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View Full Version : Ukulele in Pawn Shop - Should I try and low ball it ?



greatone88
07-08-2016, 09:12 AM
Howdy all, looking for a little advice please. At a local pawn shop I found a Lanikai CKCGC Concert Ukulele. It looks nice and I like the sound of it. I inspected it and I don't see any issues with it. They are asking 149$ for the Uke and I see that it sells in the 250$ to 275$ range new. It has been in that pawn shop for at least 6 months and I was thinking about walking in and say I will get you 50 bucks for it. I figure it hasn't sold in a least half a year and they will probably let it go for less than what they are asking. What do you guys think???? Am I offering too low a price?

Thanks,
Jim

cml
07-08-2016, 09:22 AM
Do you want or need it?
If not, then no, and keep your 50-100$ and put them towards a nicer uke!

pbagley
07-08-2016, 09:23 AM
You may be low-balling excessively at $50. If it were me I would ask if they were willing to entertain offers on the item. If they reply with a flat "No" then move on, they do not want your business. But if they are willing to work the price then you can start seeing where bottom dollar is. I've seen some brokers tell me honestly what they paid for an item and then offer it to me for a very slight mark-up. I've seen others that poisoned their own well.

Mr. cml (or is it Ms.?) slipped in some advice while I was typing. Good common sense - if you don't need it then save your money. But where's the fun in that?

Good luck!

greatone88
07-08-2016, 09:35 AM
I have a Cordoba 23T-CE that I love and the day I brought it home from work(shipped it to work), I stopped into that Pawn shop and saw the Lanikai Uke. It is now 6 months later and it is still there. The wife doesn't want me to take my Cordoba to the beach and possibly get ruined so she approved me to get a less pricier Uke for the beach. I figure if I am going to pay 75$ish for a beach Uke, I should try and get the one at the Pawn shop as it would be a much better instrument and I can string it with a low G. This way I can one with a high G and one with a low G. She wont know any better that it isn't really a beach Uke, all she needs to know it is a Uke purchased at the price of a beach Uke :)

So my answer is I do need another Uke and if the price is right, this would fit the bill.

I noticed that also had a soft case for it. I could offer to 80 or 90 bucks for both and see if they bite. I like the idea of asking if the price is negotiable and will mention the fact that is has been sitting there a long time. I think I will do that today on my way home from work.

bearbike137
07-08-2016, 09:44 AM
Thanks to the internet, the days of screaming pawn shop deals are long gone...

cml
07-08-2016, 09:46 AM
Mr. cml (or is it Ms.?) slipped in some advice while I was typing. Good common sense - if you don't need it then save your money. But where's the fun in that?
Good luck!
I am quite sure it's Mr ;).

Booli
07-08-2016, 10:16 AM
You may be low-balling excessively at $50. If it were me I would ask if they were willing to entertain offers on the item. If they reply with a flat "No" then move on, they do not want your business. But if they are willing to work the price then you can start seeing where bottom dollar is. I've seen some brokers tell me honestly what they paid for an item and then offer it to me for a very slight mark-up. I've seen others that poisoned their own well.

+1 on this ^

See how flexible they are. If you go in hardcore to lowball, you could offend the seller, and then the whole deal becomes NO DEAL as it has already soured before any haggling take place...

In similar situations, I always start off by asking if they are flexible, and then what do they need to clear to be happy with the sale, and then go from there.

I find that lots of times the 'sticker price' is set just high enough to keep the tire-kickers away, and that if you ask nicely, most folks will respond in kind...

Good luck either way and please post a follow-up if you do buy it.

sam13
07-08-2016, 11:02 AM
Make an offer ... a decent price and if they don't take it then move on.

You don't need to be cheap ...

Nickie
07-08-2016, 03:47 PM
The price they are asking probably isn't unreasonable. As sam13 said, you don't need to be cheap. If cheap is what you want, buy a Bugs Gear from Mim to play at the beach.

Twibbly
07-08-2016, 04:22 PM
We've had pawn shops make us awesome deals when we were discussing whether something would be in budget. The last was the tablet I'm typing this on - a Samsung Galaxy S that had been sitting there for a while apparently. I knew it was out of my price range and said so to my husband. The lady working there asked what my price range was. I told her, and ended up with a tablet that goes for $350 and up online (and was marked as $349) for about $200. It's worth a shot. If they haven't had any good nibbles on it, they might just do it to get it out of their shop.

