What is a Lowball Offer?
I would define a lowball offer as an offer that's not just lower than the market price for an item, but dramatically lower. This is a little confusing because market price and "dramatically lower" needs to be defined. I would define market price as simply the comparative price of a similar style item of the same brand that's been SOLD in the past month. An exception would be a piece that's limited edition or would be considered a collector's item. I would even go as for as to say a piece that's so unique that it's in its own price category as an exception. I would consider "dramatically lower" as a price that's 70% or lower of the asking price for a piece that's priced fairly. As with any rule, there are exceptions. 70% of a $10 item would mean $7 is the offer price. In this case, since the item is already a low priced item, I would not consider this a low ball. This rule is for pieces that are $25 and above from my experience.
Some Common Reason Why You Receive Low Offers
Why this list is not exhaustive, these are some reasons as to why you might be receiving lowball offers:
- Did you priced too high to start with?
- Your item is worth nothing
- Your presentation doesn't do the item justice
- You've accepted low offers in the past
- You have a low budget store
- The customer is a chronic lowballer
Let's dig into each topic...
Did You Price Too High to Start With?
We first have to give the customer the benefit of a doubt by first checking if we priced our item too high to start with. Logically, if you priced an item too high, expect for people to send over offers that is way below your asking price.
This AE shirt is priced way too high to begin with. Should sell for about $13.
Since every piece is different for every buyer in terms of how much we paid for the item, we must understand that the market doesn't care about how much you paid for a piece. The used t-shirt above is an example of a piece being priced way too high for what it is. In this case, the seller should not be offended if an offer of $10 comes through. A $10 offer for this does not qualify as a lowball offer. With a little back and forth, the price should end up around $13 in my opinion. So remember, just because you priced it as such does not mean it's the market price. An offer can only be considered a lowball offer if it's dramatically below the market price.
Your Item Is Worth Nothing
People, including myself, posting on social media about lowball offers they receive is leaving out something called context. I can tell by looking at many of the listings these people have that they are not in tuned with reality. What I mean is that, they have listings that I would not even what if they gave it to me. Put differently, is your closet filled with highly used and low or no name brands? If so, don't be offended if someone came at you with a lowball. Actually, be grateful that someone even offered you anything at all. Take the offer, take the small profit or loss and make better sourcing decision next time. The lowballer is not the culprit in this situation, you are.
Your Presentation Doesn't Do the Item Justice
This is an obvious one but maybe your listing is just a half-assed job. Check yourself and your listing before you accuse someone of lowballing. Are your photos well lit and clear? Is the cover photo attractive? The description has measurements and other important selling points about the item?
I wouldn't be surprised if this photo was shot using a toaster
The picture above is a prime example of a lowball offer waiting to happen. Always try your best to come up with methods to present your items in the best possible light...literally. If you half-assed a listing don't be shocked when you receive a half-off price. I'm personally still working on this problem myself, it's an ongoing improvement project.
You've Accepted Low Offers in the Past
Poshmark makes it possible for customers to look at your past sales to see what kind of seller you are. They can easily check what sales you're making and for what price. Don't make yourself susceptible to low offers by being a seller that sells good or great items for low prices. All of this information is available 24/7 for anyone on the platform, remember that. Don't be surprised if you keep receiving low offers, it's because you're always accepting those low offers. Have some pride in your items and respect your time by sticking to a price that you know is fair for both sides.
You Have a Low Budget Store
This is a short and easy one. If your store is filled with nothing but $10 items, expect to attract a clientele that is budget shopping. These budget shoppers will be the first to offer a low price for an item or bundle. That's not to say don't have $10 items, just don't fill your store up with them.
The Customer is a Chronic Lowballer
This is the worst one because there's nothing you can do about this. There are just people out there that's lowballing left and right with no respect for anyone's time or patience. Give them a fair counter offer but don't stoop to their price and move on. Chances are they won't accept or only offer $1 more...again, move on.
Realize this Happens to Every Seller
I myself receive about 15 lowball offers a day so I'm just numb to it. Sure, I'll still put these lowballers on blast from time to time when I'm having a bad day but I do realize it happens to everyone. That's not to say I just put the blame on the lowballer and call it a day. I consistently make sure I'm doing everything I can to keep these people at bay and you should too. Look again at your listings to see where you can improve so you can be more confident in your listings and closet.
You are 100% right, if inventory is sitting for a while, each day it’s tying up money and costing money too. If you are unable to take that money and flip it and source better, it is a loss loss. I have found myself accepting a profit of 40 cents but I got my inventory spending money back and learned a good lesson. But I felt like the last 10 days the lowball offer on every items (my closing is filled with everyday brands Express, Altr’d State, etc) is $8. I got 9 offers all $8 with no regard for market value of the item or NWT.