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Brickset Marketplace: Setting a Price vs Asking for Offers

augenaugen Worcester, UKMember Posts: 317
edited July 2013 in Buying & Selling Topics
I have noticed that it appears to be common practice on this forum to offer sets, but to ask for offers rather than state a price.

Given that the resale value is readily available for most sets, either on secondary market sites like Bricklink or auction sites like eBay, it would really simplify matters if everyone just stated the price that they were looking for or its nearest offer.
cardgeniusTheLoneTensorFurrysaurus
«1345

Comments

  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,660
    I agree but it is up to sellers to say whether they have a price in mind or not. They may lose buyers by not stating a price but it is up to them.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,444
    Ah, we can actually comment on this post @CCC and @LegoFanTexas :)
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,444
    I always put a price. Nothing is written in stone. I would imagine if someone wanted a set but not at the price you want for it, that they would PM you with their offer(s)
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,444
    Of course, you can be like @samiam391 and just say "I pass" without even a counter offer ;) or have a deal go awry because someone asks you for the box ;)
  • graphitegraphite USMember Posts: 3,270
    ^ or you can WTB or WTS and always expect the other person to offer a price in both situations. Personally I tend to just ignore sale threads that don't have a price.
  • BoiseStateBoiseState Member Posts: 804
    Ya, I tend to ignore anything that doesn't have a price.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    Pitfall69 said:

    Of course, you can be like @samiam391 and just say "I pass" without even a counter offer ;) or have a deal go awry because someone asks you for the box ;)

    There. Is. No. Box.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,444
    ^I was just citing an example old friend.
    LegoFanTexas
  • Gavin83Gavin83 Member Posts: 251
    I assume it's just a way of maximising your profits. Everyone knows how much they'd want for a set so there is no real reason not to state a price. I guess people ask for offers in the hope someone will offer more than they'd have listed it for. I'm surprised we don't get auction style sales as well with someone saying they'll give it to whoever offers the most for it in a week or so.

    For me personally I tend to ignore 'offer only' sales. It's a psychological thing. Although I'm a fairly experienced traveller and in most countries no set price is common, with bartering etc, I'm English where set prices are the norm. It's what I'm used to and I like having a price that can allow me to compare with other avenues and decide if it's value for money. Whatever works for people is fine but I'd imagine you lose potential customers by not setting a price.
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,290
    edited July 2013
    Pitfall69 said:

    Ah, we can actually comment on this post @CCC and @LegoFanTexas :)

    LOL, you mean you guys have been restraining yourselves?

    There. Is. No. Box.

    This. Is. Getting. Old.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,444
    rocao said:

    Pitfall69 said:

    Ah, we can actually comment on this post @CCC and @LegoFanTexas :)

    LOL, you mean you guys have been restraining yourselves?

    There. Is. No. Box.

    This. Is. Getting. Old.
    Meaning, we can comment on a Marketplace thread...although it has been moved.

    Ahhh, the box thing. Well, the DS and FB jabs have gone on longer. Maybe I will retire when they do ;)

  • nkx1nkx1 Member Posts: 719
    It is a bit of an underhanded tactic to effectively ask people to bid on a product on a non-auction site. If it were my site (which it obviously isn't), it would be required to post a price when selling something.
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,290
    edited July 2013
    ^^ That's old too, but we've mostly given up on moderating the Predictions thread
    Pitfall69LegoFanTexas
  • vitreolumvitreolum RomaniaMember Posts: 1,406
    Heck, I've recently done this just because I noticed pretty much all the sale threads here have no prices. And it's actually the first time I'm posting an offer like that in a forum.
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Northern VirginiaAdministrator, Moderator Posts: 5,057
    rocao said:

    ^^ That's old too, but we've mostly given up on moderating the Predictions thread

    They mostly come out at night. Mostly.

    LostInTranslationPitfall69
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    It won't make any difference...
    YellowcastlePitfall69
  • lulwutlulwut Member Posts: 417
    edited July 2013
    I don't even bother with the 'give me your offer' posts anymore. Wastes everyone's time right off the bat. Especially the ones that throw a rage because the offer is lower than what ebay offers.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,660
    ^ Me too, but even if 9 out of 10 are put off it only takes the one that wants it to make an offer.

    It's the same with over pricing and the reducing the price until someone bites. It's a techique to maximise sale price and sometimes works .

