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View Full Version : Proper etiquette when it comes to responding to a for sale thread..and buying


TonyNorCal
07-15-2005, 4:24 PM
Curious what you guys think here...

When someone has something listed for sale what (if any) protocol should be followed. On some boards (and some sellers) will use a system by which the first person to post "I'll take it" in the thread is the first in line to buy.

Where it seems to get rather murky is when people post "IM/E-mail sent". While this is good for notifying the potential seller does it in fact place them at the head of the line? A potential problem exists in that a noncommital response such as that is a way for someone to 'hold' a spot while they decide whether they really want to buy. If someone else is ready to simply take it then what should the outcome be?

I'm not saying I have an answer. I can see it both ways. I might be the first to respond and very interested, but need a little more info...hence the IM/E-mail sent. But, if someone else comes along 10 minutes later and is ready to commit should they get it? Personally I am going to say yes. If someone is ready to buy and I haven't given the seller a firm commitment I am ok with the decisive person getting the item. I don't expect a seller to 'hold' it for me. Obviously some here may have a different opinion.

What do you all think? I suppose what I am saying is that I think the 'I'll take it' posted in the thread is not a bad way to go...if needing more info one could also say 'I'll take it if chrome-lined' or something to that effect.

Of course, if I want something I am somewhat hesitant to post an "I'll take it" if a few "E-mail sent" posts are above. I don't wish to step on toes. But what then if the bloke behind me says "I'll take it" and he gets it? In such a case I would have lost it for being senstive to the people ahead of me.

Seems having such a definitive system might be a way to go. Thoughts?

CaliTheKid
07-15-2005, 5:08 PM
Guess it sort of depends on the seller. I have bought/sold a few guns from gun boards and I have encountered two distinct types of sellers. First type usually has a sort of self imposed "honor code" that is true to the first e-mail received, regardless of if you have questions, will give you the first shot at it. The second type-- just wants to sell it to who ever has cash in hand and says "I'll take it". Which is the right way to go? Well, honor codes are admirable, and if you can act accordingly, I think it's the way to go. However-- sometimes peoples situations vary as to why they are selling it and sometimes the need for quick cash supercedes doing the gentlemanly thing.

esskay
07-15-2005, 8:13 PM
Originally posted by CaliTheKid:
Guess it sort of depends on the seller. I have bought/sold a few guns from gun boards and I have encountered two distinct types of sellers. First type usually has a sort of self imposed "honor code" that is true to the first e-mail received, regardless of if you have questions, will give you the first shot at it. The second type-- just wants to sell it to who ever has cash in hand and says "I'll take it". Which is the right way to go? Well, honor codes are admirable, and if you can act accordingly, I think it's the way to go. However-- sometimes peoples situations vary as to why they are selling it and sometimes the need for quick cash supercedes doing the gentlemanly thing.

To your point, I think it is helpful for sellers who are in the second bucket to indicate so in their original post. e.g. I sometimes see posters say: The first "I'll take it" gets it

Then at least you know upfront.

xring
07-15-2005, 8:27 PM
Back in the good old days, when you could place gun ads in the Recycler, I was very active in gun trading. I wish I had $1 for all the "tire kickers" that called and said, "could you hold it until tomorrow" and never followed up. Old saying:"Cash talks, BS walks" has merit. Having said that, I am certainly willing answer questions to potential buyers, but after that, it's "first come, first serve". Serious buyers shouldn't (and usually don't) expect you to lose a potential sale while they're trying to make up their minds.

JAFGO
07-15-2005, 10:28 PM
The first confirmed "I'll take it" gets the goods, unless you agree to do otherwise. It's best to include that stipulation in a "for sale" post. Queries asking for pictures, etc, are just that, queries, and bind neither the buyer or seller. Business is business.

whatever
07-15-2005, 10:44 PM
First email gets it. Actually first email with promise to pay.

I check my email way more frequently than a sale forum or IM. If someone is serious about buying they will email me directly.

I've bought and sold lots of stuff on forums and this is the norm unless it specifically states in the ad "first I'll take it gets it".

50 Freak
07-15-2005, 11:45 PM
I've had way too many incidences of buyers saying "I'll take it, but can you hold it for a few weeks while I get the money together". You hold the goods while turning away other buyer and two weeks rolls around and the buyer either renegs or just disappears.

