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Discussion Starter #1
I mulled over this issue for a bit before deciding to cave in and just ask for advice. There's a certain vintage horn I've had my eye on for some time now, but recently the price has been fluctuating like crazy; I had saved up 3/4 of the asking price, planning to buy it when I reached the full amount, when it suddenly increased to almost double the original price. Now the seller is taking offers for it, and I'm not sure what to do. The fact that they doubled the price implies that they could probably sell it for that, and to offer anything close to the original price would seem like I was lowballing them. However, I can't possibly afford the current asking price, not with the way my finances currently are.

So, what should I do? This is a very special horn and I'd love to have it, but it's reached the point where I'm afraid even to ask what they would be willing to sell it for. I'm not usually intimidated by this sort of thing, but as I've only purchased two horns before -- and at extremely low prices -- I feel like I'm way out of my depth here.
 

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You have to decide how much it’s worth to you. I’ve watched enough of these tv shows where people bid on collectibles. Decide up front your highest number you are willing to go then offer something less of that. If the seller wants more go to your top number and stand firm. If he’s willing to sell you win. If not then it’s more than you can afford and that’s okay.
 

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What about contacting the seller, starting by telling her/him that you were gathering funds to make an offer and then asking the reasons motivating the price suddenly doubling ?
At worst you get ignored, at best you get to make an offer at your target price. And inbetween you may get some explanation (whether it is a realistic one or not is another story though).
 

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There is always a saxophone for sale. Be ready to walk away. There will be another one. You could also post what you are looking for and surely someone has one for sale.
 

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+1. Also many shopping sites allow the buyer to enter a price range. Bumping up/down the scale changes the exposure. It’s easier to drop the price to a buyer. Consider how long it’s been on the market and has not sold. Why? Make a offer with what you have now. You may get lucky.
 

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If you were looking at it for a while and then it suddenly doubled in price, one would assume the seller either unknowingly misstated the price they would accept or they weren't getting any serious hits and decided to up the price in the hopes to make is seem more appealing to the uninformed. Look around for other horns of the same brand and vintage to see a ballpark price that you could expect to pay and compare that with the asking price of the one you found.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks, guys. I feel a little better about it now that I've had some advice. I think I'm just going to wait until I've saved up the rest of the original asking price (about another two or three weeks). If the horn hasn't sold by then, I'll go ahead and try for it.
 

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Do your homework so you KNOW a valid price to offer.

Check completed sales at eBay (Sold), as well as various reputable dealers (Ex. Tenormadness.com and PMWoodwind.com). Private sales should cost less than dealer prices.

G’luck.
 

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Consider how long it’s been on the market and has not sold. Why?
Make a offer with what you have now.
Consider how long it’s been on the market and has not sold. Why? Like Dr G says too, YOU should know the fair market value.

Make a offer with what you have now. If it’s been listed a while and has not sold because it’s overpriced. You may have enough now to purchase it with a reasonable offer. The price was increased? Maybe that was a mistake?
 

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Perhaps the seller upped the price in order to receive offers closer to their original price.
I know from experience that even when a horn is listed at a very reasonable price, you often only get stupid offers of less than half that.
Especially on sites like Craigslist, gumtree etc.
If you truly feel that the amount you are able to afford is a fair and reasonable price for the hot, then go in with that offer.
If it is well short of the actual market value, then it’s best to look for a horn with a market value closer to what you have.
Going in very low is a good way to have the seller ignore any further offers from you in the future.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I'm going to make an offer for the horn sometime this week. I've given it a lot of consideration and have decided that I'm going to go in with what I have; this horn is in better condition than most others of its kind I've seen and has a few interesting quirks all its own, but that doesn't make it worth over twice as much as some of the other examples. I'm hoping that, if my offer isn't quite enough, I might get a reasonable counteroffer. If not, well, I'll just wait until the next one comes along or until the price on this one drops to something more affordable.
 

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No shame in giving it your best shot. Glad you did your homework. Nice to see for a change. Now go for it !
 

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Take it from me the newbie here...don't get suckered into buying a horn that someone has decided to play games with. Wait it out, another will come along. Not like there is a shortage or a high demand for the "vintage" models anyway. Most wouldn't go near them. I picked up a C-mel for 1/3 of the sellers asking price. I also pointed out to the seller what the sax average price was going for elsewhere. Just keep your antenna up. If the horn is as good as one might believe it to be, and believe me there are those who know it's worth, it would have been gone when the price was at the low end.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I didn't get the horn, but, while I'm not disappointed, I'm not devastated; there's always the off chance that another one will come along much closer to my budget range, and there are still other horns out there that I'm going to look into in the meantime (like a vintage curved soprano). This was an interesting experience for me, though, and I know I won't be so hesitant to make offers next time something like this comes up; even if they turn you down, it never hurts to ask.
 

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Some things happen for a reason. Another will come your way.
 
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