UkerDanno
07-08-2016, 04:52 PM
II noticed that also had a soft case for it. I could offer to 80 or 90 bucks for both and see if they bite. I like the idea of asking if the price is negotiable and will mention the fact that is has been sitting there a long time. I think I will do that today on my way home from work.

offer $80 and see what they say!

greatone88
07-08-2016, 05:18 PM
I went to the Pawn shop on my way home from work today and picked up the uke and played it for about 5 minutes (It was already tuned) and a salesperson came up to me and started a conversation. I let him know I was looking for a secondary Uke for the beach and that I had a wife approved budget. I asked if they were flexible in the price and he said yes, so I made him what I thought was a fair office. I told him my max budget was 100$ for the uke and case and if he could do that, I would buy it on the spot. He said he would go look it up and when he came back he told 106.75$ out the door. I said yes and now I have a nice Uke for the price of a "Beach Uke". I think I got lucky to get it at that price and I am set for 4 days of sitting at the beach playing. Here is a picture of my beauty.

http://i64.tinypic.com/2akzyr.jpg

OhioBelle
07-08-2016, 07:43 PM
Kudos on the negotiation! I own that same model and agree it's worth more than you paid. Mine was by far the best playing laminate on the wall at GC that day. It didn't hurt that the brown curly koa lam was so nice, and looked so good with the creamy maple binding and blue abalone rosette.

Mine is office-uke. Yours will make an outstanding beach uke.

padlin
07-08-2016, 11:01 PM
I've heard Pawn shops look at ebay to see what they can sell an item for. A quick search shows the last one sold in May for $100, plus shipping. Pretty dang close to what you paid.

UkerDanno
07-09-2016, 03:26 AM
Awesome deal! Enjoy! I always liked that model, shopped ebay a couple years ago, they had some blems on sale, made several offers, but it never went through.

PhilUSAFRet
07-09-2016, 04:02 AM
Congrats! A very handsome $100 uke. It should hold up well at the beach. Just insure you wipe off the "salt air"...assuming it's a saltwater beach, especially from the metal hardware on both the uke and the case.

UncleMoon
07-09-2016, 04:24 AM
I have a Cordoba 23T-CE that I love and the day I brought it home from work(shipped it to work), I stopped into that Pawn shop and saw the Lanikai Uke. It is now 6 months later and it is still there. The wife doesn't want me to take my Cordoba to the beach and possibly get ruined so she approved me to get a less pricier Uke for the beach. I figure if I am going to pay 75$ish for a beach Uke, I should try and get the one at the Pawn shop as it would be a much better instrument and I can string it with a low G. This way I can one with a high G and one with a low G. She wont know any better that it isn't really a beach Uke, all she needs to know it is a Uke purchased at the price of a beach Uke :)

So my answer is I do need another Uke and if the price is right, this would fit the bill.

I noticed that also had a soft case for it. I could offer to 80 or 90 bucks for both and see if they bite. I like the idea of asking if the price is negotiable and will mention the fact that is has been sitting there a long time. I think I will do that today on my way home from work.

For the record.. this is always the answer. Everyone ALWAYS needs another uke.

It's like asking "do you want a cookie?" - I ALWAYS want a cookie.

UncleMoon
07-09-2016, 04:26 AM
I finally got thru the whole thread. Congrats on a screamin' deal. Nice looking little machine there.

OhioBelle
07-09-2016, 07:30 AM
For the record.. this is always the answer. Everyone ALWAYS needs another uke.

It's like asking "do you want a cookie?" - I ALWAYS want a cookie.

This. THE BEST

Booli
07-09-2016, 08:12 AM
Congrats on your NUD and advancing UAS! :music:

greatone88
07-10-2016, 02:32 AM
Thank you everyone for your words of advice and encouragement !! It is a little weird playing the concert since I have been playing the Tenor for about 6 months now.

strumsilly
07-10-2016, 04:50 AM
Thanks to the internet, the days of screaming pawn shop deals are long gone...
yea, back in the day I got a KKeiki for $35.

Nickie
07-10-2016, 02:50 PM
Congrats! It looks like everyone got what they wanted. Nice looking uke.

