Typewriter Talk

You are not logged in. Would you like to login or register?



13-4-2016 17:48:26  #1


How to politely tell a seller their item is over-priced?

In my area, some sellers seem to be under the impression that typewriters are worth a lot of money.  

How do you politely suggest to someone that they are way too optimistic with what they'd like to get without ticking them off so much that you ruin your chances of doing business with them?

 

 

13-4-2016 19:38:48  #2


Re: How to politely tell a seller their item is over-priced?

I've used a number of different approaches, but I'll usually send them an email and just ask if they are open to negotiating the price, and if not, if they'll keep me in mind if they ever decide to lower their asking price. This will sometimes open the discussion to pricing, at which point it's usually more appropriate to explain your reasoning as to what you think their typewriter is worth. On other occasions I've just simply asked how they determined their asking price. 


"To save time is to lengthen life."
 

13-4-2016 20:18:42  #3


Re: How to politely tell a seller their item is over-priced?

Good advice and I do variations on those things.

I somethings shake my head and think sellers are just throwing a figure out there hoping someone will bite.

I'm thinking it's hipsters who are causing prices to go up.
...or typewriter fans.   (I know I've overpaid before...)

     Thread Starter
 

13-4-2016 23:14:36  #4


Re: How to politely tell a seller their item is over-priced?

Pricing is a tricky thing, and you can't always blame the seller, who more often than not doesn't know a thing about the typewriter they're selling.

Typewriter prices in the Toronto area have recently skyrocketed and it's becoming increasingly difficult to find a machine at a decent price. Part of the blame - at least in my area - can be placed on a couple of persistent sellers who have been trying to flog the same machines for close to a year now for astronomically high prices. They are flippers, they buy their typewriters for a low price, clean them up so they look pretty, take a couple of nice photos of them, and then ask an insane price for what is enviably described as being a very rare machine. They keep relisting their typewriters - aggressively - in local online classifieds, which is where most sellers check to set the price on their own typewriter. They are waiting for those who don't know anything about typewriters and will unknowingly overspend on their first (and probably only) machine.

There's nothing wrong with someone charging a lot of money for a typewriter if they have invested a lot of time in either restoring (professionally) or repairing it. But a spit and shine, and promise of it having been "tuned up" doesn't justify what these guys are asking. I sometimes detest middlemen, and in the case of typewriter collecting in my area they are probably the most responsible for driving up prices. And the problem is, as you pointed out with your suggestion of hipsters, is that they're finding just enough buyers to continue the practice.

My way of dealing with this is to just stick to my own pricing guidelines. I almost never pay more than $50 a machine (the average is $33), and in those cases that I do, it's never more than $100. Nothing, aside from one or two specific models that I'm after, is worth more than that to me. I've learned that patience is the key and to just ignore the expensive machines; I leave them for someone else to buy. There are so many different makes and models out there that it really isn't worth overspending, especially not when that rare machine really isn't that rare, and you only need wait for another one to come around.


"To save time is to lengthen life."
 

14-4-2016 02:22:02  #5


Re: How to politely tell a seller their item is over-priced?

Uwe wrote:

P
My way of dealing with this is to just stick to my own pricing guidelines. I almost never pay more than $50 a machine (the average is $33), and in those cases that I do, it's never more than $100. Nothing, aside from one or two specific models that I'm after, is worth more than that to me. I've learned that patience is the key and to just ignore the expensive machines; I leave them for someone else to buy. There are so many different makes and models out there that it really isn't worth overspending, especially not when that rare machine really isn't that rare, and you only need wait for another one to come around.

Again, good advice.  As I get more experienced with buying typewriters and as I get to know the style(s) that I like, I'll get more choosy and (hopefully) more patient.  Through patience, I'll (again hopefully) find things within my budget (which is similar to yours) as well as ones that are better condition.
 

     Thread Starter
 

14-4-2016 04:46:33  #6


Re: How to politely tell a seller their item is over-priced?

Hu fingertapper, great topic - and one close to all our hearts! The thing is that, as Uwe says, most of them really have no idea what they're selling, and - certainly compared to us - they don't really understand eBay, either. They check active listings to gauge prices, when they should be checking sold listings. The other thing is that they are often sentimental about a machine - it was their mum's, it 'works great' - 'at least it used to...' 

London is more expensive than all those lovely-sounding North American Shangri-Las, but even with a top limit of £50 (and an average of £30ish) I have managed to get a fair few nice machines for £5 or £10. It's getting a lot harder. I paid £40 (plus train fare, not much) to get my Hermes 3000, and in the last few months the 3000s on eBay UK have SHOT up - very little under £100, only a couple of 2nd models at c£80. Most people imagine that things are more rare than they are. And they want money for nothing. You can really tell the diff between those who think of eBay as a way of making money, and those who think of it as a way to find good homes for their dad's old stuff. 

I do sell typewriters on when I'm not getting on with them or have managed to get a better one - I sell them for proper money, on a Buy it Now, and I explain exactly why it's worth the money. That is, that it's been thoroughly cleaned, is in great condition, types really well, has had small repairs, has a new ribbon, etc. So I'm partly selling peace of mind, they will be able to take it home and write a book on it before tea if they want. I've had feedback in the past that the machine was in even better condition than I said in the listing! 

I have given up trying to negotiate with the chancers. It's not worth it. Some have been quite stroppy - guy who sold me a Kolibri Luxus seemed quite bitter and kept saying I was 'probably a dealer'. Right. I actually paid a *very* fair price for that one, as the drawband snapped right after and I don't know how it attached. 

 

14-4-2016 05:35:02  #7


Re: How to politely tell a seller their item is over-priced?

'Fishing' (slapping a huge price on an ordinary item and waiting for someone to make a mistake) is common right across all selling markets.  Typewriters on EBay are no exception.  Just ignore them.

I don't think I have never managed to get anything that was listed in this fashion for a reasonable price simply because the seller is not interested in anything other than a foolish bidder, so I don't even bother with any such listings any longer.


Sincerely,
beak.
 
 

14-4-2016 05:35:21  #8


Re: How to politely tell a seller their item is over-priced?

Now, THIS one for example... how would we price this? 
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Remington-Rand-Typewriter-Vintage-Retro-/121953957184

 

14-4-2016 07:12:17  #9


Re: How to politely tell a seller their item is over-priced?

One thing you can do is show them some objective data in the form of sold ebay listings.  Not everyone knows you can do this on ebay, but if you search for an item then go down the left hand side of the page, you can check a box for "completed" listings or "sold" listings.  Completed will show you all the auctions that ended for that item. This can be useful in some cases to gauge demand. If there were 15 listings for over $100 that didn't sell, you can make the claim that this item is not really worth $100 in the market.  Sold listings are useful as well, because you can look and say something like, "This item typically sells for $45-$70 based on condition, etc..."

Not sure how you'd do this politely.  Probably start, as someone above suggested, with asking them if they'd be willing to go lower based on yada yada ebay.

 

14-4-2016 09:49:49  #10


Re: How to politely tell a seller their item is over-priced?

KatLondon wrote:

Now, THIS one for example... how would we price this? 
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Remington-Rand-Typewriter-Vintage-Retro-/121953957184

Usually described as 'A great restoration project'.


Sincerely,
beak.
 
 

Board footera

 

Powered by Boardhost. Create a Free Forum

Typewriter Talk