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Being taken advantage of.. good to stand your ground or crumble?

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She11ybeanz posted 9/12/2013 08:02 AM most of you know how much I'm struggling right now moneywise...I've been selling things on Ebay and Craigslist to make ends meet. I had this lady last week contact me about my cloth diapers but she was only interested in buying one of them. I told her that I wanted to sell them all as a set otherwise I would probably not be able to sell the rest of them if the "most appealing" items weren't included. Kinda like having a bowl of jellybeans and everyone eating all of them but the black ones.... I don't want to have just the black ones left to sell .... make sense?

She seemed okay with that and chewed me down off my original price of $50 to $35 for everything (which was a GREAT deal!) I went back and forth with her for hours answering her millions of questions very nicely and considerately. Then she asked me to meet her for the transaction the next day (like 30 minutes beforehand...which was kind of rude but I needed the money so I went). I show up.... and she AGAIN tells me she will give me $15 for 2. I told her no and left. It was principle thing for me. I told her where I stood....and even went down on price.... and she STILL tested me. But, then a week later...I sold the set on Ebay for $45!!

NOW.... I have a gold diamond bracelet on Ebay worth over $1,300 for sale for $599 or best offer. I got a best offer this morning for it for $350....which seemed very lowball for me. So I counteroffered for $475. I don't know if I just shot myself in the foot or not by doing that because I do REALLY need the money.....

But, I do NOT want people taking advantage of me because I'm in a desperate situation! You know? Is it okay to stand up for yourself even if it means you might be making a sacrifice or should I just take what I can get? I'm trying to get away from the "doormat syndrome" that I was famous for when I was with XWH. Thoughts?

NaiveAgain posted 9/12/2013 08:17 AM

Shelly, there is a difference between standing up for yourself and being in the sales business. It is always important to be true to who you are, but when you are running a business, and especially in sales, you have to look at it a little differently.

I have been in sales forever. I do ebay and local markets. Reaching a compromise on a price is just business. You sell your item for what you are willing to sell it for. If you are okay with coming down a bit, or if you need the money, sell it and let it go.

What an item is worth is what someone is willing to pay for it. It is great if you have a ring worth $500 but if no one is willing to pay $500, then it isn't worth $500.

That being said, different people are willing to pay different prices, depending on how valuable and how badly someone wants it.

I have sold things cheaply and below cost before just because I am tired of looking at it, I've held onto it too long, or I need the money. That is just the way the business goes.....but then I let it go and move onto the next item, which might actually bring more than I expected. It all balances out over time.

Spirit13 posted 9/12/2013 08:22 AM

Jewelry is really tough. How do you know it is worth over $1,300? I would take it to a jeweler and ask them what they would BUY it for. That is vastly different than an appraisal for insurance purposes. Getting about one third of what you paid for jewelry on ebay is probably about par for the course unless it is all gold and you know how many grams or you have a diamond with papers.

Did you search ebay for similar items? You can also look at sold listings for very similar things and that will tell you "market value".

Good luck!

She11ybeanz posted 9/12/2013 08:25 AM

Similar items are selling for what my listed price is or MORE (which is $599). I'm already selling it WAY below its value BUT I was willing to come down even more when I counteroffered. I just didn't feel right about selling it for half of what I was asking. Especially since I didn't want to sell that bracelet to begin with. I'm only selling it because I have to.

I can't afford to get it appraised. But, we paid WAY more than what I'm asking. I'm willing to negotiate but not willing to just give it away either. Its not like I have unlimited things I can sell that are of value.

[This message edited by She11ybeanz at 8:29 AM, September 12th (Thursday)]

k94ever posted 9/12/2013 08:52 AM

Then don't sell it below what you are asking.

People on Ebay are looking to score for the lowest amount. Trust yourself and hold your ground.


She11ybeanz posted 9/12/2013 08:54 AM

Trust yourself and hold your ground.

Thank you. I am definitely willing to negotiate to a reasonable price we would both be happy with..... just don't feel right about giving it away!