Jim Yates
07-10-2016, 05:28 PM
Is it standard practice to ask one price and bargain down when selling an instrument?
I recall advertising a guitar in The Buy & Sell paper and having a fellow make the drive from Toronto to Baltimore, Ontario. When he got there, he started offering me less than I'd asked. I told him that if I'd been willing to take less than the asking price, I'd have set a lower price.
He left in a huff all p!$$ed off at me for making him take an unnecessary 4 hour round trip. The asking price was clearly stated in the ad, but he figured that since I didn't put "firm" that I should be willing to bargain. I hate bargaining. My asking price is what I'm willing to take.

stevepetergal
07-10-2016, 06:10 PM
I say offer 15 bucks and go no higher than 50. It's worth no more than that.

stevepetergal
07-10-2016, 06:12 PM
Is it standard practice to ask one price and bargain down when selling an instrument?
I recall advertising a guitar in The Buy & Sell paper and having a fellow make the drive from Toronto to Baltimore, Ontario. When he got there, he started offering me less than I'd asked. I told him that if I'd been willing to take less than the asking price, I'd have set a lower price.
He left in a huff all p!$$ed off at me for making him take an unnecessary 4 hour round trip. The asking price was clearly stated in the ad, but he figured that since I didn't put "firm" that I should be willing to bargain. I hate bargaining. My asking price is what I'm willing to take.

Then that's not an asking price. If you called it an asking price, the guy should be upset. You misled him. It's not standard to bargain with an asking price, it's an absolute. Price is the price, Asking price is NOT.

UkingViking
07-10-2016, 07:45 PM
Is it standard practice to ask one price and bargain down when selling an instrument?
I recall advertising a guitar in The Buy & Sell paper and having a fellow make the drive from Toronto to Baltimore, Ontario. When he got there, he started offering me less than I'd asked. I told him that if I'd been willing to take less than the asking price, I'd have set a lower price.
He left in a huff all p!$$ed off at me for making him take an unnecessary 4 hour round trip. The asking price was clearly stated in the ad, but he figured that since I didn't put "firm" that I should be willing to bargain. I hate bargaining. My asking price is what I'm willing to take.

I dont know if selling second hand items is done differently from one contry to the other, but in Denmark I would always expect the buyer to try bargaining when I sell something online. Hence I will always price the item 25%-50% higher than the lowest price I will accept, allowing for negotiations. That doesnt mean that the starting price will be unfair, it will still be way cheaper than buying new. In your case that guy should definately have tried bargaining before taking the drive.

Now OP made a nice deal, but when someone before the deal said that he should "not be cheap" and "offer a fair price", it a truth with modifications. Bargaining works both ways, and you must expect a counteroffer when you ask for a discount. If he truly only wanted to pay 75$ he should bid lower than that. He would probably not bebtaken serious offering 50$, so it is a good thing that he could afford a more reasonable price :-)

In Denmark, it is my opinion that offering less than half the asked price for something is kind of insulting.
But if you ever visit Marocco, don't ever pay half of what the ask, then you are ripped off!

kohanmike
07-10-2016, 08:07 PM
I agree with Steve, saying "asking price" would mean there's room for negotiation, saying "price is firm" makes it very clear there is not negotiation.

blodzoom
07-11-2016, 08:06 AM
I agree with Steve, saying "asking price" would mean there's room for negotiation, saying "price is firm" makes it very clear there is not negotiation.

If he's asking $1000 and you only have $800, do you drive 4 hours hoping that you can buy it? Should have talked price before leaving the house.

Twibbly
07-11-2016, 10:00 AM
Then that's not an asking price. If you called it an asking price, the guy should be upset. You misled him. It's not standard to bargain with an asking price, it's an absolute. Price is the price, Asking price is NOT.

In my world, asking price is the price you're asking. Doesn't necessarily mean you're willing to lower it.

cml
07-11-2016, 10:17 AM
It's ALWAYS up to the seller whether yhe price is firm or not, regardless of wording and it's ALWAYS the buyer who has the power to either accept it or walk away.

I negotiate only if I think something is overpriced and I want it. If there's no room for negotiations in that case, well then I can find something else. If the price is fair however, why haggle? For the sake of it? I think not.

In Sweden, that's how it is I think - fair price equals no haggling snd stupid prices equals haggling and sometimes angry sellers.

Colonel Uke
07-11-2016, 10:19 AM
Nice puchase! I buy from pawn shops pretty frequently and have found that as a general rule of thumb, whatever their asking price is, they paid about a third of that to the person who sold it to them. I generally will offer half the asking price as my opening offer and generally due pretty well. The longer they sit on an an item unsold, the more willing they are to negotiate. I'd be willing to bet they paid $50 or less for the uke. They still made a decent profit off you, and you got a good deal. Win/ Win.

