Well, if people have a good reason to sell, some motivation, it helps to resolve the "why sell it otherwise?" question. If there is no real good answer to that, maybe the item is crap, or the person selling is just selling because they can sell, or they really need to sell.
Knowing those things helps a buyer get a read on the purchase.
When doing business of any kind, information is power. The more you have, the more it's worth. I never, ever turn down information, and in fact, will often work to get more, if I see something that does not add up on a very basic level. Saved my ass any number of times.
Want to sell? Probably a good item, but also not worth taking a big loss, or underselling. Good deal, solid price most of the time. Need to sell? Well, deal hard! There is a chance at a great deal, low price, because their position is far weaker.
On buying, works the same way. If you have to buy, you are gonna pay the max. If you want to buy, you pay what you think something is worth. If the seller knows that, they've got power, and this is what that means:
The last time I bought a new car? Saved me nearly $15K. Kicked the shit out of the dealer, because I did my homework on the worth of the car, knew their costs, and waited until they needed the deal. Divide that sum by the hours invested, and I probably paid myself close to 1K / hour for sitting on my ass doing research, and asking a few questions.
Recommended. I've had people pay me $1000 to buy them a car, because doing that isn't easy, and when you do it the way I did, the savings are significant, but the purchase isn't easy. Like doing battle. Why pay $1000? Well, if I save the person 10K, no brainer. That's a 9K return, easy money. For me, $40 hour or so side money, for having a bit of fun!
The last deal I closed was the same way. Got top margin, simply because I had the information necessary to show very high value for the product. Where that's the case, why not pay the solid price? The value is high, the return is there, so it's a no-brainer. (I don't do deals often, because I'm technical, but if I have to, I'll go close it old school, good margin.)
If you don't do that gathering of information and managing your position, then it's down to who will or can sell for the lowest, or it's the highest cost you can bear. That's a race to the bottom, and not good for anybody in the end.
Finally, on my services, same thing. Do the work, show the value, charge the higher rate, make the solid margin, earning the most per year, per hour of labor.
Given these things, any seller who is a bit chatty is worth some attention. You might learn something, and what you learn may well pay off very significantly.
Any buyer would be wise to manage what they let the seller know, and be careful to buy from a solid position, meaning you are able to walk from a deal that's not what you want. It's a given the seller is managing what they know, unless it's personal and casual, which is one of the attractions here, BTW.
This works like the lotto. You can't win, if you don't play.
Edited by potatohead, Wed Feb 23, 2011 11:31 PM.