Re: [AH] "best offer" trend?

From Ted Chapman
Sent Tue, Jan 19th 1999, 12:37

Daryl Posnett wrote:

> I think you're really missing my point.  If that's what people want then do
> it.  AH is NOT the forum to legislate how poeple sell things.  It's none of
> your damn business, if you don't like those posts, don't bid, just like
> that.
I got your point, otherwise I wouldn't have responded. I just thought
you were wrong.

> This isn't the antique business, gear value is widely publicised.
So is antique value. I think the two are very much related, vintage gear
is generally old and becoming rarer as individual examples die due to
age and lack of care. Just like Stikel chairs and deco toasters. Gear
prices are rising rapidly, that makes it difficult to establish a fair
market value. Where do I find the current fair price for some Roland
100m modules?

> >If you put "best offer", then you have no right to complain about
> >being low-balled, and you are somewhat obligated to respond to every
> >offer that comes because you've provided the potential buyer with no
> >benchmark.
> Cmon, don't pretend you're interested in the sellers workload, that's a red
> herring.  If you don't want to deal with that then don't post forsale ads
> that way, just don't expect others to have your motivations.
As someone who sells gear, of course I'm concerned. If I'm a buyer, I
want a response when I make an offer. If it's too low I want to know so
I can either say no thanks or offer more. If I'm a seller I need to
respond so that I can elecit a better offer. That's how haggling works
(and has for thousands of years). You can't just wait (as a seller)
until someone offers what you want without ever having given anyone any
idea what you want.

> Personally, I think that's what this is all about, buyers get bent cause
> they can't find an idiot willing to part with a JP8 cause it aint got midi.
Yes, maybe some people are that way, but not me and not any of the
people I generally deal with. For every person who thinks like that
there's a seller who isn't willing to accept any reasonable offers.
Either of those kinds of people rarely get what they want. I myself am
more than willing to pay a fair price for a piece of gear.

> I'd have a bunch of pissed off people if I posted a minimoog for $350 and
> then found out it was worth more and decided not to sell for that.  Everyone
> would be whining about how unethical that is.

Well, that is unethical. If you say you are willing to sell an item for
a certain price, then you should. If you were a store and put an add
saying you'd sell a stereo for $100 and then when people came in, you
told them it was reall $150, that would be illegal, at least in the US.
The seller should either research a fair price (which you expect the
buyer to do) or use an auction with a reserve price. 

> Yet, noone whines that it's
> unethical to give less than what a product is worth, or in this case, take
> advantage of the lack of education of the seller.
Personally, I think it's pretty unethical to really rip someone off that
way as well. It goes both ways. I know people who have bought thousand
dollar record collections from unknowing people for a dollar a pop. They
knew they were ripping people off and I thought it sucked. Should they
have paid full market value? No, they deserve to be compensated for
their knowledge and for the work they put in to find such things. They
should, however pay a fair price. I've always fealt that if you find
yourself buying something for less than half what you could sell it for,
from someone who is unaware of the objects real value, then you should
just pay 50% value (or more depending on how nice the seller is). That's
courtesy, which is what my post was about anyway.

> I think it's all bullshit.  It's all about me me me, what can I buy a piece
> of gear for.

Well, if it's all about you you you, then don't expect to get a good
deal. Personality still plays a big part. I'm always willing to give a
better deal to a nice person, and have found that I get better deals
conversely by being nice. It's not just about money, it's also about the
trading/selling experience (which can involve significant hassles)

> seller.  Which, IMHO, is no more or less ethical than a seller trying to get
> top dollar.
It's not at all unethical to try to get top dollar. I never said it was.
The point is that posting "best offer" makes the whole process a lot
more complicated than it should be for both parties. It's true for
everything that people haggle over. The sticker on a new car doesn't say
"best offer". The dealer cost of the car is well known (consumer reports
publishes them). The sticker is always overpriced, but it provides a
starting point for negotiations. That's the whole point. People have
been haggling for centuries. The sellers have wanted top dollar all
along. Essentially 2 systems have been developed that are used all over
the world (at least everywhere I've travelled), the auction, which is
for getting the highest possible price above a pre-determined minimum
(and which only works because the high bid is made public) and the
price-or-best-offer which assumes an educated high initial asking price
but assumes that if the price isn't met the highest reasonable offer
will be accepted. These two systems are fair to both the seller and the
buyers. Whether you like it or not, in any marketplace there is a
responsibility on the parts of both the buyer and seller. The seller
must treat fairly with the buying public or else the public looses trust
not just in the one seller, but in all of them, which causes the system
to break down. The buyer at the same time must act in accordance with
the rules (honoring bids made, not flaking out on purchases) or the
sellers become less willing to be fair. You say let people trade the way
they want. But no society actually does that. If brokers could trade
however they want then the markets would be awash with insider trading
and the public, and the economy, would be in peril. The fact that there
is little or no legal regulation among synth buyers and sellers means
that we as individuals need to willingly ascribe to some basic rules or
else the whole system breaks down. You are free to have any view of the
world you like, but when you interact with others, there are certain
societal rules that must be accepted in order for everyone to be able to
keep their own beliefs. That's a simple fact.

> Again what this comes down to is the difference between the
> perspective of the buyer and the seller and people trying to impose their
> view of the world onto others.  Deal the way you wish to be dealt with and
> leave others alone to do the same for themselves.
> Peace
> Daryl

Mr. Krypto