You’ve just listed a beautiful Thomasville dresser for $400. All of a sudden your phone is blowing up with offers!
“Hi, I love your dresser. Will you sell it for $150 including delivery?”
“Hey, I will take your dresser off your hands today for $150!”
“I’m offering $150 for your dresser and will pick it up next week.”
Oh my gosh! How many of you have had these types of “serious” inquiries? What is your first reaction? Yep, I agree…
“Go to blazes and don’t come back! Are you freaking kidding me? Yeah, right… move on moron! Do they have an emoji for the middle finger?”
Well, even if we feel this way, we sure can’t respond like this. I had a nice little hutch for sale for $400 when we first started our business. A lady emailed and asked if I would take $200. I really wanted to answer in a not-so-nice way! But, I politely responded back and she ended up buying the hutch and paid full price. Good thing the “nice me” responded to her!
What is a polite response?
First, put yourself in their place. When you see a piece for sale do you offer full price immediately? I only do if it’s a great price and looks like it’s in good condition. Otherwise, I alway offer a decent lower price or ask, “Is your price firm or will you negotiate?” I try not to insult them with a rock bottom price. I think many people list their items on sites hoping to get their asking price but they are willing to come down if needed.
I don’t. But, that's another topic...
When I list a piece I ask a “going” price for it and state that the price is firm. This statement has helped weed out a lot of ridiculous offers.
If I do get a lower offer I have made it a practice to be polite because I never know if they are just fishing. I also make sure it’s professional and thank them for their interest.
Here are a few examples of my responses you might be able to use in the future:
“No, I’m sorry, I can’t accept your offer but thank you for your interest.”
“Thank you for your reasonable offer but my price is firm.”
“I’m sorry but I can’t accept your offer but I might have another piece that is in your price range. Please check out my Facebook page.”
When I respond like this I am usually told, “Well, I had to ask! Thanks.”
If you list on sites like FB Marketplace or Craigslist they often don’t realize this is your business instead of a piece you want to get rid of!
I often state, “This is our business and we offer quality pieces of hand-painted furniture at what we feel is a reasonable price.” This response often starts a dialogue with a potential customer.
Remember… “You catch more flies with honey than vinegar!”