How to Sell on Craigslist > How To Deal With Lowball Offers On Craigslist

How To Deal With Lowball Offers On Craigslist

Craigslist, the popular online marketplace, is a great source to find pre-loved and used items, but it can also be a common place for lowball offers if you are trying to sell stuff. These ridiculously low offers can leave sellers like you frustrated and discouraged, but with the right approach, you can gracefully navigate these negotiation hurdles and secure fair deals.

craigslist lowball offer

Trust me, I have dealt with tons of low-ball offers on Craigslist. Follow my advice, and you’ll be on your way to getting cash closer to your asking price.

What Is a Lowball Offer?

Let’s quickly define what a lowball offer is.

A lowball offer is a slang term for an offer that is significantly below the seller’s asking price or the item’s fair market value. It’s a negotiation tactic often used to try to secure a bargain, but it can also be seen as disrespectful or even insulting to the seller.

Here is an example:

You: “I am selling a used PS5 in excellent working condition with 3 games for $450.”

Lowballer: “I will give you $75 cash.”

Characteristics of a Typical Craigslist Lowball Offer:

  • Unreasonably low: Like the example, the offer will be far below what a reasonable buyer would typically pay for the item or service.
  • Intentional: The buyer deliberately makes a low offer, hoping to catch the seller off guard or pressure them into a quick sale.
  • Often a starting point: It’s a tactic to initiate negotiations, with the expectation that the final price will land somewhere higher.

What are reasons behind a lowball offer?

  • To get a bargain: Buyers simply try to get the best possible price, even if it means undercutting the seller (and insulting the seller).
  • To test the seller’s flexibility: They try to gauge how willing the seller is to negotiate and how much they might be willing to come down in price.
  • To exploit a perceived need to sell: If they believe the seller is desperate to move the item quickly, they might lowball in hopes of taking advantage of the situation.

So with that said, how do you deal with these people?

Set Realistic Expectations For a Fair Price

Before listing an item, research its fair market value by browsing similar listings on Craigslist and other online marketplaces like eBay. Price your item competitively, leaving some room for negotiation. Remember, you’re not technically always selling it at a loss, but rather seeking a price that reflects its true worth for the item.

Acknowledge and Politely Decline Bad Offers

When faced with a lowball offer, don’t let emotions get the better of you. Instead, maintain a professional tone and politely decline the offer. Thank the potential buyer for their interest but firmly state that your price is firm. You can say that you are fielding other offers.

Example Response:

“Hi, thank you for the offer, but I am going to see what other offers come my way closer to my asking price.”

Counteroffer with Confidence

If the buyer is genuinely interested, they may counter your rejection with a higher offer. In this case, consider their proposal and respond with a counteroffer of your own. Aim for a price that falls between your initial asking price and their counteroffer, finding a middle ground that benefits both parties.


You are asking $200.

They offer $25.

You counteroffer with $150.

They offer $125.

Deal made if it works for both of you.

Know When to Walk Away From Lowballers

While negotiation is a natural part of Craigslist transactions, there’s a point where it’s no longer worth your time or effort. If a buyer persistently lowballs you, it’s time to politely disengage and move on to other potential real buyers.

Utilize Craigslist’s Features

Craigslist offers features that can help you avoid lowball offers. Consider setting a minimum price for your listing, which will automatically filter out offers below that threshold. Additionally, use the “Best Offer” option if you’re open to negotiating, allowing potential buyers to propose their own prices.

Exercise Patience and Persistence

Selling on Craigslist requires patience and persistence. Don’t be disheartened by lowball offers. Continue to market your item effectively, and the right buyer will come along, willing to pay a fair price.

Another Tip When Posting an Ad

Include “price is firm, will not take less” or something similar in your ad to try to keep lowballers from responding and wasting time.

how to Deal With Lowball Offers On Craigslist

Last Words About Dealing With Lowball Craigslist Offers

Navigating the negotiation maze on Craigslist can be challenging, but with the right approach, sellers can effectively deal with lowball offers and secure fair prices for their items. By setting realistic expectations, acknowledging and politely declining lowball offers, countering with confidence, knowing when to walk away, utilizing Craigslist’s features, and exercising patience and persistence, sellers can maximize their chances of success on this popular free online marketplace.

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