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Thread: buying and selling etiquette

  1. #1
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    Default buying and selling etiquette

    Wondering what is the general opinion on buying and selling etiquette on clubsnap. I was led to think about this due to a thread in buy & sell in which the two parties disagreed and ended up not so happy with each other.

    Some of my questions include

    1) If a transaction has completed at a certain price, but then, some external factor, such as a price drop of the same item elsewhere comes about, how fair is it to re-negotiate that price?

    2) How strong is the "reserved" commitment on the buyer and the seller? If the seller gets a higher price elsewhere, can he sell it even if the item is reserved? If the buyer changes his mind, can he decide not to buy a reserved item?

    3) If you make an offer based on some lack of information are you entitled to change your mind before the deal is done, if new information comes to light?

    My recent example was that I made an offer for an item which ended up being too high, the seller replied, asking when I would like to see it (when and where). Then I happened to see the same item for sale for less, and I told my seller that I wished to change my offer. What do people think, was that wrong?

  2. #2

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    (1) agreed upon means agreed upon

    (2)1st come 1st serve. if any buyer/seller offers a crap price then u just ignore him

    (3)the one at fault with the lack of info is subject to demand from the other party and has 2b obliged 2b subjected to further negotiable changes of the other party

    your case: if both of u never agreed to a deal b4 u changed ur mind , then u r not at fault. ie since u only suggested an offer and both of u never shake hands n agree then its ok 4 u 2 change your mind

  3. #3
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    Specifically to your 3 questions, my interpretations are:

    1. If a transaction is completed, meaning the goods and payment are both handed over already, the deal should be considered closed and neither buyer nor seller can come back to re-negotiate. Period.

    2. If a seller agreed to reserve an item for a interested buyer, the reservation should always be qualified with a reservation period. For example, item reserved at a certain price for a certain number of days for a particular buyer. If the buyer did not come back to complete the purchase, the seller can then offer the item to other interested buyers. In some cases, the seller can request the buyer to place a deposit to secure the reservation for the said period of time. Either way, a reservation is a committment from the seller, so he cannot accept any other offers during the reservation period. That's the whole idea behind making a reservation. Think of making a seat reservation at a restaurant. They will always state the time period of the reservation, after which if the customer never show up, they will then offer the seat to other customers. Within the reservation period, the restaureant is not supposed to offer the seat to other customers.

    3. If you have made an unconditional offer that the seller has accepted, then you are at least morally obligated to live up to your committment. That's why it is so important to do your homework before making any offers.

    I cannot stress enough on the importance of both buyers and sellers doing their own homework, and I cannot stree enough on the importance of stating your terms clearly upfront.

    Make as little assumptions as possible. Ask all the questions you need to ask on things about the item on sale that concerns you.

    If we want to foster a free market philosphy here, then it is important to be fair to both buyer and seller.

    If you are making an offer on the condition that you do not find another person selling the same item at a lower price within a certain number of days, be honest about it and declare it to the seller. By doing this you are showing respect to the seller and even though he may not agree with your terms, he will at least repect you in return for your honesty.

    If you are selling an item, and someone comes with an offer that is lower than what you expect, and you are kind of hoping for a higher offer, then tell the buyer straight that you would like to wait for a better offer and state if you would accept his offer in a certain number of days if not higher offer come around. The principle of honesty and repect applies here.

    To me, saving a few dollars or making a few dollars is less important than my integrity. That's what I use to set the direction on how I behave both on the internet as in real like.
    As complexity rises, precise statements lose meaning and meaningful statements lose precision.

  4. #4

    Default Re: buying and selling etiquette

    Originally posted by toasty
    ...
    My recent example was that I made an offer for an item which ended up being too high, the seller replied, asking when I would like to see it (when and where). Then I happened to see the same item for sale for less, and I told my seller that I wished to change my offer. What do people think, was that wrong?
    Clive has said my mind for the first questions, so no disagreement on those.

    But for this last point, i will have to disagree. If you have already made an offer price, the seller will meet you base on your willingness to buy at that price. If you meet then disagree on price, that is a problem. e.g. i will only offer a price, if the buyer is willing to pay that price, then there is a reason to meet, if not will be wasting each other's time.

