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Author Topic: Getting people to haggle with you (the seller) at Swap Meet  (Read 3901 times)

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Persona

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This is my second year selling at swap meet, and last year I noticed that most of the people I dealt with were reluctant to haggle or simply didn't know how. I'm really hoping to sell most or all of my stuff this year so -- how would/did you get people to haggle with you? Would a sign work for most people or did you just judge on a case-by-case basis? I initially set my prices at a high but still fair rate in order to have good haggle room, but instead that seemed to have scared people away -- would setting prices lower help or just give buyers an excuse to lowball?

Both buyers and sellers can reply -- I'd appreciate both sides' opinions!
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LordKefka

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Re: Getting people to haggle with you (the seller) at Swap Meet
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2011, 11:14:28 AM »

I'm pretty good at haggling due to my years of going to the Oakland flea market (lol) so I can tell you from the mentality of a buyer they are either afraid to offend the seller by asking a low-ball price or don't think it will go any lower. That or regardless of the price unless it's low low, people don't have the strong want for that item. Also from the point of view of a buyer if that person really knows his shit and wants to get something for a bargain but sees the price just a tad lower than what you would find at retail, he would think that the seller knows about prices and worth and that trying to lower the price to an acceptable price to buy as compared to buying from Ebay or wherever else wouldn't happen. For example last year I saw a few swap meet sellers who thought they " knew" about prices of PVCs and charged $100+ for one. Though not saying it's higher than what a retailer would sell it for, it's not a price someone who's out to bargain hunt would buy regardless of how rare the PVC is. For me, I bought an Alter Fate Testarossa for $40. It was a no brainer of course but people also value something you value differently.

I would say for a seller if someone seems to be interested in something you have, start up a little convos to ease the mood a little bit and make it feel like it's just you and the buyer in a casual talk. it's swap meet after all and you all are fans and people with the same passion so don't be shy either. Hell, if I see some crap a seller which really catches my attention, I'd start the chat myself regardless whether I buy it or not. Transitioning from casual talk to business talk is a bit of a change but it should be done at the flexibility of the buyer because as a seller, you're goal is to sell and sell everything. They are the ones with the money and you're the one trying to get it ( though I guess the same could be said vice versa). Ask what the person wants to pay for it and make it clear you won't be offended by it. It can go two ways from there: you sell or make a counter-offer. The biggest mistake you could make is to simply say no and end the convos where you turn off the buyger. For example if you have something for $40 and the person says $20, don't give a snobby look but simply say how about $30 or something in between or a bit higher or lower than in between the two prices. That person can either make another counter offer, accept the price or leave. Keep in mind not to make a counter offer retarded as in if the person says $20 for something you want for $40, don't say like... $38. You might as well not even waste your breath unless the person counter offers $30~. It means the person genuinely wants the item so he's scared making a super low ball offer would turn you off from even giving any discount. It's really how good you are at talking (ie. your social skills), how much you want to sell something ( how much you are willing to sacrifice), how much the person wants it and how good you are at interpreting body language and the knowledge of the buyer.

Lastly, you have to consider the items you have and how wanted they are, but keep in mind no matter how wanted it is, it is still a swap meet so setting a price that's outrageous wouldn't work either.

I'm probably not covering stuff I'd like to say atm but once I'm done with my exam(s), I'd have more mental capacity to come up with a more "complete" guide if you call it.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2011, 11:27:44 AM by LordKefka »
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Persona

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Re: Getting people to haggle with you (the seller) at Swap Meet
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2011, 12:13:41 PM »

That's actually really helpful. I'm pretty good at haggling as a buyer, but in the context that no matter what price I offer it's still leaps and bounds over what they paid for it (i.e. Chinese markets). As a seller, though, I still have a good idea of what I paid for the item and what its market price is, which I know is kind of a barrier for me since I'd ideally want as much as possible for it EVEN THOUGH it might not be worth as much anymore and I'd rather just be rid of it.

Then there's always the issue of waiting for someone who will pay full price to come along or taking advantage of an interested but haggling customer. While ideally I'd do something like going lower on Friday, I want to be able to display as much as possible which means selling as much as I bring on Thursday as well. I guess that's more of a personal preference though and something I'd need to evaluate myself.
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FanFicGuru

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Re: Getting people to haggle with you (the seller) at Swap Meet
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2011, 08:17:30 PM »

I have a lower limit on all my goods, but I still ask customers to haggle with me, or to tell me what they can swing for the item. For example I want to sell a DVD set for 40, but I absolutely won't sell it under 25 for example. So someone comes along and say "Eesh, 40's a bit high..." and then I ask them to give me a number instead. If that number is above my lower limit, say like 30, then it's done and done. If they say 20, then I'll say "Can you swing 25? That's the lowest I can go on that item..." and then usually we reach a mutual agreement.