    Unless there are rules on how to do sales and WTB ads, different strategies will exist.
  • SiESiE Member Posts: 238
    On other forums general practice is to put on a price and take offers. Selling on here can be a nightmare. Ive sold some stuff but only offering discounts on my ebay items. I hate posts that do not set a guide price. I got publically slated for offering sets at what they are cheapest on ebay with the expectation that people would make offers.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 19,660
    ^ That's why I don't bother selling, and normally try trades only. I've been asked on a trade thread if I would sell instead. So offered a price that was the cheapest UK price on BL , and been accused of scalping. Which is why I tend to avoid sales.
    kempo81
  • Brinstar85Brinstar85 Member Posts: 42
    I would always prefer the seller to specify a price. In their own mind they will always have an idea of how much they are expecting and I feel that the 'make me an offer' adds unnecessary ambiguity to the whole experience. It is almost inevitable that in some cases seller and buyer will have quite different expectations as to how much the item is worth. A lot of time can be saved if a price is set.
  • BeavBeav Member Posts: 303
    I dont mind either way, an upfront price would save everyone time, but like Gavin said, its to hopefully get an offer higher than what you would expect.

    If no price is set, I'll simply PM the member to ask what theyre looking for, and most of the time they name a price there. If its too high, I just say thanks, but its a little too much.
  • augenaugen Worcester, UKMember Posts: 317
    As a buyer, I would definitely not expect to pay as high a price on here as I would on eBay or Bricklink, where I would benefit from services like buyer protection.

    As this is a community forum, I would hope that the marketplace is to the benefit of all its members. If sellers are looking to maximise profits, then I would suggest that they should sell somewhere else as this should be a place to sell spare sets at reasonable prices to other AFOL's looking to build their collection.

    It would be good to see some guidelines for posting items for sale or for trade, ones which promote fair practice and stimulate the marketplace. I am suggesting guidelines to help those less experienced in selling rather than rules as those looking to profit rather than sell spare sets will just flout rules anyway.
    alexwilDoubleD
  • prof1515prof1515 EarthMember Posts: 1,561
    I typically sell for the lowest going rate for the quality being offered. However, I often don't bother listing a price as I'll get messages 6 months later asking if it's still available at the price. As that's no longer the going rate, the answer is obviously no. I prefer that people PM for a price, specifying if they want to negotiate or just want a flat price, take it or leave it. I do like asking for them to make the first offer because it saves a lot of trouble when they want something like a Café Corner for $500 MISB. It can go both ways but just listing a price is rarely a good idea given that posts on these boards don't expire.
  • prof1515prof1515 EarthMember Posts: 1,561
    edited July 2013
    augen said:

    As a buyer, I would definitely not expect to pay as high a price on here as I would on eBay or Bricklink, where I would benefit from services like buyer protection.

    As this is a community forum, I would hope that the marketplace is to the benefit of all its members. If sellers are looking to maximise profits, then I would suggest that they should sell somewhere else as this should be a place to sell spare sets at reasonable prices to other AFOL's looking to build their collection.

    I would hope as a community that loves Lego, AFOLs here would appreciate the actual value of a set and thus pay appropriate prices instead of lowballing sellers. I would suggest that those looking to maximize purchasing power frequent flea markets or garage sales instead of offering insultingly low amounts for sets that they couldn't hope to buy anywhere else for even twice that amount (like offering $400 for a $1000+ mint Café Corner or $75 for a $200+ sandcrawler). Sadly that doesn't occur but some buyers here do commit to buying something but never come through with the payment. It goes both ways unfortunately.

    I once had someone offer $400 for a Café Corner that I was asking $900 for (the minimum going rate at the time was $1000-$1200). They asked if I'd open it, discard the box and then sell it to them for a used rate. I'm not joking, that was their suggestion. I also had a buyer back out of almost $2000 in purchases after I'd gotten the damned things weighed, boxed and labeled. I was awaiting clearance on the Paypal and it never came nor did they ever respond to further messages. F'ing big waste of my time.
    pillpod
  • joel4motionjoel4motion United KingdomMember Posts: 959
    I don't think those who don't put a price are hoping for offers exceeding the value. 99% of those on here know the true value of the items they are considering purchasing.

    This isn't a dig at those that have offered me money for some of my items but I offer all my sales at 10-15% below eBay and BL average and generally get a reply that the price is too high. I do not like eBay, but I will sell on there if it means selling something for £30 opposed to £10.
  • CapnRex101CapnRex101 United KingdomAdministrator Posts: 2,319
    Personally I think it is up to the seller, if they think they will get a better price by asking for offers rather than stating a price, that is their prerogative.
  • Brinstar85Brinstar85 Member Posts: 42
    augen said:

    As a buyer, I would definitely not expect to pay as high a price on here as I would on eBay or Bricklink, where I would benefit from services like buyer protection.