The buyer walks away with no foul done to himself, but the seller has to re-post the item for sale. The seller has in the mean time turned away any potential sales and often times is in a weaker bargaining advantage with other buyers. So the seller gets the short end of the stick.

I come to the conclusion of first one with the money gets the goods. However, I have learned that if someone wants something bad enough and they don't have the money, then I'll ask for a small non-refundable deposit. Makes them more willing to go through with the deal and at the same time, I can help them out if possible.

maxicon
07-17-2005, 10:33 AM
I like to buy stuff online (not much good at getting rid of things, though!), and I subscribe to the "First I'll Take It" rule.

If I have questions, I'll send email/IM, sometimes with a "If this, then I'll take it", but I don't put an "I'll take it" response in the thread unless I'm ready to commit. Once I've committed, I won't back out, unless there are exceptional circumstances, but that hasn't happened yet except when someone didn't describe something correctly.

Generally, I'll post a reply, send an IM, and send an email, all saying "If this is still available, I'll take it!". This means I'm ready to send the money or set up the transfer when they say "It's yours".

There are unscrupulous buyers and sellers both, and I'm not going to contribute to that. There's no other way to do it, IMO.

max

rkt88edmo
07-17-2005, 10:43 AM
I'd say the method of communication is up to the seller, whether it be a post, pm, email, or phone call.

If someone posts, I'll take it! and wants time, I would throw them to the end of the line. The first firm buyer gets the goods. I see plenty of posts where the say IM or email sent" followed by a follow up post from the seller that the item is still available, I guess they are making lower offers or offering trades for items. Again, being clear in your initial post about terms of payment and offers/trades being accepted will probably help.

I imagine it would be frustrating selling things, but I wouldn't know, I am usually on the buying end.

gimmejr
07-17-2005, 3:39 PM
Ive been on the buying end too lately but I totally understand that the buyer usually wants to get rid of the gun usually ASAP and not screw around to much with tire kickers. Right now I am selling a gun but Im in no hurry so Im a little flexible.

stillbigmac
07-18-2005, 5:08 AM
Originally posted by 50 Freak:
I've had way too many incidences of buyers saying "I'll take it, but can you hold it for a few weeks while I get the money together". You hold the goods while turning away other buyer and two weeks rolls around and the buyer either renegs or just disappears.

The buyer walks away with no foul done to himself, but the seller has to re-post the item for sale. The seller has in the mean time turned away any potential sales and often times is in a weaker bargaining advantage with other buyers. So the seller gets the short end of the stick.

I come to the conclusion of first one with the money gets the goods. However, I have learned that if someone wants something bad enough and they don't have the money, then I'll ask for a small non-refundable deposit. Makes them more willing to go through with the deal and at the same time, I can help them out if possible.

Youve just sumed up the gun business http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Turbinator
07-21-2005, 10:25 AM
Originally posted by 50 Freak:
I've had way too many incidences of buyers saying "I'll take it, but can you hold it for a few weeks while I get the money together". You hold the goods while turning away other buyer and two weeks rolls around and the buyer either renegs or just disappears.

I've been on both ends of this stick at one point or another.

Just recently I had someone (not from this forum!) express an interest in my Argentine HiPower (which, by the way, is still for sale http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif). I received exactly 2 e-mails, the latter telling me that the buyer was going to go look at his finances. I've heard nothing since, and it's been 2 weeks, and I've even sent follow-up e-mails. I'll try again today, now that I think about it..

On the other side of the coin, I was a buyer, looking to buy something from an acquaintance. I told the guy I'd need some time to get some funds together, which took about a month - the amount of time I asked him to wait. He told me that it wasn't a problem, that the gun wasn't going anywhere, and that it would be there for me. A month later, I go ask him if he's ready to sell, and he tells me that he sold it to someone else! I couldn't believe it, he blamed me for not following up (hey, he said it wasn't going anywhere). I would have appreciated at least a followup e-mail from him telling me that it was going to be sold to someone else if I didn't act right away. After all, in my example as a seller, I am trying to follow up with the buyer as a courtesy to ask him if he's still interested.

Turby

kalibear
07-21-2005, 4:52 PM
I respond to all the potential buyers who contact me by email/pm/post first (i.e. questions/pic requests). If someone says I'll take it and he's not the first guy then I make him wait until I hear back from the others. Mind you there are a lot of window shoppers, low ballers, and flakes out there and they usually get the "Sold" or "No longer available for sale" response http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif