Friday, September 11, 2009

Sony Bravia LCD - Price Negotiation Or Just Plain Lying?

Here's the setup...

I'm selling a new in the box Sony Bravia 46" LCD with 1080P, 120Hz, drink holder, pistol-grip gearshist, etc. It retails, on for around $1200. The KDL-46V5100, refurbished, goes for around $900. So Craigslist codbags are pulling there usual "I'll give you $200 cash TODAY." offers (BTW - when did the US dollar become so valuable that I can take $700 less on a TV because someone's offering cash?)

Anyway, I get someone in the store that claims that my price is too high because he can get that exact model at Wal-Mart for around $700 and will I beat their price? As I've stated in past articles, I'm not all that bright but I know that even the mighty Wal-Mart can't get a 46" 1080P, 120Hz LCD in your hands for that kind of money. And a Sony Bravia to boot.

I get this a lot from customers and I've begun to wonder when lying became a negotiating tactic as opposed to just flat out lying. I actually get this from a lot of people that insist everyone know how Christian they are. Maybe Jesus would misquote a Wal-Mart price to get a great deal on a sweet LCD, I don't know. When a customer goes down this road, you're pretty much forced into the position of either giving them what they want or embarassing them by calling them out on their lie.

Here's what I usually say... "That sounds pretty low to me but I'll tell you what, if they have it at that price, I'll beat it by 25% but if it's not available at that price will you buy mine at my price?"

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Multi-Million Dollar Celebrity Cod-Bag

Great Job Ebay. The world now knows you pander to cod-bags. Last week some poor old lady auctioned off her husband’s burial vault above Marilyn Monroe’s. (Now I don’t want to go into how creepy it is that her husband was entombed face-down above Monroe’s corpse because it has nothing to do with this rant, but it is kinda creepy. Right?)

Anyway, the auction started at half a million. World news organizations followed the auction, conveniently driving up the bid and eBay’s profits. The price meandered up and ended (sniper-free) at $4,602,100.00 and then something all too familiar happened. Two days after bidding ended the seller received this message from her Japanese winner:
'I am awfully sorry but I need to cancel this because of the paying problem,'
Ah yes, the old “paying problem” as in, “Oh shit, I didn’t realize I actually had to pay.”

Now the news feeds have started reporting this act of Cod-Bagery and people around the world are stunned that eBay provides sellers no recourse against deadbeat bidders. How can it be?

So I got this idea. If you can’t beat Cod-Bags, why not join them? What would happen if all our readers formed a cod-bag flash mob? Rather than meeting in some public place dressed like Pac-Man or Mario, we would create clandestine buyer accounts and use them to win high-profile eBay auctions and then Cod-Bag out on them? I’m talking every date with a celebrity, every Bond car, and every pair of Kim Kardashian’s panties… We bid, we win, we flake! Of coarse I am not suggesting anyone go out and do it. Wink, wink. But what if? Ebay wants to give buyers all the power. Why not use it to bring them down. It wouldn’t take too many more high-profile Cod-Bags for them to be forced into action. Popular opinion would eventually drive them to modify their obscenely biased policy.

Ebay has since revoked the bidder’s account. Odd, they never yanked any of the Cod-Bags that stiffed me. I wonder where the cut-off is. $4 Million? $4.5? An opening monologue on Leno? I wonder. I wonder how many times they would need to be in the news before they made it policy to revoke all Cod-Bags who bid and bail.

Wanna find out?

What’s the lowest you’ll go on that LG Stainless Washing Machine?

This is a question I’ve gotten about kajillion times and most recently got yesterday about a really expensive brand new LG washing machine and an Xbox 360.

What is the lowest I’ll go on that LG Stainless Washing Machine and why, in the name of all that is holy, would I answer that question? Now, I’m not formally trained in the art of negotiation but I’ve dealt with many people who think they are channeling Donald Trump. I’m fairly certain you don’t want to just blurt out you’re lowest price and there’s more than one reason for it.

When you take that bait, you’re actually negotiating with yourself and giving up any leverage you might have. Here’s a short list of possible bad outcomes from giving in to this even one time

  1. The price on every product you sell is now up for negotiation.
  2. If they actually purchase that LG washing machine or LCD TV, they ask for further discounts when they also buy HDMI cables, Blu-Ray Players, etc because they are buying so much stuff.
  3. The bottom price you just gave that customer to make the sale is now going to be the index for every other sale you make to that customer and anybody they know.
  4. The customer may not even be buying at any price. Some people just enjoy seeing how much they can get you to lower your price. When they say “thanks” or “I’ll think about it” and walk out of your store, you will feel like a complete douche.

Here’s the simple way to counter this tactic. Instead of giving them a lower price, have the customer make an offer. It establishes that they are serious about buying and that they do have a price in mind that they are willing to pay.