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What to do When a Classified Seller Asks You to Bid Higher?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by WretchedExcess, Oct 14, 2013.

  1. WretchedExcess


    Jul 29, 2013
    I'd like to ask about the etiquette here on TB. I just tried to buy a bass from a seller here on TB. I was the first person to respond to his ad. I sent him a PM within 30 minutes of his ad going up on TB, and I agreed to pay his asking price.

    He told me he was moving, so he wouldn't be available for a couple of days, but I told him I was committed. I asked when we could meet for the transaction, and in an email this morning he told me that he wasn't available tonight to follow through with the deal tonight, and that we'd have to wait until tomorrow. I said OK, tell me when tomorrow. Then a couple hours later I get an email from the guy saying that he's going to sell the bass to someone else tonight.

    I asked him how he could sell the bass tonight if he wasn't available until tomorrow, like he told me earlier. His response was that he just wanted to sell the bass and was willing to sell it to the first guy with money. I would have been the first guy with money if he had agreed to sell it to me tonight, as we had originally planned. I have no idea why he decided to sell it to someone else, but what bothers me most is that he offered to hold the bass for me if I'd agree to bid a little higher. I didn't want to engage in a bidding war, as that seemed like a violation of TB selling policies.

    What to do? Can I leave feedback if I got screwed out of actually purchasing the bass?
  2. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    Walk away and wait for the next deal. I could see that deal going sideways at some point.

  3. BeastSternecker


    Aug 5, 2013
    Judging by that dudes character, you sure you want that bass?
  4. What were circumstances of. "meeting" up?...did that mean alot of driving for both to meet half way?. Does he have a car?..realiable?...taking the bus?
    Is it possible the other person was a lot more local to him?
    Did he admit that he agreed to sell you the bass before getting the other offer?

    I wouldn't be "running" to give the person negative feedback just yet
  5. WretchedExcess


    Jul 29, 2013
    Whether or not he deserves negative feedback isn't a question. He violated the no-bidding policy. The only question is whether TB etiquette allows me to leave feedback related to a transaction, even though I didn't end up owning the bass.
  6. What kind of "transaction" occurred?..monetary ?...no

    Also you didn't share the details of how you were meeting
  7. GregC

    GregC Johnny and Joe Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2007
    If I were you, I'd report the bidding part to a mod.
  8. +1, I don't think that's the spirit and intent of the TB classifieds.
  9. soulman969

    soulman969 Banned

    Oct 6, 2011
    Englewood, Colorado
    Yours is only one side of the story but if it all came down exactly as you say it did then it seems to me the seller is violating the honor and ethics that are generally an unwritten but mutual understanding between members of this forum and other like it. So if there's a breach of etiquette here it sure seems to me that the seller is the one who is responsible for that, not you.

    I can't advise you on what to do. That's your decision. I only know what I would do and with the exception of actually naming the seller you've pretty much done that. If he has a different slant on what happened let him come forward with his side of the story if it differs from yours.

    I don't know what his game is but it seems to me that if he decided to make himself available to another buyer tonight then that party probably offered to better the agreed upon price and now he's asking you to better than one. It seems that he may be conducting an mini auction and that is a breach of etiquette and if so I see no reason why he shouldn't called out for it if that's the case.

  10. I would walk, unless it's such a rare bass that you know you will NOT find another in years...
    Not a cool attitude, that of the seller, I would not trust him to disclose any problems the bass may have, if he plays these games... But mostly, it's just not cool.
    He is either bluffing, wanting to entice you to give more money, or he is messing two guys about...
    I would not play his game.
    I would say I'm no longer interested and I would tell him why.

    Oh, and I would leave feedback to warn others. Not derogatory, just sticking to the facts. People can read between the lines.
    No transaction took place, but all this is part of a transaction, even if it did not reach its proper end. It's still part of what people want to hear when asking feedback about people.
    Just stick to the facts as they happened. No guesses. Pure facts.
    The seller will have the opportunity to give his version if he disagrees, and people can make their own minds up
  11. WretchedExcess


    Jul 29, 2013
    The details of the meeting are not a contributing factor. I offered to drive to meet him wherever he wanted -- at the place of his convenience -- at his house, and his band practice spot, or any place of his choosing. What matters is that he said he was too busy to meet tonight, and that we had to wait to meet until tomorrow.

    He wasn't too worried about whether we met today or tomorrow when I was the only willing buyer. Tomorrow was more convenient for him, so he told me to wait until tomorrow. But then after he told me to wait until tomorrow, some other buyer came along in response to an ad that he concurrently posted on CL. that buyer pressured him to complete the sale tonight. And instead of honoring our arrangement for tomorrow, he let the other guy push him to be available tonight.

    If he had been forthright enough to call me and tell me that he needed to change his plans, I would have driven over there with cash in hand as soon as we got off of the phone. But the lazy jerk didn't even bother to call. He just sent me an email telling me that he already decided to sell it to some guy who called from Craigslist who insisted on buying it right now, and that that guy was already in the car driving over to meet him.

