Haggle Your Way to eBay Profits

Negotiating or haggling as it is referred to is a practiced skill. Not everyone, including myself, was born to haggle prices. Price haggling is often expected and necessary if you want to make the most profits you can, especially when it comes to reselling on eBay. There is an all too familiar saying that you make your money when you buy not when you sell.

Haggling should be done with a certain finesse. The idea is to get the best price you can without making the seller feel cheated, mad, or anything else that can make for a bad situation.

Let me back up for a moment and talk about negotiating in general. In essence true negotiations should make both the seller and the buyer come away from the table both feeling like they got what they wanted.

It usually starts out with one person wanting what another has. Basically an offer is made and it is either accepted, rejected, or a counter-offer is made. Sometimes a price is quickly agreed upon and the sale can move forward. Else, there may be more volleying price back and forth.

This is a simplistic view of the process, yet it still all boils down to the seller trying to get an acceptable price and the buyer willing to pay that price.

I believe you’ll find in most successful negotiations the person with the most knowledge usually comes out on top. If you’re haggling prices for an item you’re really not sure about then you could be swimming with the sharks! Read my hubpage on estate sales to see what I mean.

Some people will try and make you believe the item they have is worth a fortune especially on eBay or the “net” as some may say. Remember, an item is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it!

My approach is to first have an idea of the type of items I’m looking for and research what kind of prices people are getting for such items. You can look at the completed auctions section on eBay to see what has been successfully sold and the average price it was sold for. There are tools out there to help you with your analysis, but for sake of keeping it simple you can do the leg work yourself. As you become more advanced at selling it may be worth the investment to purchase an auction analysis service.

Once I’m armed with this knowledge I can feel confident in my haggling. I have a good idea if I can make a profit or if somebody is trying to blow smoke up my backside!

So here is the scenario. I go up to the sale and take a quick scan for anything I have specifically in mind. If I see the item(s) I’m looking for I immediately go straight to it. I will usually pick up the item, evaluate its condition and look for a price.

If there is a price stickered to the item then good I have something to go on. So let’s assume the object you’re interested in has a price. You now have to decide if it’s what you want to pay. If it is...good! Buy it! But if it’s not here’s where the excitement begins.

I may say something to the seller like ‘are you firm on this price?’ or ‘are you willing to move on this price?’ This is pretty much the direct approach. It most often prompts the seller to either say yes they’ll come down on price or no.

Another approach may be to look at the price and then just outright offer something less. Again this is where your research and knowledge come into play. You may be looking at something marked at ten dollars. You know you may possibly get twenty dollars or more for it so you say to the seller would you take seven or eight dollars (whatever is less, but reasonable) for this item.

Even if it means offering only a couple dollars less it can be more profits in your pocket when it comes time to sell.

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