How to Negotiate with Buyers to Get the Best Offers

Jill Vonier

Jill Vonier

6 min read

Negotiating prices with potential buyers can be both awkward and frustrating. Use these tips to make sure you are getting the most for your items.

Person holding money

So you’re finally getting some interest in the item you’re selling on Craigslist and you have one buyer that seems extremely close to purchasing. Except for one problem; they want to pay less than the price you posted. How can this be?

Negotiating prices with potential buyers is actually a normal part of selling on Craigslist. Since online marketplaces rarely involve businesses selling to customers but rather people selling to people, anything can be negotiated if both parties are willing.

In order to make the money you want on your Craigslist items and feel pleased with the transaction, you need to prepare ahead of time for the possibility of negotiating each item you sell.

In this blog post, we provide some tips on how to negotiate your Craigslist prices with your buyers so that you can both walk away feeling like you got a good deal.

If you are not comfortable negotiating prices with potential buyers, consider using a service like OfferTrackr. OfferTrackr can automatically track the availability of your items, negotiate prices, schedule pickups, and send out reminders on your behalf. See our blog post Using OfferTrackr to Make Selling Items Locally So Much Easier for more details.

1. Set a Price Range

In our blog post, Ultimate Guide to Selling Used Items on Craigslist, we discuss a few tips on figuring out how to set a price for your item.

This includes considering the brand, original price, age, and supply and demand, as well as researching what others are selling similar items for on Craigslist.

It’s also important to have a price range in mind. Instead of just setting one price point that is set in stone and shutting down every buyer who wants to negotiate, a range will allow you to negotiate while still being profitable.

To set a range, consider what a person would be willing to pay for your product and then make a note of the least amount you will take for it.

Your asking price can be adjusted slightly higher so if someone’s willing to pay that, fantastic!, and if they want to negotiate it a little, you have some room to still make the money you want.

2. Be Open To Negotiate

Now that you have a price range in mind, it’s time to mentally prepare for negotiations.

Many times when a potential buyer reaches out, they may say something like “What’s the lowest you will take?” It’s not the most thought-out tactic, but it’s certainly a common one.

Other times, they ask questions about the state of the product or any expenses or efforts they may incur (i.e. gas to pick it up), and then ask if you’d be willing to lower the price by a certain amount.

Whichever tactic the buyer uses, be willing to be open and flexible. Remember, the goal is to come to an agreement that is both fair and satisfactory for both parties.

3. Consider the Buyer’s Perspective

When negotiating a price with a potential buyer, it can be easy to get caught up in only seeing things your way.

Here you are, innocently trying to sell a product posted on Craigslist and along comes this interested party trying to lowball you. Instead, as you negotiate a price with a potential buyer, try to put yourself in their shoes.

What is the maximum amount they are willing to pay for the item? What factors may be influencing their decision to negotiate the price, such as the actual condition of the item? Are there additional expenses they have to incur? Can they get it somewhere else for cheaper?

By understanding the buyer’s position, you can be better equipped to reach a mutually beneficial agreement.

4. Be Willing to Compromise

Two people chatting

Keep in mind that negotiations often involve some give and take, so be prepared to compromise a little in order to reach an agreement.

Compromising may include you accepting a slightly lower price than you initially wanted, offering to throw in a few extras to sweeten the deal, or delivering the product instead of requiring the buyer to pick it up.

This is a good time to get creative to find a happy middle ground even quicker.

5. You Can Always Say No

Always remember that you’re never forced to accept someone else’s terms.

If you feel you are being treated unfairly throughout the negotiations, such as the person is offering way too low of an amount or is being unkind, it’s okay to respectfully walk away from an offer.

The goal is to find a mutually beneficial agreement, not be stuck selling to someone you don’t want to at a price you don’t feel happy with.

Before things get tense, simply tell the buyer “Thank you for your interest but it seems we won’t be coming to an agreement so I will be moving this transaction elsewhere.”

6. Remain Respectful & Professional

Finally, and most importantly, always remain respectful and professional whenever communicating with a potential buyer.

Sometimes negotiations can get frustrating when you aren’t seeing eye-to-eye or the buyer doesn’t seem to value your item. We have all been there before.

Avoid getting defensive or confrontational in these situations. Instead, remain calm and courteous even if the buyer raises objections to your suggestion.

By maintaining a respectful and professional demeanor, you can create a positive environment that encourages productive negotiations.

Remember, negotiating prices is a normal part of buying and selling items on Craigslist.

It’s important to prepare for negotiations ahead of time for a better success rate.

By setting a price range when you post your ad, you can leave some room for negotiations and still make a profit. This allows you to be open to some wiggle room so the buyer can feel like you value their happiness as well.

Please remember you should never feel forced to sell to someone you don’t want to. While negotiating can be a great way to find a happy middle ground with your buyer, it is not okay to be taken advantage of. You can always respectfully say no and move on to the next interested party.

By following these best practices to negotiations while always remaining respectful and professional, you can successfully and quickly reach a mutual agreement that both you and the buyer can walk away happy. Happy selling!


The easiest way to sell items locally

Use OfferTrackr to automatically track the availability of your items, negotiate prices, schedule pickups, and send out reminders.
Track offers on your first two items for free.