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I want to buy an item from an acquaintance---we work in the same field roughly and have hung out a few times, I might refer to them as a friend loosely. The list price at a local shop is $1,050 pre-tax (roughly 13% here) new, though it is out of stock. We have talked about it a few times and they are aware that I am interested in buying it, and while we have discussed price a little bit, we have never discussed any number for the price (it is a few years old now, though that should not affect the quality significantly). I just reached out to them about it to confirm that I'm still interested, and they said they will be ready to sell in 2-3 weeks but have not yet decided a price. I am not sure how to really gauge the used item's value, but based on what I've seen online (which isn't much), I'd say a resale value in the $700-$900 range is probably reasonable.

How do I make an offer without them feeling like I'm lowballing them? Really I'd like to just get their opinion on what they feel is a fair price, I don't know if they are expecting to sell this thing for $1k or something.

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    Are they looking to sell the item anyway, or is it specifically to you and only because you asked them about it? – AsheraH Sep 15 '20 at 9:01
  • @AsheraH they are moving so they are definitely looking to sell it – Kai Sep 15 '20 at 14:10
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I once sold a rather expensive item to a friend. The item's new price was more than 1000€ and it went used for just under 1000€ on Ebay. We agreed to a price slightly (50€) below the Ebay price. At the time I suggested the price. I chose a price that left me no better nor worse off, regardless if my friend agreed to the deal. As such I could communicate truthfully, that I really didn't care that much if he agreed to the deal. Yes, it saved us both a bit of a hassle, but noone profited in a financial way.

I suggest you do the same: Suggest a price, that reflects the value that specific item has for you. But make clear that there's no bad blood if they chose to sell somewhere else.

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