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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: How long should one politely wait, before getting a commitment ?

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mike gregory - Posted - 06/13/2020:  15:14:09

VEGA style N tenor.

Fellow wants it, but must get a few other things set up, first.

Wants me to nark it as ON HOLD meanwhile.

Had a CAR for sale, and a fellow who was there to deliver something said HE wanted it, so I gave him my business card, and took the ad down, and notified the other 3 potential buyers that it was no longer available.

Several days later, I called the delivery company, left a message for him to call me.

He said he had lost my card.

Yeah, AS IF the company didn't have my address and phone number.

So, I don't want to make the same mistake again.

I figure I can put on a 5-string neck, rent it out to my students, if nobody buys it as a tenor.

But, I would rather see it sold.

rcc56 - Posted - 06/13/2020:  15:43:23

2 weeks with no contact would be the limit for me. After that, a phone call or email to notify him that you are removing it from hold would be polite, but bear in mind that some folks might not respond to that nicely.

Mike, a lot of the mandolin players are starting to experiment with tenors. If this fellow doesn't follow through and it doesn't sell here, you could post a classified on the big mandolin forum.  At your price, I would think that the chances of it selling quickly are quite good.

Edited by - rcc56 on 06/13/2020 15:44:58

mike gregory - Posted - 06/13/2020:  15:45:38

And I am also a member on the Mandolin HangOut.
So, thanks for the hint.

rcc56 - Posted - 06/13/2020:  15:50:52

I was referring to the other mandolin forum [the big one]-- much more traffic.

Bill Rogers - Posted - 06/13/2020:  16:08:55

If I am in the want it but need to raise money situation, I tell the seller that if he has a buyer with $$ in hand, to take it. I think that’s reasonable. I’d give a buyer maybe 72 hours to raise the dough, no more. This is not remotely like a contingency real-estate sale, where the big bucks are involved.

mike gregory - Posted - 06/13/2020:  16:17:04

I'm in no rush.
Just wanted to know what other people, who do online sales, consider reasonable.

doryman - Posted - 06/13/2020:  16:21:38


Originally posted by Bill Rogers

If I am in the want it but need to raise money situation, I tell the seller that if he has a buyer with $$ in hand, to take it. 

This is what I do and say too, when I am the buyer, if I'm not 100% I want to buy it right NOW, for whatever reason.  

As a seller, I sell to the first person who actually has the money.  That policy may not seem very nice or accommodating, but if I had a nickel for every buyer who said they would buy my bike, banjo, boat, car, skis, ukulele, or whatever, and then never got back to me, or backed out, well,...I'd have many, many nickels.  I also lost a few sales before I had that policy, refusing to sell something to an eager buyer because I was "saving" it for someone who promised to buy it and then didn't.  

rcc56 - Posted - 06/13/2020:  16:31:57

In the retail music store business, 72 hours to arrange payment used to be the maximum among most circumstances.

Exceptions sometimes were made if a known out-of-town customer spotted the instrument on a Monday, but wanted to drive up Saturday to view the instrument personally.

I'll wait under certain circumstances, but not for very long.  Lack of timely contact from a prospective buyer is grounds for me to lift a hold.

Edited by - rcc56 on 06/13/2020 16:32:46

Alex Z - Posted - 06/13/2020:  16:37:01

"How long should one wait . . . before getting a commitment?"

-- The commitment is immediate.  The buyer is either agreeing to buy (and the seller to sell), or the buyer is not.  The buyer normally does not get a "free option" to think it over and then later decide to buy or not.  If he wants to put a non-refundable deposit on the goods to buy some time, that can be OK if the seller agrees -- but the deposit has to be substantial, not $100 on a $3,000 banjo.

    Similarly, the seller does not get a free option to sell to someone else after the buyer commits and the seller agrees.

    In the commercial world, an oral commitment has to be followed by a written agreement ("confirmation") within a specified time, typically 24 hours.  This can be by e-mail or fax.  Even with this, parties do business only with other parties that they have vetted or qualified, not just anyone who calls up.  So for a new private buyer in this situation, the commitment rules have to be pretty tight.  If you're dealing with someone you know and trust, that's a little different.

-- After the commitment, there has to be a reasonable time for completion of the transaction.  I'm thinking 24 hours.  And that time should be stated up front and agreed to by both seller and buyer.  Either each party does what it is supposed to do during that time (send  money) or the deal is canceled.

   Now, it is quite possible for the seller to get strung along by a recalcitrant buyer who claims the "check is in the mail" when it is really not -- and then a week later says he has decided not to buy.  That's where you need some process verification, such as if he's mailing you a check, you want it trackable, and if you can't see the tracking within 48 hours, the deal is canceled and the seller is free to sell to anyone.

-- And don't take the "for sale" sign down until the money is in your pocket.  If another buyer shows up later, then you tell them "I've accepted an offer, and I'll know within  48 hours if the deal is going through.  If not, you're next/second/third on the list and I'll give you a call."

