Thank you to admin at Minnesota Demolition Derby Forum for this.
Although not everyone will agree with every detail, here is a great list of buying/selling guidelines posted in their forum:
1. Cash is King. Period.
Don’t ever write a check. Nothing is worse to a seller who negotiates a price by being compensated with a personal check - especially from someone they don't know.
2. When standing next to someone making an offer, show them the cash when you offer it. If you have $200 in your pocket, don’t keep it there. Fan it out and then ask, “Will you take $200?”
3. Don't be unreasonable: the seller needs to make money too. He cannot give you the stuff for free.
4. Set your own price. Don’t be afraid to walk away if the price is more than you set for yourself.
5. Once you start haggling on an item, it is expected that you purchase it once you hit an agreement. Don’t haggle and say, “I’ll have to think about it.” Be ready to shell out your money immediately.
6. Know when to haggle. If it’s a fair price to begin with, don’t ask the seller to knock 40% off his asking price. That’s a sure way to end the negotiations.
7. Don't try to impress when negotiating. If you show up in a $50K truck trying to lowball a guy on a $500 car, don’t expect to get very far. I’m not saying that you should dress like a bum and drive a car that barely gets you there but don’t be flashy or slick.
8. Don't stay too long haggling with the seller. It only creates an angry mood which doesn't result in any benefits.
9. Don’t e-mail or call someone and ask them, “What’s your bottom dollar?” If you're that interested, show up in person and see rules #1 & 2.
You may, however, ask the seller if there's room for negotiation in the asking price. If the price is firm and you can't afford it, you can bow out. If the seller states there is room, don't ask any further. Refer to the Platinum Rule.
10. Do not claim you cannot afford the item. If you can't afford it you shouldn't be trying to buy it.
11. If you are offering a trade, be prepared to show (either in person or detailed photos) of the item you intend to trade.
13. In this day & age, sellers should be including decent pictures of the item. If there aren't pictures, buyer beware. On the other hand, how many pictures does a buyer really need to see?
14. Don't ask for the price to be lowered simply because the item is located a considerable distance from you. If you're not willing to make the drive or offer to pay for the shipping (if the item is easily shipped), don't even bother inquiring! Fuel is expensive but if you're interested, take the plunge, buy some gas and go look at it in person.
15. Point out imperfections in the item for sale. It may help you get a lower price but use this tactic with caution as this may very likely backfire if you pick an item/car apart - the seller may back out of negotiations.
16. Be on time. When you agree to look at or take delivery of an item, be courteous to the seller by 1 - actually showing up and 2 - being on time.
17. Stop the tire kicking. Enough with the questions & picture requests already! Past experience has shown the more pictures "buyers" want to see, the less likely they are to buy.
As for questions, do you really need a damn Carfax report when you're buying a derby car? If you've seen pictures & have a description, what else is there to ask besides, "Can I come and look at it in person?"
18. When responding to an ad in a forum such as here or wecrash, don't reply to the thread with an offer - that's nothing but grandstanding. Keep that for the derby. Simply follow the seller's contact information and the Platinum Rule.
Happy buying & selling.
Clinton Krueger Sedgwick County, Colorado Be stronger than your excuses.