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.