Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Last Minute Craigslist Negotiations

When all matters of legitimacy and mechanical reliability settled, the final hurdle to cross in a Craigslist deal is the matter of price. During this time, the buyer has more room to negotiate than the seller. The buyer can ask for a little bit more off the price; for the deal to fall through on a final minor price discount would be a waste of time for the seller, given the time spent on setting up the transaction and the uncertainty of what negotiations would be like with another potential buyer. This is a lop-sided time for the buyer, as there is no room to ask for a higher price; the asking price would have already been spelled out in the Craigslist ad, asking for more would be absurd.

Apparent Lack of Funds / Lack of Spare Change Gambit

Tactic for the Buyer: Hold back a little bit of money. Say that in your pre-meeting negotiations you agree to a price of $250. To negotiate a little bit more. Have $240 on you, but keep the remaining $10 separate. This way, you create the appearance that $240 is all that you have on your person, and that the remaining $10 would be a waste of time for the seller. However, always have enough to meet your pre-meeting price incase there is no room to budge. Also, as a matter of principle, it would be negotiating in bad faith to not bring enough money. You want to test the seller’s price tolerance, not his or her patience.

Tactic for the Seller: To counteract the issue of buyer’s not bringing enough change, the answer is simple. Bring change. If your agree upon price is $210 and the buyer shows up with two hundred dollar bills and a twenty, the answer is simple: Carry an extra $10 with you. The best thing to do is to be prepared for the most likely cash combinations that could work against you.

Last Minute Price Comparison Gambit

Tactic for the Buyer: Quote a recent Craigslist price for a similar item that is lower than what the buyer is asking for.

Tactic for the Seller: If you have an iPhone or other smartphone on you, make sure Craigslist or eBay is cued up for the negotiation just in case.

The "You'll Miss Out if You Don't" Gambit

Tactic for the Seller: Mention that somebody else is already lined up to see the item. From the seller’s point of view, this should always be the case in every negotiation. If it’s not the case and you don’t feel like lying, then at the very least, you should not discourage this impression.

Tactic for the Buyer: Remember that the number of people asking for the item has no bearing on the situation at hand. You’ve got the seller’s attention you’ve both agreed to meet. Remember that from the seller’s point of view, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Your biggest weapon is the fact that you could walk away from the deal. This is a very big thing; even if you’re in total love with the item at hand, don’t do anything to betray that.

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