    As this is a community forum, I would hope that the marketplace is to the benefit of all its members. If sellers are looking to maximise profits, then I would suggest that they should sell somewhere else as this should be a place to sell spare sets at reasonable prices to other AFOL's looking to build their collection.

    I'm not sure I agree with this. Perhaps the lack of fees should be reflected in slightly lower asking prices but I certainly wouldn't expect drastically lower prices on here than I would on ebay. The advantage from buying from other members of Brickset is that you are dealing with AFOL's who are knowledgeable about what they are selling and are honest about the condition of their items. I've purchased too many used sets off ebay that were described as complete and in very good condition and were neither. I'm actually willing to forgo ebay buyer protection in the knowledge that I'm getting exactly what they pay for.

    CCC
  • atkinsaratkinsar Member Posts: 4,272
    I generally ignore those threads that don't state a price, it irks me so I don't waste my time with them. There are rare occasions where I'll bite if it's something I've been after for a while, but generally I quickly read and move on.

    For those people that do state a price, I salute you. What I will say is that I've seen plenty of people get flamed for stating their price in threads because people believe it is too high, and this is probably the main reason that people here don't do it. Obviously we try to discourage this, so people, please don't be put off from stating prices, it saves everybody time and effort.
    PhoneboothcarlqSiESirKevbags
  • pillpodpillpod Member Posts: 273
    edited July 2013
    prof1515 said:

    I once had someone offer $400 for a Café Corner that I was asking $900 for (the minimum going rate at the time was $1000-$1200). They asked if I'd open it, discard the box and then sell it to them for a used rate. I'm not joking, that was their suggestion. I also had a buyer back out of almost $2000 in purchases after I'd gotten the damned things weighed, boxed and labeled. I was awaiting clearance on the Paypal and it never came nor did they ever respond to further messages. F'ing big waste of my time.

    Similar situation happened to me: I'm trying to offload a sealed FB before I move (the box is gonna take up too much space in my car). I went to craigslist to avoid shipping it. This guy offered me $75 because, according to him, he wanted to pay the same price as a complete and opened one because he was going to put it together with his family.

    I politely told him that if he finds one at that price, to let me know because I would buy one too.
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor MericaMember Posts: 3,950
    edited July 2013

    Personally I think it is up to the seller, if they think they will get a better price by asking for offers rather than stating a price, that is their prerogative.

    I agree completely.

    I also feel I have the prerogative to ignore their posts also. I have no desire to play the game of offering. I want to know if this is even in my ballpark right off the bat, not hours or days later when the person. If a price is there, then I know right away if it's within my range to either buy or negotiate towards.

    There aren't many places around the world where things are offered up for sale without a starting price, be it a retail store or a garage sale, so I don't why any seller would think it's in their best interest to buck that trend. If I walked into a garage sale and had to offer prices on everything as I browsed around, I'd walk right out.

    I also just realized I pretty much repeated what @atkinsar wrote ;)

    Btw, I respectfully disagree with the rule where we're not allowed to comment on prices. First because it's contrary to healthy capitalism and second, because it's not actually a published rule according to http://www.bricksetforum.com/discussion/34/forum-rules-and-code-of-conduct-v1-3-april-2012 I know if I posted something, I'd want people to tell me how off-base I may be, high or low. No flaming, of course, just healthy information for buyers and sellers.
  • vitreolumvitreolum RomaniaMember Posts: 1,406
    edited July 2013

    Btw, I respectfully disagree with the rule where we're not allowed to comment on prices. First because it's contrary to healthy capitalism and second, because it's not actually a published rule according to http://www.bricksetforum.com/discussion/34/forum-rules-and-code-of-conduct-v1-3-april-2012 I know if I posted something, I'd want people to tell me how off-base I may be, high or low. No flaming, of course, just healthy information for buyers and sellers.

    One reason why this is a good thing is that this is a worldwide forum, and as such the EU market is different from the US one to give an example. So if an offer seems high to an US member, that offer might be more than fair for an EU member. But seeing several complaints about the price will make others think twice before deciding to get that.

    Now if someone wants to sell a DS for EUR 1000, that's a whole different story. :))
  • jadedancjadedanc USAMember Posts: 1,303
    I disagree completely with you @tensor and others. I do not post prices simply for the fact that if someone is interested in the item, then they can pm me with what they feel the item is worth or what they can afford. I may have a price point in my head, but if they seem real interested or really wanting it as a collector, I may let it go for lower than value. Or if someone tries to lowball the set alot, I can say no gracefully without others putting in their 2 cents worth (which has happened on here before to me) I help others out on this board a lot of times with sets like that, or items they can't find in their areas.

