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Should a seller bargain for a vehicle's price on Craig's List?

See Title for question. It seems as allowing a potential buyer to bargain either by phone or e-mail puts the seller at a disadvantage. If a preliminary bargain is struck, then the buyer has anchored a lowered starting point when the buyer decides to show up. I suspect this sort of thing occurs when the buyer is some distance from the seller.


One can bargain whenever and however he/she pleases, it is a free country. The seller is free to stick to the firm price or reduce it. At the end of the day one has to sell the car (or anything else) at the market value. The pool of buyers define the market value.

A few years ago I had a 1987 honda helix…still a fantastic little scooter when I was trying to sell it…a guy called, wanted to come see it, he was a haggler and was able to convince me to take $900 over the phone, but when he got there (in his gas guzzling hummer from 3 hours away) he was no longer interested in paying $900, now he wanted it for $700…I really wasn’t happy about taking the $900, but I had agreed that I would take it, and I told him that even though I did not think $900 was all I could get for it I would honor our agreement, not a penny less…he went away empty handed and I later sold it for the $1500 it was worth.

How’s that for a comment? Did it reveal anything useful? I hope it helped.

Free country? What does that have to do with bargaining? I’m free to proceed as I want, which is to require bargaining when I’m face to face with the buyer on my property.

The story of $900/1500 is about what I would expect–low anchor. Glad you got more for it.

Everything I’ve sold (Craigslist, or classified) I did some research and tried to price the item at a fair price, but with some wiggle room expecting the buyer’s to haggle. You really don’t know how much to take for something until you see how much interest the ad generates. I have experienced that the best buyers usually show up quickly for an item. If you don’t sell it quickly, then the price you get is going to go down in most situations.

My experience buying and selling on Craigslist is limited, but I always expect a little bit of price negotiation either way. I prefer to haggle in person, and cash talks.

I recently advertised my '96 Subaru station wagon for $2,750 and sold it for $2,500. The buyer called the same day I posted the ad and showed up to look at the car the following day. She paid cash.

I would be unlikely to negotiate with someone who has not bothered to come and look at what is for sale, and I would not expect a seller to negotiate unless I was standing there looking at the item for sale.

It all depends on the personality of the seller. I don’t haggle. When I sell something, I offer a price and you can take it or leave it.

I’m free to ask you for a lower price over the phone, and you’re free to refuse to deal except face to face. Simple.