I'd just say that putting it out there is the first step to getting buyers to consider your goods.
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Haruka

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Re: Getting people to haggle with you (the seller) at Swap Meet
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2011, 09:06:29 PM »

This will be my third Swap Meet and I ususally get some great hagglers!  However, I developed a system.  When people ask how much something is, I ask them what they would like to pay.  I also promise them I will not be offended by whatever they offer.  If I agree w/the number they offer, they get the item.  If not, I offer a second or sometimes third number until we agree or the buyer walks.  It's resulted in the sale of most of the items I bring and at pretty reasonable prices, too.
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Hachimitsu-ink

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Becareful how you haggle towards hard working people!
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2011, 11:26:36 PM »

heres a special advise... DO NOT force haggle them by obviously pointing the wrong things at the price..
I had this one horrible person who commented on my friends top-hat and said it should worth 4/5's of its original price because of its original price. My friend never knew it and felt heartbroken. (he was just trying to help for those who needed something for the black and white ball and to pay off a hotel bill)

There was another incident where Someone wanted to buy the keyblade arms playset for a lower price, so he was thinking about it but I over heard a conversation with her friend on the phone and said "if this goes through, I could resell this for a higher price on ebay!..."!. I had to immediatly call my friend and said "don't sell it to her, its not worth". Remember There are certain items that has a high price for a VERY VERY GOOD REASON!

remember just because the item is over priced does'nt mean they are ripping you off, they just know your going to buy it from them and resell it to get a higher profit. except my friend needed the money to pay off a debt to a hotel registration. Hopefully this year we can change that!

If you wanna haggle for a cheaper price, do it like you really mean it and don't back stab them!

If you want to meet him, hes the guy who dress as Tom nook. He took his time to research the items and calculate them. Valued them as how popular they are, to those moments where you think in your head "oh i remember this toy since 1991"

I think this year he is trying to bring back the sailor moon stuff from many other places since it was the one topic clip board to request.
(manga's was the highest followed by the toys)

If anyone wanted some requests your more than welcome to ask away ^_^! since we are focused on bringing some nice items!...

Also heres an important note (if your selling at swapmeet): Look at the customers behaivor and see how they handle the items carefully.. sometimes if they bring a bulk of combinations, then you know theres a sign that he is very interested on those specific items...
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Persona

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Re: Getting people to haggle with you (the seller) at Swap Meet
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2011, 09:02:01 AM »

Haruka/FanFic,

That's some great advice. I'll be sure to try and include some of that during swapmeet =) Thanks!

Hachimitsu,

I've never actually bought anything from swapmeet since I've only been last year and I sold the whole time. However, I agree with a lot of what you're saying -- it's in very poor taste to discuss reselling/"real" prices in front of the seller. Not only does it make the seller feel bad, we're also fans just like you, not dealers, and we sell our things at a loss for the most part. Also, we would of course prefer to sell to people who would really appreciate the item -- I remember selling something to a girl last year who had a bag full of coins but was nearly desperate to have whatever it was, and she was short from my lowest price but I took her up on it anyway because I knew she would really appreciate it.

Basically, there's nothing wrong with making an extra buck, just don't do it in front of the seller's face... we'd be very grateful if you didn't =)
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redroses3164

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Re: Getting people to haggle with you (the seller) at Swap Meet
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2011, 09:40:23 AM »

Anytime I did the swap meet, I never had any hagglers. They just bought it for the price I placed on sticky notes on top of items. I plan to have a sign up saying I'm willing to haggle since I want to try and get rid of most of my stuff. If anyone held any interest in an item however, I usually chatted with them a bit about the series or item or something sort of related to whatever their eyes are on. It usually makes them less shy about things (since...sometimes people won't even say hello despite staring at certain items...)

Though instead of haggling, I might say something like "well...if you buy so and so from me, you can get this for free/discounted price" or some other random offer that comes in my head depending on what the item(s) are if it seems like a good idea and if they look that interested in it but are still wary.
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Persona

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Re: Getting people to haggle with you (the seller) at Swap Meet
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2011, 09:46:53 AM »

Yeah, I actually have a few things I've got tucked away to give out for free (mostly cards and knickknacks and whatnot). I've thought about bringing candy as well for buyers ^^;
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akira_chan

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Re: Getting people to haggle with you (the seller) at Swap Meet
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2011, 04:15:38 AM »

Definitely echoing what LordKefka and Haruka said but here's just some real simple things people forget to do that really help with swap meet whether you're trying to get people to haggle or just buy something from you.

-Smile and say hi to people who pass and stop by and make eye contact with them. If you look friendly and are friendly towards people, it eases people which makes it easier to lead into conversation and eventually into a purchase if not at least a visit back. If you look totally bored and uninterested in being there, you won't have many people haggling with you. Also try not to be upset when people don't greet you back, it happens a lot. Just stay positive. =)

-Make a list of all your items and write down the lowest price possible for each item. This comes in especially handy when you have multiple customers asking you questions as well as if you have a helper/sharing a space so if you have to step out for bathroom break or something else, you can still have your stuff sold and have people haggling without worry about someone selling a high ticket item for stupid cheap.

-It helps to know how to read body language. If someone lingers on something, touches something for about a couple of minutes, kinda winces if they see a pricetag on it, just simply ask "did you have any questions?" or depending on the item, mention something about it like "Ah I remember that item fondly cause of X reason" or something to that. It helps break the ice.

