How to Negotiate a lower price on OfferUp

Negotiating a lower price on OfferUp, or any online marketplace, can be an effective way to save money, but it's important to approach it with respect and politeness. We must remember that negotiating is not about cheating anyone out of a deal but more about making sure everyone is okay with the deal that's being made. In this guide, we will cover the basis of what makes a good negotiation and how to transfer those ideas to an actual OfferUp trade.

10/20/20237 min read

For starters, the definition of a negotiation is the process of communication and interaction between two or more parties who have differing interests, objectives, or viewpoints with the aim of reaching an agreement or resolving a dispute. Negotiations can occur in various contexts, including business, diplomacy, personal relationships, legal matters, and more.

As the definition implies, the main point of a negotiation is to reach an agreement or resolve a dispute. To do this effectively, both parties must be honest about each other's goals and interests to be able to settle on an agreement. The best way to receive honesty is first to put it out first as a form of trust between you and the seller/buyer. Once an honest exchange can be made, both parties will be able to negotiate freely and come to an agreement much quicker. If it is the case that an agreement cannot be made under any circumstance, chances are it's better to leave the deal and walk away.

The same actions can be made while making exchanges on OfferUp, as you will have to negotiate prices depending on the product you are getting in exchange. Except in this type of negotiation, the goals of each party are fairly easy to understand, the buyer wants the cheapest price on the goods in question and the seller wants the highest prices for the goods being sold. Below are some tips for trying to lower the price of any item made by sellers.

Research the Item:

The number one rule in negotiating a lower price on OfferUp is to always do some research before agreeing to see the seller. How would you know how much to lower the price of an item if you don't know how much the item is valued to begin with? Doing easy research on Google under the shopping category can give you a valuation of your buying price.

In my case, I would usually look at the value of the product if it was brand new. If the price of the item on OfferUp is similar to the price on Google, you must assume you will be getting the same value. If you are not getting the same value as a brand-new product, you can start to negotiate the OfferUp price to a lower price. The grounds that can determine a lower negotiated price include the age of the product, the condition of the product, and the demand for the product.

If a product is older, the lower the price will be. On average, prices of non-appreciating items will tend to decrease in value by 5%-15% a year. However many other factors will say otherwise so be wary. If somehow the item is in high demand, the price may fall much slower or outright increase. To determine if an item is high in demand, simply look at how many other sellers there are on the market for the item you are trying to buy. After that, check if the aged price rule applies, if the item is older than five years you can assume its value should have at least dropped by 25%-75%, if this is not the case, the item is definitely in demand. Next, we will determine the condition of the item, depending on what is important to the functionality of the item, prices will drop significantly. An example is having a new car that does not start, defects like these will usually end up dropping the price of the car by half or more due to the Idea that the item no longer functions as intended.

Although researching an item can go deeper than this, the ideas talked about can be a good rule to follow for beginners. For a more easier approach, simply look at what other sellers are pricing similar items of the same make and model. By using what you know in your research, you can use this as justification to negotiate a lower price for the items you want to buy on OfferUp.

Respect the other party:

Being polite and respectful can go a long way in winning a deal, from all of my experience trading on OfferUp, I have literally got $5-$10 discounts by just asking politely if the seller was okay with it. Make sure to always had a good attitude, even if you found out that you were in on a bad deal. By keeping a consistent good attitude, the seller will respect you and feel safe making them likely be more open to changes to the deal.

Besides these points, the best way to show respect for a seller is to show them you are serious. First be friendly by respectfully messaging the seller and addressing them by their name, if possible, and express your interest in the item. Make sure to make your interest known in a brief statement no longer than two sentences. If your interest is expressed in more than two sentences, it makes the seller feel pushed into the deal. to show respect, you have to make the seller feel comfortable, so make sure to interact normally as you would in a normal face-to-face trade.

Next is to make sure you respond to messages in a timely manner. Conversations should continue in 15-30 min intervals. Although you may not receive the same treatment, consistently following this interval rule will definitely make the seller feel appreciated.

Ask Questions:

Engage in a conversation with the seller by asking questions about the item's condition, history, and any included accessories. This helps build rapport and shows genuine interest.

Although you may be interested, you have to make sure that the seller also knows that. Asking questions that you generally need to know about the item before meeting up is a way of showing the seller that you are serious. However, make sure not to overdo it by asking too many questions as this will soon create tension between you and the seller. By asking too many questions, the seller will feel that their item is not up to your standard and will feel disrespected. Don't be surprised if sellers tend to not respond back after so many questions. A general rule of thumb is to ask a maximum of three questions before a meetup, if you find yourself asking more than three questions, chances are it's more of the seller's fault for not marketing the item properly on OfferUp which in turn is disrespecting to the buyer.

If the item you want is a digital device or tool, make sure to ask if you are able to try it out before buying. Some sellers may not be ok giving a demo because some digital devices and tools require either and outlet or a workstation to properly run. As a word of advice, I would recommend actually trying out the product first before buying under most circumstances. Most of the items that was a waste of money for me were actually these types of items due to not being able to check them properly before buying.

Highlight Concerns:

If everything pans out as planned on the OfferUp chat and the item and seller seems trustworthy, now its time to meet up in person to view the item physically. At this point, you may ask more questions about the item, politely point out any concerns you have about the item, such as its condition, age, or any missing parts. This can be a subtle way to indicate that you think the price should be lower.

If the item is a digital device or tool, make sure to turn it on or try using it before buying the product. If the product is not working as expected, this is grounds to ask for a cheaper price, If the product is not working at all you can literally cut the product price in half or may even get it for free. Even if the item is working, look for missing parts that should be included, things should as batteries and extra bulbs that was included in the original may be useful when trying to get a deal.

Make sure to look at the item for as much wear and tear as possible to use as grounds to lower the price of the item. The best why to know what wear and tear looks like is by comparing the original new item to the item you are trying to buy. You are looking for differences between a new and used version of the same item. Are there scratches were there shouldn't be? Is there discoloration in the item? Does the item look dirty?

Always inspect quickly to keep good rapport with the seller, If you take more than three minutes inspecting and inquirying about the item, you will likely lose a bit of momentum when trying to ask for a deal. Every additional minute from there makes the chances drop lower and lower. Make sure to let the seller know your biggest concerns and if the concerns were spotted in their item, you will likely be able to get a discount if you are able to sprout a counter offer within the first three minutes of the trade.

And as common sense, always make new deals in a polite manner. Have a good attitude even if the item was not as intended.

Meet in the Middle:

Once, you have researched your item, created a good rapport with the seller, and worked towards a counter offer, seller may still wont budge on their price point. As this point, you have two options, the first is to negotiate a new counter offer with the seller. If the seller believes their Item is worth more, simply offer a higher purchase until it is a reasonable price for both parties. If somehow the price wont budge at all, ask for compensation in the form of free accessories such as covers or batteries. Things such as free shipping or a refunds can also be added for long distance trade deals.

If some how a new counter offer can not be agreed on, its probably time to use the 2nd option which is simply just to walk away from the deal. Chances are if you are smart enough to inquire about a discount, you will probably be able to find another item of the same quality somewhere else. Feel free to walk away if you feel the deal does not look right.

In conclusion, negotiating a lower price on OfferUp can be a rewarding process if approached with patience, courtesy, and strategic thinking. Remember that successful negotiations are built on open communication and a willingness to find common ground. Start by doing your research to understand the fair market value of the item you're interested in. Be respectful and courteous in your initial messages, expressing genuine interest in the item. Make sure to inspect the item properly for any wear and tear. Be sure to try to make counter offers within the first three minutes of the trade. And if the trade doesn't look good, feel free to make another counter offer or walk away.