Hope this helps.

wizofos - Posted - 06/13/2020:  17:29:29

A good friend who has been in the retail business for years always said that.
"Money talks, BS walks"
If someone wants something they can come up with the money. As Alex says above, even earnest money only holds something for a few days. If someone else comes along with cash in hand you can ask the first buyer if he has the cash because you have a cash in hand buyer. Give him 24 hours to come up with the money and if not, sell to the person with cash. Legally you probably don't have to return the earnest money but I would unless you have a contract which brings up a whole different issue that involves lawyers which violates Rule #1. Never involve lawyers.

Zachary Hoyt - Posted - 06/13/2020:  17:41:21

I think Lefty Frizzell had the general idea of how these things should work:

The Old Timer - Posted - 06/13/2020:  18:44:30

It takes a non refundable deposit for me to put an item on HOLD. For a relatively short period of time, like 1 week to finalize the purchase, 2 weeks max.

I would say around $50-$100 for a banjo at the relatively low price you were asking.

Good luck, I hope you complete the sale.

Omeboy - Posted - 06/13/2020:  19:06:56

I always give everyone ten business days before I contact them a second time. That's a universal standard and it's always worked for me.

Texasbanjo - Posted - 06/14/2020:  04:53:54

I would tell the guy that the first person with the money got the item. I wouldn't put anything on hold while trusting that a complete stranger that I knew nothing about would honor his word and actually purchase the item. No offense meant to buyers, but money is money and if you want to sell, you don't want to hold something and possibly lose a sale to someone else because of that.

mirwin - Posted - 06/14/2020:  07:26:38

Why not ask him how much time he needs and go from there? If he doesn't respond at all, then you have your answer. If he wants "too much" time, then you have your answer. After all, you're not asking enough to require a large amount of time to raise the money.
Good luck!

Joel Hooks - Posted - 06/14/2020:  07:28:47

I also won’t play that game. It seems like there is one person every time I sell something on here... “I want to buy, but I have to sell something first.” Sorry, if you are that tight for money you should not be buying anything but food and shelter.

Payment takes it.

Owen - Posted - 06/14/2020:  07:52:38

I'd put this in the "it depends" file.   

Occasionally, I've asked sellers to "hold" something, so I figure "turn about is fair play."  [eg. I'll be traveling to Wpg. ...4.5 hour drive one-way...within a week.... but it's not worth a separate trip]. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't, c'est la vie.    The seller holds all the cards.

Having said that, I've never asked someone to hold something, while I decide whether or not I want it... and I'm glad to extend that courtesy to others.  But, I've also used the condition "IF it's as you describe it, you needn't worry; I won't back out."  [Maybe I have a reassuring voice... this is accepted more often than not.]  I wouldn't consider this in a transaction without a face-to-face meeting.

I've also gone the non-refundable deposit route....  from both sides. 

Yer welcome.... glad I could give you a definitive answer..... and if things don't pan out as I had hoped, I chalk it up to one of my mammy's bits of wisdom: "It takes all kinds."

Edited by - Owen on 06/14/2020 08:06:06

The Old Timer - Posted - 06/14/2020:  08:20:58

Owen, my sainted grandmother in Downeast Maine used to say "It takes all kinds to make a world, but I'm glad I'm not one of 'em."

mike gregory - Posted - 06/14/2020:  08:37:53

Thank you all for the free advice, all of it good.

The buyer lives far enough away, in another nation, that the cost of a good case (NOT included in my price) to ship it in,PLUS the cost of shipping a package that large and heavy, PLUS the local taxes on importing anything valuable, drove the cost to above what he was willing to spend.
And he has informed me promptly and politely.

So here's YOUR chance to get a Vega Style N Tenor at a decent price.

banjo_brad - Posted - 06/14/2020:  09:58:46

I don't know, Mike, them Skeeter Bites may knock a C note off the selling price. (g)

Edited by - banjo_brad on 06/14/2020 09:59:13

mike gregory - Posted - 06/14/2020:  15:12:19

I'm a firm believer in identifying visible flaws.

Gary Leonard - Posted - 06/14/2020:  20:35:38

Not sure of the rules and regs, but I am interested. Contacted you via messages here.

jellowaydan - Posted - 06/18/2020:  07:29:13

I once was in this same spot. I bought a vintage Gibson snake head mandolin, and when I got it it was not as advertised. In the mean time I found an Ellis at Gruins that was just what I wanted. Gruins gave me a committment to hold the mandolin for 1 week, and I returned the snakehead to ........... and got my money back. BUT, Gruins said at the end of 7 days, the mandolin would be sold to the first buyer with funds in hand. All went well, and I still have the Ellis.

mike gregory - Posted - 06/18/2020:  09:29:18

In approx 3 hours, I shall be meeting Mr. Leonard to sell him the Vega.

mike gregory - Posted - 06/18/2020:  14:43:25

He's got the Vega, and I've got what looks like genuine U.S. money.

rcc56 - Posted - 06/18/2020:  16:26:25

So . . .
Was he happy with the banjo?

gottasmilealot - Posted - 07/16/2020:  16:48:22

Hold it only with a deposit.

1935tb-11 - Posted - 07/17/2020:  04:20:32

the way i do it (in 95 % of cases) whether it is instruments, guns, crafts or what ever is 500 or less 2 weeks. if over 500 i get 50 deposit and 30 days. this has been mostly successful in my dealings.

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