Booli
07-11-2016, 01:54 PM
Nice puchase! I buy from pawn shops pretty frequently and have found that as a general rule of thumb, whatever their asking price is, they paid about a third of that to the person who sold it to them. I generally will offer half the asking price as my opening offer and generally due pretty well. The longer they sit on an an item unsold, the more willing they are to negotiate. I'd be willing to bet they paid $50 or less for the uke. They still made a decent profit off you, and you got a good deal. Win/ Win.

:agree:

This is somewhat confirmed also by the so called 'reality' shows on TV here in the USA called 'Pawn Stars' http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1492088/ and 'Hardcore Pawn' http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1674417/.

Jim Yates
07-12-2016, 11:04 AM
Does this haggling apply only to instruments? Should I also haggle for CDs? -for jewelry? -for a loaf of bread?

I use the term "asking price" here, but didn't use it in the ad, nor did I use the word "firm". I think the ad said something like, "1965 Gibson ES175 with hard shell case - $XXX." I don't recall the actual price, since this was a number of years ago.

Booli
07-12-2016, 12:03 PM
Does this haggling apply only to instruments? Should I also haggle for CDs? -for jewelry? -for a loaf of bread?

I use the term "asking price" here, but didn't use it in the ad, nor did I use the word "firm". I think the ad said something like, "1965 Gibson ES175 with hard shell case - $XXX." I don't recall the actual price, since this was a number of years ago.

It's been my experience with IN-PERSON transactions, for USED items, AND an ALL-CASH transaction, that literally EVERYTHING is negotiable.

BRAND NEW/RETAIL items are a different story.

Everyone I have ever met expects this convention to be the normal way of doing things.

Booli
07-12-2016, 12:14 PM
It's been my experience with IN-PERSON transactions, for USED items, AND an ALL-CASH transaction, that literally EVERYTHING is negotiable.

BRAND NEW/RETAIL items are a different story.

Everyone I have ever met expects this convention to be the normal way of doing things.

Yes I know I'm quoting myself but wanted to add...

I consider it my due diligence to speak with the seller on the telephone prior to the meeting, to get an understanding if there is any wiggle room, and any additional details that were left out of the written description (there are always omitted details)...and try to achieve an understanding that a final sale price cannot be determined until the item is fully inspected and tested either by me (for computers, electronics or music-related) or the expert (for cars, motorcycles, boats) that I bring with me. If the seller will not agree to this, then I do not bother at all.

It is only after seeing the item hands-on that I can determine if the 'asking price' is fair, and quite a few times, in fact it was, and I paid it without any arm-twisting...but if you dont EXPECT that the buyer will want to, and should check out the items in person before you both agree on a possibly modified price, then you are just being naiive...

UkingViking
07-12-2016, 08:42 PM
It's been my experience with IN-PERSON transactions, for USED items, AND an ALL-CASH transaction, that literally EVERYTHING is negotiable.

BRAND NEW/RETAIL items are a different story.

Everyone I have ever met expects this convention to be the normal way of doing things.

I agree on this.
That being said, of course you can write "Fixed price", "Price is firm" etc. to avoid most haggling when selling.

When buying, should you haggle?
I guess it depends. If you buy a used item for 60% of the retail price, then discovers that the seller might have accepted 40% of the retail price, will you feel that you made a bad deal?
Depends on how much you wanted the item I guess. If you were going to buy it retail anyway, you will be happy about your saving. If you didn't really know if it was the thing you wanted, and the money in difference is significant, you might have remorse.
So if you really want it, also at the initial price, you can just purchase it. Once you start haggling and the seller will not give any discount whatsoever, you have lost face and "need" to leave without buying. You just said the the initial price was too high, you can't admit to being a liar and pay it anyway. That is a pity if it was a steal at the initial price.
Mostly haggle when your "threat" of not buying is sincere.
When haggling there is a psychological game. The seller will try to tell how badly you want the item. Having invested hours driving before looking at an object leaves a buyer in a pretty bad spot for negotiations, as he is obviously very interested in the object.

Choirguy
07-13-2016, 01:41 AM
On Craigslist, I send an e-mail with a potential offer and ask them to get back to me if they think they could live with it. Of course, that amount is dependent upon satisfaction with the item.

So far, that is working. People generally agree to the price or don't respond.

I even did this with my most recent car purchase.

