Thursday, February 02, 2012

What I'm Thinking

Eddie-tor's Note:  This is the last in a series on making deals at yard sales.

Probably one of the most common misconceptions about people who want to bargain at yard sales is that they are all looking to somehow put one over on the seller, usually in order to make a hefty profit on eBay.

The truth is, though, unless someone comes right out and tells you that's what they're doing, you have no way of knowing for sure.  There are multiple reasons someone might offer to bargain with a seller, not the least of which is that it's a yard sale!!

Back in the days before I was a seller, when I pretty much yard saled for the fun of it, I used to have a variety of reasons why I might offer a lower price on something:

"I really want this, but that's too much to ask for it."

"You could buy a new one for cheaper than that."

"I'm down to my last five dollars, and there are still a couple more sales to hit.  Wonder if they'd take a little less for it?"

"I want all of them!  But I can't pay that price and get them all."

"Seriously?  That can't be a real price for that."

Basically, it all revolved around three factors:  the asking price being a bit much, my wanting the item, and the amount of money in my pocket.  And I honestly believe that those are the same factors influencing most people who make offers at sales, especially folks on fixed incomes or lower incomes who are actually looking for more affordable alternatives to regular retail.

Of course, as a re-seller, my thoughts have changed a little, but not much:

"Oooo.  Can't make any money at that price."

"Seriously?  That can't be a real price for that."

"C'mon.  There's nowhere in the secondhand market you could get that amount for that thing."

"Condition does matter when you price something."

"This is great stuff.  I'd like to get a lot of it.  Wonder if they'd work with me if I loaded up?"

"I'm down to my last twenty bucks and still have a couple more sales to hit.  Wonder if they'd take a little less for it?"

"That price is just a hair above what I can pay and still make a profit.  Wonder if I can get a haircut for it?"

"Really? I sell those for half that price and still can't get rid of them.  Good luck with that!"

Okay, sometimes it's sarcastic, but I'm never, ever thinking:  "Gee, if can get them to take a quarter for this, I'll make a killing at their expense!"

For me, bargaining is a part of what I do.  It's a part of what I have to do too keep my shelves stocked and my sales up.  But I don't view it as making money off someone else.  And I never see it as a seller's job to make my business profitable.  (Another accusation I hear sometimes.)  I always look at it and treat it like it's a compromise on both parts.  Me getting enough off that I can re-sell for a small profit and them getting enough of their asking price that they are satisfied with the deal.  It doesn't do anyone any good to take any other approach.

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