-Always be polite. For example, if you're selling old clothes and costumes and you have a lot of people who are looking at them that don't seem like they're going to fit it, don't give them dirty looks or ignore them. Who knows if they are shopping for someone else? If they do ask for a size, just let them know what the size is. It also helps to label clothing with the size on the price to not have to deal with the question. If they look bummed, try to direct them to other items you're selling that they might be interested in or ask if they have a friend who would be interested in the items. Also note that you will have people coming at you from all directions and its hard to answer everyone all at once so it helps to address each person as a first-come, first-serve basis as quickly and concisely as possible.

-Lay out your items that make it easy for people to access but still close enough to you. Bringing people in some sort of close contact with you will help lead into conversation. This also keeps down on theft as its pretty easy to get caught up in the crowd.

-Make sure you have change and lots of it. I had to refuse sales a couple of times just because I didn't have enough change to break larger bills. Sometimes you can try to convince someone to buy X amount of merchandise from you, but sometimes this also kills your sale. 

-Another part of the be polite thing. Usually when you're setting up, you'll sometimes get people coming to your spot before you have all your things out wanting to buy things. This can be frustrating, but just take it with a grain of salt and mention "I'm still setting up so if you'd like to wait just a minute I can make sure you're getting the best price and best items" or hold a conversation with them while you set up. It makes them stick around, possibly buy more of your things and you aren't snubbing them because you're focused on getting your things set up.

-Always thank people for at least looking or buying something.

I think I listed a bunch of "duh why wouldn't you do that?" type things, but you'd be surprised how much of this kind of thing gets forgotten in the hustle and bustle of the crowds and everything in general.
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Persona

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Re: Getting people to haggle with you (the seller) at Swap Meet
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2011, 03:42:14 PM »

-Make sure you have change and lots of it. I had to refuse sales a couple of times just because I didn't have enough change to break larger bills. Sometimes you can try to convince someone to buy X amount of merchandise from you, but sometimes this also kills your sale.

I know/agree with everything you just said, but this in particular jumped out at me. A lot of people have told me to price things like "One for $5 or Two for $8" so that I can sell more things at a time, but I've found that this tactic actually makes people NOT want to buy anything. The only reason I could think of is that some people think that if they can buy 2 for $8, then buying 1 for $5 isn't worth it since they theoretically could've gotten it for $4 (despite having to spend $8 instead of $5).

Or maybe I'm overthinking and they just didn't want it in the first place -- totally possible too.
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akira_chan

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Re: Getting people to haggle with you (the seller) at Swap Meet
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2011, 04:40:11 AM »

I know/agree with everything you just said, but this in particular jumped out at me. A lot of people have told me to price things like "One for $5 or Two for $8" so that I can sell more things at a time, but I've found that this tactic actually makes people NOT want to buy anything. The only reason I could think of is that some people think that if they can buy 2 for $8, then buying 1 for $5 isn't worth it since they theoretically could've gotten it for $4 (despite having to spend $8 instead of $5).

Or maybe I'm overthinking and they just didn't want it in the first place -- totally possible too.

It really depends on the person and item. Some people have a limited budget and will come by to buy something small to break a big bill so when you try to get them to buy more, they tend to not buy from you. Most times if you do the offer thing you mentioned they'll take it, but for some they're just trying to get smaller bills from you from someone who didn't prepare for large bills and don't have anything else they want.
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Nina Star 9

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Re: Getting people to haggle with you (the seller) at Swap Meet
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2011, 07:56:39 AM »

About how much in change/in what denominations do you guys recommend?

This is my first year selling, so I don't want to be one of the ones that runs out of change!
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FanFicGuru

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Re: Getting people to haggle with you (the seller) at Swap Meet
« Reply #13 on: May 10, 2011, 08:49:30 AM »

About how much in change/in what denominations do you guys recommend?

This is my first year selling, so I don't want to be one of the ones that runs out of change!

I'd say 50 in change: twenty 1's, two 5's and two 10's. If you want to be extra cautious bring 100 in change and make it forty 1's, four 5's and four 10's. That should be plenty. If you are selling something particularly cheap (like me, I'll be selling some magic cards and the commons are worth like a dime each) then make sure you only sell them in whole dollar amounts, so like do a 10/$1 or something like that. There's really no reason to bring a cache of coins, just deal with paper money.
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Re: Getting people to haggle with you (the seller) at Swap Meet
« Reply #14 on: May 10, 2011, 08:54:58 AM »

Another good idea is to start saving up grocery bags!

And to put little items into sandwich bags.
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Persona

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Re: Getting people to haggle with you (the seller) at Swap Meet
« Reply #15 on: May 10, 2011, 09:30:46 AM »

It really depends on the person and item. Some people have a limited budget and will come by to buy something small to break a big bill so when you try to get them to buy more, they tend to not buy from you. Most times if you do the offer thing you mentioned they'll take it, but for some they're just trying to get smaller bills from you from someone who didn't prepare for large bills and don't have anything else they want.

Oh, I didn't even think of that. That makes sense too. Cool, thanks!
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