I've run into adamant, intractable private sellers on three different occasions in recent weeks, and I'm finding their mental attitude almost incomprehensible. In each case the seller argued along the lines that he'd paid X for the article in question, and therefore he wanted to recover as much of that price as possible. The fact that the same article could be bought, brand-new, for a significantly lower price was irrelevant as far as he was concerned.
One of the sellers posted in a repeat advertisement (the fourth for the same item, after he'd turned down at least three fair-market-price offers, including one from me):
No lowball offers. Don't tell me what it's worth or what you can get one for. I know what I paid and I won't give it away.
I just can't understand that attitude. In each case I provided links to current retail prices for new versions of the same items, to illustrate that they were lower than what the seller was asking for a used one, and that I wasn't trying to low-ball the seller but wanted to buy it at a fair price. In each case, the response was cold, almost contemptuous. It seemed to be, "Don't confuse me with the facts - my mind is made up!" In one particular incident, the seller tried to con me into a manifestly unfair trade (to his advantage, not mine), and wouldn't accept that fairness has to apply both ways. He, too, is still trying to sell his item, and has re-listed it for what I think is the fifth or sixth time (despite assuring me he wasn't going to accept my final offer "because he had a better one from someone else", which clearly he didn't).
I'm seeing this crop up in more and more areas of the market right now, including housing and vehicles. Actual market values are ignored as sellers demand unrealistic, unreasonably high prices. Some of them are just plain greedy. Others seem to be conflating the price they paid for something with an emotional investment in it. They're trying to recoup that emotional investment, rather than the item's actual present monetary worth. I can understand someone who needs cash wanting to get the best possible price, but the market sets that price, not the individual. If he demands too much, he'll get nothing at all. (On the other hand, those asking fair and reasonable prices seem to be getting them. If it's something I really want, I don't even haggle - I just buy the thing outright before someone else gets in ahead of me.)
How about you, readers? Have you run into this sort of irrational attitude in your dealings with private sellers? Do you find it's becoming more widespread? Let us know in Comments.
(Shakes head in bewilderment, walks off to seek coffee . . . )