Online Yard Sale Lesson in Communication and Negotiation
The other day I went into the Facebook marketplace with an item that I move would sell quickly. a forty inch Samsung LED TV that was used for one week, while my larger TV was fixed. Since the end of the last year, I have decided that rather than throw things away or donate them, I will attempt to sell them. Why not? It's not like the trash can is ever gonna cough up money for the items I pitch. And who needs more deductions when they are attempting to keep their adjusted gross income up? Too many business owners don't get that, go to refi their home and realize, their adjusted gross income isn't what it needs to be. The little discussed devil of over deducting.
Within an hour of listing the TV on Facebook in the marketplace and local yard sale groups, I had several interested buyers. The first buyer that contacted me was able to pay full price in cash and pick it up the next day. Deal! The next couple folks interested I let know would be back ups. Then the truly confused stepped forward.
Offers poured in for much less than I had it listed. I told each and every one of them that I had a full price buyer picking it up the next day. One interested buyer was communicating to me in Spanish. Meanwhile, my ad was in English. Clearly, my understanding of Spanish was better than hers of English. When I told her I had a buyer picked it up for full price the next day, she asked me where I lived. She thought I was selling it to her. This went a few rounds, as somehow I expected her to know some degree of English since she was responding to an ad in English. I finally had to use Google translate to tell this woman in her native language that someone ELSE was buying it.
Then there was the most obnoxious buyer of all. He was relentless. While I had conveyed that I had a full price buyer picking up the next day, he insisted, "I will buy it today." Hmmm. They aren't any rules in online yard sales. If he wanted to pay more and take it that day, why not? So I asked him what he would pay. His answer? "What's the lowest amount you'll take?" Really? What part of having a full price offer and having to wait less than twenty-four hours for it, did this guy not understand?
Given the whole English-Spanish communication problem earlier, I didn't want to assume he truly understood. So I repeated it. The response was the same question about the lowest I would take. Hey, he may not realize it, but he's tangling with a professional negotiator who happened to be bored that day. "I don't know. What's the most you will pay today?" His answer was unimpressive. It was a 40% discounted offer. My response was, " No thank you. I will wait until tomorrow to get full price."
That's when he started coming up in ten dollar increments, still below the list price. I kept responding, "No." Then he gave me his highest offer, something I had requested early on, in desperation and pleaded, "Please. It's a birthday gift for someone I'm seeing tonight." He could have saved himself a lot of valuable shopping time by understanding that offering ABOVE the offer I had was the only way I was going to entertain his offer that day.
Unfortunately, a lot of buyers in the real estate market place suffer from the same negotiation inexperience when making offers on real estate. And when they don't have a professional, experienced real estate agent helping them understand the basic tennants of negotiation, they fail over and over.
When you are ready to buy, or sell, in the Bristow, VA area, give me a call at 703-402-0037 for the best results in your real estate transaction.