    If you manage to do more homework after making an offer, and realise the offer price was too high, then call the seller and renegotiate, before meeting. If the seller is OK with the new price, then there is a reason to meet.

    But if during the meeting the buyer decides that the condition is not as described/expected, then both parties could negotiate some more. BUT this should be minimised, the seller and buyer should be very honest about the condition of the product instead of wasting each other's time.

    The buyer should ALWAYS find out for himself what he is buying, and ask the relevant questions to ascertain the product's condition, before meeting.

  5. #5

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    In some cases, the seller can request the buyer to place a deposit to secure the reservation for the said period of time. That's the whole idea behind making a reservation.
    deposit between 2 strangers is risky business...

  6. #6
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    I can only advise you that, if you sense that the buyer/seller is starting to get pushy or arrogant, you better stay away from this guy and cancel the deal no matter how good it looks on paper.

    I deal with a few buyers/sellers before, and fortunately all are nice people. Sometimes they changed their mind, sometimes I changed my mind, but no one would get angry.

  7. #7
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    Originally posted by clive
    deposit between 2 strangers is risky business...
    Probably just as risky as buying an item from a total stranger.
    As complexity rises, precise statements lose meaning and meaningful statements lose precision.

  8. #8

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    agree with everyone here.

    especially CLIVE 's point on " (2)1st come 1st serve. if any buyer/seller offers a crap price then u just ignore him", there are always some "high IQ pple" out there who thinks everyone is a idiot, an idiot who will PAY $200 for his used rice cooker. Or an idiot who will sell him a 2 year old C200 mercedes if he offers $1000.00 for it. Just ignore!

    I never close any deals thru emails, NEVER. First come first serve, the first guy who see the merchandise in person, who agrees to the selling price, gets it. Never commit anything in emails.

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    Not that anyone has done it yet, but I would like to urge all the members participating in this discusion that:

    THIS IS A GENERAL DISCUSSION, YOU ARE WELCOMED TO SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS AND VIEWS ON THE TOPIC BUT PLEASE DO NOT BRING UP ANY SPECIFIC EXAMPLES OR EXPERIENCE YOU HAVE.

    Please do not turn this into a flame thread!!!!

    Thanks!

    Roy
    Moderator
    As complexity rises, precise statements lose meaning and meaningful statements lose precision.

  10. #10

    Default

    More to add:

    1) For auction/bidding threads: All bids should be made in open forum(no emails/PM) and a exact closing time and reserve price stated.

    This is to ensure that a bidding system works like it should be. Else there won't be any transparency if secret offers are made, which negates the purpose of bidding. Might as well make it a normal sell post instead.

  11. #11
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    just my 2 cents worth...
    i think honesty and integrity are 2 of the most impt things in a deal and of cos the need to make the best of ur money.

    my stand is that a deal is a deal, that is an a hard and fast issue, if u have a better offer, then i think its fair to discuss it with the original seller/buyer to see if he can meet the new price ( honesty ) and if not... deal is deal... so sway lor.... sell/ buy from him lor... (integrity) next time do ur homewk more.

    with respect to roygoh, just share my experince, no names, sure no flames...


    i agreed to get a tripod from someone and got a better offer and called the first guy and spoke to him abt it but (try to neg but ultimately prepared to honor the earlier agreement) and he actually told me the other one more suited for my needs and told me to get from the second guy..

    morale of the story,
    1) be nice to pple and be open and most prob things turn out well
    2)buy/sell on CS coz pple know teh rates and goods and more accomodating to changes and willing to help out!

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Re: buying and selling etiquette

    But for this last point, i will have to disagree. If you have already made an offer price, the seller will meet you base on your willingness to buy at that price. If you meet then disagree on price, that is a problem. e.g. i will only offer a price, if the buyer is willing to pay that price, then there is a reason to meet, if not will be wasting each other's time.

    If you manage to do more homework after making an offer, and realise the offer price was too high, then call the seller and renegotiate, before meeting. If the seller is OK with the new price, then there is a reason to meet.
    For a reserved item, so to be fair to the seller, what happens if somebody reserves an item, the seller then foregos some other offers which may be higher than what his buyer is offering, and then later finds that the buyer has changed his mind and does not one to buy any more? Do you still believe that "reserved" means that he absolutely cannot sell it within the stipulated time frame?

