How to deal with low ball trade offers: This is what I do…

It’s going to happen to everyone.  The inevitable low ball offer.  You know what this is unless you are completely new to the bartering scene.  A low ball offer is when someone, for example, offers you an iPod touch for your motorcycle.  Sounds a little crazy, but it happens more often than you might think.

These people are just looking for one person to say “yes” to their incredibly lame offer.   They think if they ask enough people one person will eventually trade with them.  Unfortunately, they aren’t totally wrong.  I find these people to be lazy.  They would rather email 100 people looking to make that one big trade instead of trading their way up.

Now, with that said if you wanted try this method you can.  I personally wouldn’t suggest it.  My rule of thumb is to contact people with items that are valued AT MOST double what you have.  I say this because you are likely to get a better response as well as make more trades.  This is important because I don’t want you to get discouraged with your bartering.  It can get a little old when you email 20 people and no one writes you back.  It might make you start to think this whole bartering thing is BS.

So how do you handle these low ballers?  Here are a couple suggests on what I’ve found works best:

  • Politely decline their offer.  Say something like “I appreciate the offer, but I’m going to have to pass. “
  • Ask for something else.  You could say “I was looking for something with a little more value.  Did you have something else you would be willing to trade?” I used this one to change someone’s offer from a beat up car trailer to a 4X4 four wheeler.  It works.

I’m never rude to people because you never know when that person might actually have something good to trade.  It might be a couple weeks or months down the road, but if you are extremely rude they might remember your email address and tell you to go pound sand.  I have personally had some people be huge pricks to me and I make a point to remember their email addresses.  So the moral of the story is to politely decline the offer and move on.

What’s the most ridiculous offer you’ve ever gotten? Comment below!

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Leave A Reply (5 comments so far)


  1. Sara
    1707 days ago

    I have a hard time not being mean to ppl to low ball me. It’s annoying, but I think I’m going to take your advice and just brush it off.


  2. Amanda
    1703 days ago

    Great tips! I think it is important to remember to treat others as you would want to be treated, or as your would want someone to treat your family members. It is sad what people try to get away with, but these are great tips to keep in mind. I like the point you made about not being rude. It is true, you never know what else the other person may have or be willing to negotiate. Thanks for the tips!


  3. Bob Delp
    1703 days ago

    Good Advice. Actually this advice works well in life in general. If you think of this as running a business, and in some sense you are, these people are your customers. You need to be at least polite with them, as you may be doing business in the future.


  4. Ed
    1702 days ago

    I once got offered some old desktop computers in return for providing a new website for a. Guy Tried to pass them off as just a few years old but a little research showed them be be at least double that.
    Politely declined and he ended up just paying me cash to do it.


  5. Ben V
    1701 days ago

    I’ll have to agree with this post, I sometimes do business on craigslist and it sucks how much people try to lowball on their offers. But yes, it is simple to just brush off, good to know I’m not the only one. Someone tried to buy an iPod 4th Generation once for $75 just 4months after it’s release (MSRP was 249.99 at the time)

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