    And btw there are many places around the world, as you put it, that prices are not posted on items. Most of the Middle East is set up in that kind of market, even in the malls there. There were markets, booths, shopping centers, etc. in Iraq, Kuwait and Qatar (places I have been to) that had anything you could think of and you'd ask how much and then the bargaining would begin :)

    I know many of ya'll will never get to go to the Middle East and see it but also many Caribbean countries are the same way. Heck, even when I lived in New Orleans the French Market was a bargainer's paradise. No prices, just show interest.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,444
    ^I always do my research before selling anything on the Marketplace. I don't like to use EBay auction style sold listings because they are always all over the map. I will do an average of Bricklink and EBay prices and subtract the fees that are associated with each website. I always include shipping into my price. The problem with just going with just sold prices is that you don't know the condition of the set that was sold and also people wrongly list their items as new when the set is clearly used. A new in sealed box can mean many things. A pristine box will go for a premium, yet a crushed box should be listed for less than what a decent store bought box should fetch.

    As a whole, this forum consists of very knowledgeable AFOL's, but you still get the occasional "low ball" offers. Some AFOL's are very frugal and some are so tight, when they walk, sparks fly out their a$$...lol.

    As a Marketplace shopper, I would expect the lowest average EBay or Bricklink price minus the fees. That's a discount right there and to expect more than that would be silly.
    cheshirecat
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor MericaMember Posts: 3,950
    edited July 2013
    jadedanc said:

    I disagree completely with you @tensor and others. I do not post prices simply for the fact that if someone is interested in the item, then they can pm me with what they feel the item is worth or what they can afford. I may have a price point in my head, but if they seem real interested or really wanting it as a collector, I may let it go for lower than value. Or if someone tries to lowball the set alot, I can say no gracefully without others putting in their 2 cents worth (which has happened on here before to me) I help others out on this board a lot of times with sets like that, or items they can't find in their areas.

    And btw there are many places around the world, as you put it, that prices are not posted on items. Most of the Middle East is set up in that kind of market, even in the malls there. There were markets, booths, shopping centers, etc. in Iraq, Kuwait and Qatar (places I have been to) that had anything you could think of and you'd ask how much and then the bargaining would begin :)

    I know many of ya'll will never get to go to the Middle East and see it but also many Caribbean countries are the same way. Heck, even when I lived in New Orleans the French Market was a bargainer's paradise. No prices, just show interest.

    Disagree all you want, we've already established it's everyone's right to post or not post prices, but as it stands, you'll get less interest in your wares from potential buyers if you keep it all mysterious and put the onus on the buyer to make the first move.
  • samiam391samiam391 A log cabin in PA, United StatesMember Posts: 4,376
    edited July 2013
    This is obviously a topic that will be split.

    However, I must say I've learned a lot....

    I've learned that there are a lot of people that generally ignore my "for sale" threads ;o)
    Pitfall69
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,444
    edited July 2013
    @tensor. Wares...Hahahaha. Reminds me of an Iron Maiden song. "Won't you come into my room. I want to show you all my wares."
  • Bosstone100Bosstone100 USAMember Posts: 1,434
    Why make the buyer work to figure out how much to offer, then make the offer and possibly get rejected making it a huge waste of the for the buyer? If you want to sell something, don't waste everyone's time. Tell them how much you want.

    Same thing goes for someone placing a buy ad. What are you willing to pay? Do the research youself. Anything else is just plain lazy and shows a blatant disrespect for other people's time.
    augenLegoFanTexasTheLoneTensorbrickedin
  • augenaugen Worcester, UKMember Posts: 317
    I like how some people bandy the concept of "value" around. Value is determined by buyer, not the seller.

    I look for value in all my purchases and for a seller to suggest that I would not find it on here seems counterproductive.

    Anyway, with all the feedback, it seems that the general consensus is that stating prices would lead to more potential sales and some guidelines would help the less experienced.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,444
    ^...and I will add that, unless stated, all prices are negotiable.
    augenLegoFanTexas
  • morezonemorezone Member Posts: 207
    If an ad asks for "offers", I'm not interested. Unless of course it is something which I am really after in which case I'll ask how much they want. I then decide if I want to buy or not at their asking.