That said, a pawn store is a completely different situation, where the pawn store is really in control of both the purchase price and the selling price. You can make an offer and feel good about it, but no pawn dealer is going to lose money on a sale (unless they bought a fake item in the first place). Otherwise, they wouldn't be in business long.

I enjoy watching all/any of the pawn reality shows...many neat items come through those shops!

kkimura
07-13-2016, 02:58 AM
Does this haggling apply only to instruments? Should I also haggle for CDs? -for jewelry? -for a loaf of bread?

I use the term "asking price" here, but didn't use it in the ad, nor did I use the word "firm". I think the ad said something like, "1965 Gibson ES175 with hard shell case - $XXX." I don't recall the actual price, since this was a number of years ago.

I always haggle aggressively when buying pawn shop bread.

GinnyT11
07-13-2016, 03:25 AM
I always haggle aggressively when buying pawn shop bread.

Right, because you don't know how long it's been sitting in the shop.

PeteyHoudini
07-14-2016, 03:09 PM
I enjoy watching all/any of the pawn reality shows...many neat items come through those shops!

Me too. My dad and I enjoyed doing that while having more than a few drinks! hehe

Petey

Jim Yates
07-15-2016, 08:43 AM
Does that mean I should never list my instruments at what I consider a fair price, but should add on a percentage in anticipation of haggling?
The ES175 had a few dust scratches, but was in fine shape for a ten year old guitar and was a great deal at under $1000, even twenty years ago. I would rather keep it or give it to a relative than drop the price.

cml
07-15-2016, 08:49 AM
Does that mean I should never list my instruments at what I consider a fair price, but should add on a percentage in anticipation of haggling?
The ES175 had a few dust scratches, but was in fine shape for a ten year old guitar and was a great deal at under $1000, even twenty years ago. I would rather keep it or give it to a relative than drop the price.
I dont think so Jim, but some people (most?) seem to be of that opinion here. To me, if a price is fair - I wont haggle. If it's overpriced, I'll either haggle to see if someone has indeed overpriced it or leave it well alone.

Mivo
07-15-2016, 09:03 AM
This thread opened my eyes a little. I didn't think it was so common to inflate the asking price in expectation of haggling. Culturally, I think I come from a background where haggling is seen as a bit rude or insulting to the seller, and it's not something I enjoy doing. Feels kind of embarrassing. Then again, I rarely buy anything used, and if the price seems all right to me, then I'll pay it. (I think I have some 250 completed transactions on eBay, and I never once placed an actual bid.)

cml
07-15-2016, 09:11 AM
This thread opened my eyes a little. I didn't think it was so common to inflate the asking price in expectation of haggling. Culturally, I think I come from a background where haggling is seen as a bit rude or insulting to the seller, and it's not something I enjoy doing. Feels kind of embarrassing. Then again, I rarely buy anything used, and if the price seems all right to me, then I'll pay it. (I think I have some 250 completed transactions on eBay, and I never once placed an actual bid.)
Agreed, it actually worries me a bit...personally I'd think twice to buy a used uke here on the forum now, as it seems many people inflate prices? I had one person (who shall remain unnamed of course) who showed interest in my Gretsch try to haggle it down further, even though I was at 50% of what I bought it for at the time. When I replied, very nicely, that I thought that my price was fair already - this person didnt even get back to me. Is that the kind of culture that we want here?

But, I am guessing it's all down to cultural differences and that all is well.

UkingViking
07-15-2016, 09:48 AM
This thread opened my eyes a little. I didn't think it was so common to inflate the asking price in expectation of haggling. Culturally, I think I come from a background where haggling is seen as a bit rude or insulting to the seller, and it's not something I enjoy doing. Feels kind of embarrassing. Then again, I rarely buy anything used, and if the price seems all right to me, then I'll pay it. (I think I have some 250 completed transactions on eBay, and I never once placed an actual bid.)

I think "inflating" is a harsh word. The fact is that a second hand item usually don't have an objective correct fair price. It all depends on whether you find someone who wants it.
The lowest price you are willing so sell something for is probably way lower than what you thought the item was worth when you bought it, unless you bought it second hand yourself.
If you are willing to sell for 35% of what you paid yourself for an instrument, it doesn't mean that 50% is not a fair price.
I only ever sold a few items online, but with those I sold I always set the price so I could sell to a non-haggling buyer and still feel that they made a good deal, but also so I could give a small price reduction to a haggler without feeling that I made a bad deal myself. And the last couple of times the buyers have haggled.