    When I asked him why he did that, he said that he needed the money and needed to sell the bass fast. I asked him if that was the case, why couldn't he sell it to me for the same price today instead of tomorrow? And why was he letting this other guy steal the bass when he was a latecomer to the deal? That's when he offered to hold the bass for me if I would agree to bid at a higher price -- even though the other guy was already in the car on his way to buy the bass. So now he was giving me the opportunity to screw the other guy ... provided I was willing to pay extra for the privilege.

    The bottom line is that this guy set the terms for the sale and then reneged on them. Even worse, he asked me if I would bid higher than his asking price, and if I agreed to do so, he would then tell the other buyer that he couldn't have the bass tonight, that it would be mine tomorrow. He tried to turn a TB listing into a bidding war, as if the TB listing were an ebay auction. That's not the way things are supposed to work here.

    I let this deal pass because as soon as the seller started to solicit higher bids from me, I wanted to avoid the deal. When he tried to turn the TB sale into a bidding war, he lost all credibility. I wasn't going to engage in a bidding war with someone who was acting flaky.
  12. Big B.

    Big B.

    Dec 31, 2007
    Austin, TX
    Sounds like another buyer came along and offered more once he found out the bass had already been sold. As long as you hadn't set up specifics and an actual meeting time, I'd be irritated, but I wouldn't blame a guy for taking more money. (Assuming of course that the scenario I just concocted was true;))

    On the other hand, trying to bid you up is bad juju on TB and I think it would be more than fair to bring it to the attention of a mod and let it play out from there.
  13. WretchedExcess


    Jul 29, 2013
    The bass was listed at $825 shipped. I asked if the buyer had a local price. He said $750. I agreed, and the plan was to meet up tomorrow.

    The guy who bought it today offered $750 cash on the spot, right now. Evidently, he was close enough to the seller that he could just drop on over, while me driving over would take an hour and a little bit of planning and time commitment to set up a meeting. So the seller just went for the fast and easy sale at the same price. I guess not having to schedule a meeting was the deciding factor for him. But then he did offer to allow me to have the bass, and to go to the trouble of scheduling a meeting, if I were willing to bid-up the price for that privilege.

    So it's not a case where someone else bid higher, it seems like it was just a case where he was lazy and wanted to pursue the easiest transaction for the same amount of money, unless I was willing to pay more to change his mind.

    Bad juju either way.
  14. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    I don't think he was being lazy. You know how many people say they'll buy something, then rattle off a litany of other things that have to fall in place for them to come buy it? Any one of those could have failed, and the seller would have sent this other buyer, with cash in hand ready to buy at that moment, on down the road.

    While I would not have asked you to pay more, I would have done the same thing as this seller and accepted cash from the person right there ready to pay. This just happened to me last week with a fridge I was selling on CL.

  15. True statement

    Still, some of his actions were bad TB classifieds practice as has been stated.
  16. WretchedExcess


    Jul 29, 2013
    That's not relevant. I didn't rattle off any litany of things that had to fall into place. I had cash and car keys in hand. I was ready to buy today. He wasn't ready to sell. Or so he said.

    Mike, you're missing the point -- *I* was the guy with cash in hand, ready to pay, until he told me to wait until tomorrow. The only reason this transaction went south is because he told the other guy I was going to buy it tomorrow, and the other guy said, "I'll give you the money right now," and pushed the seller to take money in hand right now instead of tomorrow. Evidently, the seller's convictions were weak enough that he didn't care about honoring his promises.

    You did the same thing?
  17. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Dude is a flake.

    If bidding is a no-no, report it to the moderators.

    Leave negative feedback if you can, and I'd also chime in the sale thread or on CL if he puts any other stuff up for sale, warning potential buyers.

    This is why I have never bought or sold anything on TB, or ebay or any place like that. Local only, face to face or no deal.

    I have bought a couple things off CL from local folks who happen to also be TB'ers and it was a good experience every time.
  18. worxforme

    worxforme Self Actualized Bad Speller

    Dec 10, 2009
    LAnsing MI
    I wouldn't do anything but remember his name so you don't ever waste your time with him again.
  19. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Actually, I have to take that back. I have got a couple of items from TB'ers, but not through the classifieds. It was based on trust and was a great deal every time.

    So, humanity is not gone. :)

    The guy in your deal is still a flake though.
  20. MJ5150

    MJ5150 Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Apr 12, 2001
    Olympia, WA
    My situation was not identical to yours, it was similar.

    A lady e-mailed, said she wanted the fridge. She needed to get a few things in order, so we agreed to meet mid morning the next day. A couple hours went by, I checked my e-mail and saw another lady who said she had the money and was ready to come get it right then, like "I live five minutes away from you and I'll come get it right now" ready. I called, she agreed to come over. I called the other lady back and let her know someone else was coming to get it right at that moment. She was bummed, but understood.

    We're only reading your side of the story. Maybe the seller picked up on something you said or how you talked that made him unsure of your ability to complete the deal. Regardless, the seller is still shady for trying to up the price. I don't agree with that part at all.


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