you have this card? In what condition? How much for it? Ship overseas? How much is shipping? Send multiple pictures and on and on and on…

Now after taking all the time searching for it just to see if I have it, research what current values are and what condition it’s in plus taking photos etc, then I calculate price and shipping and message them back with that info then either they don’t reply or reply with wanting it cheap or say there’s one on eBay for 2.00 less. Well…I just spent a half hour of totally wasted time.
Some of us can’t afford so much wasted time.

So what I do now is ask them what they’ll pay for the card in the condition they want. If they’re a bottom feeder then ill just thank them for their offer and decline. That only takes 10 seconds. Usually that’s better anyway cause the pickiest of buyers are too much trouble later anyway cause those are the ones who see a touch of frosting on the edge of a freshly back brand new PSA holder and want to return it.
If they offer a fair price then ill do the work to make them happy.

For me, having limited time dictates how I respond. Out of my 350 eBay listings under the ID I’m known by here I don’t even sell things under 50.00. 10.00 sales often take as much time as 10,000.00 sales.

Good to know. Although I do think a lot of sellers seem to get offended by offers much lower than asking price. I mean all you have to do is send a counteroffer or deny if you think the offer is too low.

I saw this today too and am also pissed! They use the ridiculous excuse its for our benefit and new we get 100 free auction style listing. Bull! Its purely for their benefit. Ya sure I’ve seen auction prices go in the seller’s favor, but I’ve also seen items sell way less than what their worth. Sometimes the auction time doesn’t line up for people or the people that would pay more don’t happen to see it. With buy it now i’m willing to wait a few weeks to get the price I want. I’m with you this makes me mad. Their 10% should be all they ever take for people listing less than 50 items at a time.

Alright I guess we’re on the same page :grin:

Hey that makes total sense. I have never been a big seller. I don’t sell constantly like you and Scott do and others here so I often don’t think about the time it takes for a seller to look into a card when I ask a question and admittedly I’m sure I’ve wasted many sellers’ time. Its good for me to be aware of this now. And I agree that its a great idea for you to first see the price and condition they’re looking for before going through all the trouble. At least you responded to them. :blush:

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That is true. Sometimes lowball offers are frustrating, especially with cards that have established prices. Luckily there is the auto decline feature.

I’ve gone away with the best offer option, it’s not worth it. In the end most people end up paying the same price already so a BIN just saves time. It also allows for more spontaneous purchases from a business perspective.

Gary, out of curiosity if someone wanted to sell you Mint 1st edition Base NonHolos how should they initiate the deal with you? Would they have to tell you their price in the first PM? Or is the deal already initiated because of your signature, therefore they can ask you what price you pay?

I think the above situation is a great example of how it isn’t a black and white issue, and I’m curious how you think the situation should be handled.

@garyis2000 Out of curiosity, what is the benefit of having multiple ebay usernames? I know this is something some sellers do but have never really thought about doing it.

If you get caught selling outside of eBay you don’t miss out as much for one of your account being suspended.

Personally I use two account to separate my buying and selling feedback. I’ve also found some sellers don’t like selling to other sellers (they think they’re underselling) so by using an account that’s only buying I don’t have that issue. It’s not very common and I wouldn’t be surprised if you haven’t noticed it.

Good question.
I guess it would make a difference if I really wanted the lot and it was fairly high value hence worth the time to back and forth it.
If just standard stuff and low value I’d just want to expedite the process and make a quick take it or leave it offer cause I basically initiated the deal cause of my sig.