Saturday, 31 July 2010

"If it were $X I would buy it"

Anyone who sells stuff on the internet has probably, at some point, gotten a message like that. Many times it turns out that these people are complete liars, just trying to justify piracy to themselves by claiming that something is overpriced. Other times, it's the truth - either they have limited money to spend or they have a psychological barrier above which they will not go for a particular product.

(I myself have put games in a "maybe" category when they're over $20 but bought them immediately if I saw them for that price.)

But what if you could put your money where your mouth was, and make a binding bid to buy product X for price Y? Not "pay what you want" but "make an offer"? With the caveat that if your offer is accepted the money is immediately taken, no trying to haggle it further down to see what you can get.

As a seller, I'd be willing to let people buy things at reduced price if they *really meant it* that they'd buy it for price X. But there would have to be some kind of formal system, not just emailing me to whine. An escrow type thing that held your money, demonstrating that you were DEFINITELY GOING TO PAY, maybe.


Kazriko said...

A nice idea, and I would probably participate in such a thing. Holding that money though indefinitely even though you're not getting anything for it seems like it might be a detriment though. I'm not sure how well the idea would work without that escrow though.

Lexington Alexander said...

I've thought about this too. When you're a little kid it is so hard to make money, so sometimes I get e-mails asking for some type of barter. I think I've done it a couple of times.