When you're haggling how do you decide what to offer? Assume a someone is offering a widgit on Trade for 10,000g. What would you offer? Assume for the moment that you can't lose gold on the deal and that the objective is simply to obtain the best price possible? I'm more interested in the psychology (and strategy) than in the profit right now.
I know if your offer's too high, you risk paying "too much," and if your offer is too low you risk insulting the seller. Do you offer 5,000? 7,000?
Personally, I've never been good with negotiation. When I'm selling, I know that if you offer "too low" I'll just tell you that I'm not interested instead of attempting to negotiate with you. Your offer might be a completely acceptable first offer, but I've got no idea what to counter with. I'd rather someone offer closer to what they're actually willing to pay than to try to guess at it. Does that factor in at all?
I guess the point is always let them be the one to set the initial offer. What they bark in trade isn't the "true" offer. It's what THEY want, the maximum amount they THINK they can get. In this example, your initial offer isn't a "true" offer either. It's bait to get them to tell you what their real expectation of a sale price is. Once you get that, let the negotiations begin.
When I notice someone's initial asking price in trade is a decent bit lower than market value, sometimes my starting offer will be below the 50% mark. When I whisper them I'm generally a bit timid in my approach and here's why. Let's say they're advertising the widget for 2k in trade and the average market value is 3500, I'll often whisper them saying "Could you possibly do 1200?" The reason I'm a bit timid here is I always want to give the seller the impression that I just don't have much to offer. Whispering with, "I can offer 1200," may sometimes be coming on a bit strong and and can give the seller the idea that you undervalue their item.
Now to even take this a step further, another tactic you can use and one of my favorites(I'll be adding it to the OP) is offering a goofy amount of gold when you are low-balling. For instance in the above example you could say, "Could you possibly take 1256g?" When you make offers that are a weird number like this people will assume you are offering your entire stash. I've used this trick many times to great effect.
And don't forget about "tells"! If I get the impression the seller really wants to be rid of the item in the above example I'd probably even try for 1k.
Perception is key, you want them to perceive you as a legitimate buyer making a real offer but can't afford much. And don't forget that even when you are buying you are selling. In this case you are selling yourself, and if the seller buys you, you get to buy the item.
Great! Love this!
NEVER do I ignore trade.
NEVER do I ignore players. Nope, not even gold sellers.
Here's why I don't ignore players- because they could be potential buyers/sellers!
Here's why I don't ignore gold sellers- because it allows me to see the same trade chat as other players, meaning I know for sure when my advertisements get pushed away by gold spam.
I have made a good deal of gold from snatching deals off of trade.
Sometimes I miss them because I think about it too long.
So, what I have found that counters this is to talk to the person immediately when you have even just an inkling you might be interested.
This stops the person and buys you time to quickly pull up numbers off of TUJ or the AH.
Keep conversation with the person until YOU have made a decision, be it yes or no.
Being passive about it and crunching numbers BEFORE whispering the person can lead to a situation where you have made up your mind to buy the product, go to whisper the guy, and get a reply back "I don't have it anymore, sorry."
It's good to stay knowledgeable about markets, even ones you don't mess with often, because it'll save you time.
Over all, love this thread!
Great guide. I am however being very cautious buying gear/ patterns from trade nowadays. Things are really winding down, and with D3 coming out, its going to slow even further until a MoP release date is given/ closing in. But you made some very valid points that Ill implement when possible.
Also, I'd add that if you're buying for yourself, just be honest and don't come off as desperate. I let a Tome: Polymorph Turtle go for about 100g less than I'd initially wanted simply because I liked the person and we had a nice chat about how he was going to actually use it and our favorite flavor of Polymorph.
I absolutely hate 99.9% of the players in trade chat.
I try to be polite.
I try to be specific.
I try to say things like WTB 20 Maelstrom Crystals for 3k G.
I try to say things like I need a leatherworker, Vicious Chest piece 100g my mats.
99.9% of the trade trolls on my server, I absolutely cannot stand.