    I also feel that the price offered is conditional, should be understood to be conditional, not unconditional. It is conditional on the terms that the goods are up to par. If you get there and find that the goods are below your expectation, then further bargaining should take place. So even though a price may be agreed on in email, when you see the goods, further negotiations may be called for. People agree with this?
    Last edited by toasty; 21st May 2003 at 02:10 PM.

  13. #13

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    no doubt there is some differences, but on whole i agree with everyone.

    What I usually do:

    1) never negotiate price thru email. Meet the seller, look closely at the product then think whether if it is worth the $$$$, if the price is at $500 but i think it's only worth $100...then just say sorry and bye bye. No point negotiating, will only pissed off the seller if I offer him $100. Why make enemnies?

    2) never place DEPOSITs.

    3) only say - I want to see before I buy. never agree anything except meet at that MRT or this bus-stop.

  14. #14

    Talking Re: Re: Re: buying and selling etiquette

    Originally posted by toasty
    For a reserved item, so to be fair to the seller, what happens if somebody reserves an item, the seller then foregos some other offers which may be higher than what his buyer is offering, and then later finds that the buyer has changed his mind and does not one to buy any more? Do you still believe that "reserved" means that he absolutely cannot sell it within the stipulated time frame?
    Rightfully, the seller should not sell it to another buyer (even if the new buyer offerz a better price) when the item iz being rezerved. If not then wat'z the point of rezerving the item.

    But me feel that there should be a time limit for rezervationz. If the time limit iz over, the seller should contact the buyer n azk him/her whether he/she still wantz to trade. Thiz will make it fair to both partiez.

    If the buyer still wantz to trade, they should trade ASAP. If not it will not be fair to the seller.


  15. #15

    Talking

    mozt imptly to both seller n buyer .....

    1) do ur homework

    2) bezt if the buyer can view the item 1zt b4 confirming the deal

    3) BE HONEZT


  16. #16

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    Originally posted by dehuis
    morale of the story,
    1) be nice to pple and be open and most prob things turn out well
    2)buy/sell on CS coz pple know teh rates and goods and more accomodating to changes and willing to help out!
    agreed. being frank and honest about any transaction really helps, whether you're being the buyer or the seller. it helps gain trust, friendship is worth a lot more than just plain ol' trading.

    an observation from the Buy & Sell forum:
    I have met some buyers who bid ridiculously low prices. whether out of ignorance or on purpose, nobody knows. some even go to the extent of insisting that their price is 'standard' and nobody else will buy the item. Of course, the right practice is to just be nice and say 'No', but such buyers are extremely irritating.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Re: Re: buying and selling etiquette

    Originally posted by toasty
    For a reserved item, so to be fair to the seller, what happens if somebody reserves an item, the seller then foregos some other offers which may be higher than what his buyer is offering, and then later finds that the buyer has changed his mind and does not one to buy any more? Do you still believe that "reserved" means that he absolutely cannot sell it within the stipulated time frame?

    I also feel that the price offered is conditional, should be understood to be conditional, not unconditional. It is conditional on the terms that the goods are up to par. If you get there and find that the goods are below your expectation, then further bargaining should take place. So even though a price may be agreed on in email, when you see the goods, further negotiations may be called for. People agree with this?
    Toasty, agreed with you for Point 2 i.e. price is condition upon product as described, so no difference there.

    As for Point 1, if one reserves an item at a stated price, and for stated time frame, then a higher offer cannot be entertained.

    In this case, the seller and buyer agree on this: " I will hold this for you, until dd/mm, at X price." So once reserved, buyer/seller should not back out.

    *************
    HOWEVER, i always think that it is unfair for the seller to reserve for too long. So as a buyer i always tell the seller "hi, am keen, but can only pay you end of the month, if by then you have another higher offer, or if you decide to sell to raise cash fast, then by all means please sell, but inform me also"

  18. #18
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    Simply put; only the principle of willing seller and willing buyer works. Discretion of individuals still rules!

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