Spirit13 posted 9/12/2013 13:42 PM

But remember (and I mean this kindly) it is irrelevant what other items are LISTED at. You need to look at what the SOLD items on ebay are and that is your market. Plus, look at the listed items and see if they are jewelry dealers, resellers or stores. If so, then those prices are also inflated and not representative of what you will get.

I only share my experience because I had a HUGE jewelry theft about a year and a half ago and learned a lot about how to "value" jewelry as I worked with my insurance company to replace items. I also just 2 weeks ago sold a very large "collectible" collection that belonged to my ex to an outside buyer. It wasn't jewelry, but it was also something frequently sold on ebay. We negotiated a lot based on ebay I've spent a lot of time on there and learned a ton about how to value things after market.

You might be totally right on your item. I'm just trying to share my experience and what I learned.

Just another idea is that you can also ask friends and coworkers if they want you to list higher end items for them. You could earn a commission for this too. I would make sure it is only nice things, but I'll bet you have someone at work or a friend who has some nice shoes or a purse that they'd like to sell. Those, along with leather jackets, anything really brand name...they sell very well!

She11ybeanz posted 9/12/2013 14:34 PM

Yeah...I've sold high end purses and a lot of my good jewelry. These are the last good pieces that I own. Part of me regrets not just breaking and accepting the offer even though it was WAY below what I wanted and would have been a steal....but I need the money. Lesson learned I suppose.

nolight posted 9/14/2013 05:13 AM

I know how you feel Shelly. When exH and I first separated when we were 23 I was at uni and only working part time so had almost no money, we relied on his income mostly.

He took off for a week away about a week after he announced he was leaving me, we were still living together and jointly relied on his pay.

He spent all his money on his holiday with OW leaving me with no food or ability to get any. It was hearing the belly rumble of our poor dog that made me take my engagement ring to the cash brokers. They offered me $100, that was it. I had to take it as I had nothing to eat or feed my dog I will never forget those days.

I.will.survive posted 9/14/2013 06:41 AM

I'm sorry you are having to sell things you don't want to really part with.

But you are right to stand your ground and make this a BUSINESS decision.

Naturally, people are going to offer you less money because everyone wants a good deal, right??

But don't forget, people can sometimes make an offer on something they can't afford. They need to move don't need to lower your price for them.

If you have the item priced competitively, hold out as long as you can for the right buyer.

Be picky. Just like you should be with your men.

SBB posted 9/14/2013 06:50 AM

Have you taken them around to jewellers to find out what they would pay for them? That should give you an absolute minimum to work with. Get a few quotes then work out an average.

If $350 meant the difference between eating and not eating or high stress for vs A LOT of breathing room I would sell it. If it is just a little breathing room then I understand your reticence given you have used almost all of your levers.

Apologies if this was addressed already but have you looking at filing bankruptcy?

Gently, selling things to pay bills is not sustainable. You will have nothing to sell when you find yourself needing to buy food. I would be holding on to a few things that I could sell fast should I find myself in that position.

I'm sorry you are in this position. You will look back at these hard times and be amazed that you survived it. I know my mum does.

Too_Trusting posted 9/14/2013 07:53 AM

Shelly, I also sell on ebay, and I can tell you that in MY experience, it has turned into a bargain basement. I'm selling a collection that I amassed while married to my exH, and my observation is that items that are "luxury" or marketed to those with disposable income are selling for rock bottom prices. I think my collectibles and potentially, your bracelet, fall into that category.

As Nave Again said, an item is only worth what someone will pay for it, and you will sell it for. That's the theory of "fair market value". Jewelry is very subjective. What an item appraises for, and what it can SELL for are quite different.

By your calculations, you have listed it for a little less than 50% of the retail value. I have to agree with the other poster that said getting 1/3 of the MSRP or retail value of jewelry is likely what you can expect.

I'm sure that's not what you want to hear.

Just to give you an idea, I took my wedding rings to a jeweler a few years ago to sell because I needed $$. They offered me about 15% of the appraised value of those rings. I did not sell them. I just was not willing to sell for that tiny bit of $$.

I agree with the other posters that said to check the SOLD listings for similar items and see what they have actually SOLD for. THAT will be your fair market value.

Sadly, it's a sign of our economic times. The fallout of the economy has grossly affected the fair market value of just about everything.

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