    There have been so many items for sale which I would have considered buying if they had an asking price.

    While we're on the topic of marketplace ads, it would help if people stated their location. I do check profiles but a lot of the time the location isn't filled in.

    Also, on other boards which I frequent, all items must have a asking price. All discussion relating to the sale such as offers, counter offers, condition, etc must be posted on the thread. It just makes it so much easier so the same question isn't asked over and over and doesn't waste everyone's time. It's a complete waste of time to send an email asking about an item only to find out that someone has put in an offer/asking price and has been sold. If it were posted on the thread, then we'd all know.
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,444
    I like an ad that is thorough. Stated price, location, condition and pictures.
    TheLoneTensor
  • jadedancjadedanc USAMember Posts: 1,303
    @tensor

    I agree it's everyone's entitlement to post or not post prices and that some on here will just ignore the posts with no prices. That's fine by me, but that's their problem, not mine. There are always other avenues to sell a Lego set other than just here. And here, I actually ask less that I would at other places, just cause it is friends and acquaintances here who I have dealt with before.

    I have been doing it my way the last 2 months and it has netted me enough money to pay rent, bills and etc so some people must be reading the post and enjoying them.

    No one is going to agree on what is better/worse/right/wrong with prices. That is human nature, so here's hoping after all is said and done, we can all still be friends on here and still help each other out from time to time. I know I will be, for one.

    TheLoneTensor
  • YellowcastleYellowcastle Northern VirginiaAdministrator, Moderator Posts: 5,057
    @tensor - It is improper to "editorialize" on someone else's marketplace thread. If you feel that there is potential fraud at play, please flag for the staff to review. I would hope this type of thing wouldn't have to be explicitly spelled out in the Forum rules but we can redress if necessary.
  • TheLoneTensorTheLoneTensor MericaMember Posts: 3,950

    @tensor - It is improper to "editorialize" on someone else's marketplace thread. If you feel that there is potential fraud at play, please flag for the staff to review. I would hope this type of thing wouldn't have to be explicitly spelled out in the Forum rules but we can redress if necessary.

    By editorialize, I assume you mean talk about like "hey, this is going for $X on bricklink, why are you charging > $X for it?"

    If you explicitly think something is improper, and you don't want it to be done, then I would think that explicitly spelling it out in the forum rules would be a solution. I can't imagine it's much fun writing something as a user, then being told it's wrong, and then being confused because it's not in the rules (at all), then wondering what other undocumented things shouldn't be done.
    dougts
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    You mean... like buying too much from [email protected], then being told it isn't allowed, even though it isn't posted on the site anywhere? :)

    @Yellowcastle - it really should be put in the site rules, then it can be referenced to new people (and those who sometimes forget). :)

    BTW, in the marketplace, it really should be possible to edit the original thread post. This would allow titles and prices to be updated easier.
    vitreolumSiEmargot
  • JosephJoseph Member Posts: 651

    BTW, in the marketplace, it really should be possible to edit the original thread post. This would allow titles and prices to be updated easier.

    While it would be better, it's unfortunately not possible without changing the edit times for the rest of the form as well.
  • rocaorocao Administrator Posts: 4,290
    edited July 2013
    While not explicitly stating a price generally involves more work for the buyer and seller, there are instances where I feel it is justified. An example would be when the sale item is rare and doesn't have much historical sales data.

    Also, when a price is stated, there are members who will PM the seller asking if they'll take less for it in an effort to reach a more favorable price. Do people think that is reasonable? If so, then why can't a seller do the same by taking offers?

    I think some of the frustration stems from finding out that a seller's valuation is disparately high from other market points, and that's understandable. But that isn't always the case. I've made several purchases from sellers taking offers where I paid less than what I was prepared to pay and less than what the market indicated.
    samiam391adello25
  • Pitfall69Pitfall69 0 miles to Legoboy's houseMember Posts: 11,444
    I don't think we are dictating that all Marketplace posts require a price. I'm definitely not criticizing anyones Marketplace posts. I just prefer a price, but I understand why people prefer to take offers.

    With that said; people who aren't sure what the value of their item is request a valuation of their item in the Buying and Selling area.
  • samiam391samiam391 A log cabin in PA, United StatesMember Posts: 4,376
    edited July 2013
    Pitfall69 said:

    With that said; people who aren't sure what the value of their item is request a valuation of their item in the Buying and Selling area.

    Actually, that is where I'd be the most particular.

    Unless the item is rare or unique, there is no reason that the person can't look up past prices for it either via BL's page or eBay's completed listings.
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