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What percentage is a lowball offer?

Lowball job offers: How to negotiate them

What’s your goal in an interview? To get the best job offer possible and to set yourself up to negotiate the best salary possible. You want the company to focus on “What do we have to offer to convince them to join our team?” as opposed to “What’s the minimum we can pay to bring them on board?” It’s a subtle but important distinction.

Occasionally you’ll ace your interviews and still get a lowball job offer, with a salary that’s just too low—way below your minimum acceptable salary. Maybe they simply can’t afford you, or maybe their pay range for this particular job is so wide that they don’t know where to slot you in.

So what can you do to reset the salary negotiation? Here’s a tactic you can use when negotiating a lowball salary offer.

You could go straight to your minimum acceptable salary

Your minimum acceptable salary makes negotiating pretty easy because it allows you to draw a line in the sand, determine whether a standard negotiation strategy can get you past that line, and counter offer appropriately. Then you know whether to counter offer above your minimum acceptable salary, or just state your minimum acceptable salary as an ultimatum:

“I’m sorry, but I can’t accept this position for less than [your minimum acceptable salary].”

But declaring your minimum acceptable salary should be a last resort—you don’t want to do this unless you absolutely have to.

Fortunately, there’s were a way to significantly improve on a lowball job offer without counter offering at all! Here’s how Joe did it.

How Joe improved his job offer without counter offering

I recently worked with a coaching client—let’s call him Joe—who was pursuing a senior position at a very popular, publicly traded tech company—let’s call it ACME Corp.

Joe did really well in his interviews, and we were anticipating a strong job offer from ACME Corp.

“We would like to extend you a job offer…” Great news! But the salary and equity they offered caused us to do a double-take. That’s it? That’s the job offer? We were hoping for much better than that.

The offer was well below the minimum acceptable salary Joe had set before they made the job offer.

They explained that they were cash-strapped and working to grow quickly, so they couldn’t pay a high base salary. They hoped to make up some ground with the equity they were offering, but the equity was underwhelming as well.

Joe had been lowballed. It happens! But we didn’t panic because we had a plan.

When to use this tactic

But before I tell you what we did, let’s talk about when you should use this tactic.

The first thing to do when you get a job offer is to say something like, “Thanks for the offer! Do you mind if I take a couple of days to think it over and discuss it with my family?” Then you can take your time to consider the situation and plan your next move.

With a lowball job offer, the best move may be to use the very powerful negotiation technique you’ll learn in this article. The trick is to deploy it at the right time like when you get a lowball job offer.

You can sometimes turn a lowball job offer into a more reasonable job offer by giving the company a chance to reset the salary negotiation without making a counter offer. This is key because you really only get one “big” counter offer, and you want to save it until the baseline job offer is as strong as possible.

How do you know when this technique is the right response to a lowball job offer?

If these things are true, then responding with this technique may be the right move:

  • The company is impressed with you and has indicated they want you to join the team—Did they initiate contact with you and ask you to interview? Were you referred to them by a reliable employee? Have they said that they really want you, specifically, for this role? If any of these is true, you can check this off.
  • The offer is so low that your best response with a straightforward negotiation strategy is to deploy your minimum acceptable salary as an ultimatum—If their offer is more than 20% below your minimum acceptable salary, you can check this off.
  • You’re prepared to accept a little uncomfortable silence and stand your ground—This technique is not for the faint of heart. It will feel awkward and uncomfortable, and it may not work. If you’re ok with this discomfort, you can check this off.

Are all those things true for you? If they are, then this tactic may be good for your situation.

How to negotiate a lowball salary offer

Rather than counter offering their lowball job offer directly, you will give them the opportunity to improve the offer and reset the salary negotiation so you have more to work with.

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It’s best to do that by sending a short email to let them know that the offer is disappointing while asking if they can improve the offer so you can consider it.

To: [Recruiter]
Subject: [Your name] — My thoughts on [Company name]’s job offer

Hi [Recruiter name]

I hope you had a great weekend!

I’ve been considering your offer over the weekend and everything sounds good, although I would like to discuss the [counter dimension].

I think I’m a particularly good match for this position, where I would add significant value to [company name] and to [hiring manager’s name]’s team right away. [I have a strong technical background and have built and managed teams of technical people. I am exceptionally good with clients, and have taught short courses on building rapport with and managing clients. I have an MBA and have successfully managed many portfolios of business in the Widget Making industry over the past seven years. I’ve been working with [Partner Company] for over two and a half years, and have experience with many of their partnership managers and leadership team. I have a strong technical writing background and can both create and delegate the creation of good collateral quickly and efficiently.]

All of these qualities contribute directly to the core components of this particular position, and that’s why I’m excited for the opportunity to work with [manager name] and his team in this capacity at [Company name].

You offered [offer amount], which I found disappointing considering how well-aligned I am with this role, and I would be more comfortable if we could settle on [counter offer amount]. I feel that amount reflects the importance and expectations of the position for [company]’s business, and my qualifications and experience as they relate to this particular position.

How this works

The company wants to bring you on board, so they’re thinking “What do we have to offer to convince them to join our team?” They’re probably thinking pretty narrowly—a little more salary, slightly better benefits, maybe a signing bonus.

Your email tells them “You need to think bigger if you want me to come on board.” Your email accomplishes this by doing two things:

  1. It let’s the company know you’re “disappointed” with the job offer. This is a diplomatic way of saying, “This job offer is no good. If you’re trying to convince me to join the team, this is a miss.”
  2. It tells how to right the ship. Now that you’ve told them that you’re disappointed, you’ll tell them how to right the ship so you can consider their offer.

Translation: “This lowball job offer hasn’t convinced me to come on board. Want to try again?”

Joe improved his lowball job offer by 30% without counter offering

Joe used this technique to respond to his lowball job offer. We didn’t hear anything for a day or so, but then he got a call from the recruiter he had been working with…

“Hi Joe, we agree that our job offer was a little underwhelming. So we went back to the drawing board and here’s what we came up with…”

The new offer was still heavy on equity, but they increased it by 30% by adding a little to the base salary and increasing the equity portion by more than 60%! The best part was that the new offer was strong enough to meet Joe’s minimum acceptable salary and it gave him an opportunity to counter offer and see just how high the company would go.

What happens next?

This technique for negotiating a lowball job offer usually elicits one of two responses, and both are useful.

They may say, “Ok, thanks for considering our job offer. We look forward to hearing your response.” Essentially, they’re letting you know that they’re comfortable with that job offer and it’s pretty close to as good as it’s going to get. In this case, you would just proceed with your standard counter offer.

But sometimes they will try again! “Let us see if we can do better. We’ll get back to you.” That’s what you’re after!

Once they send a revised job offer, then you can proceed with a standard starting salary negotiation.

Beware that companies will often revise their lowball job offer to be pretty close to their best-possible job offer, which means your standard salary negotiation strategy may not yield as big a return when used in conjunction with this technique. The ultimate result is what you want—you’ve determined how much the company is willing to pay you to do the job—and you just got there combining two techniques instead of a single salary negotiation technique.

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What percentage is a lowball offer?

The Poshmark platform is constantly evolving to accommodate more features to make the posher’s purchase experience as seamless as possible. For Poshmark sellers, these features include different ways to adjust pricing which is convenient when you have to deal with the unfortunate fact that you’ll get lowball offers when you sell clothes, accessories, and home goods on retail marketplaces like Poshmark, Mercari, and eBay.

When dealing with low ballers you need more than just good luck because keeping up with the proper seller’s etiquette means that you need a strategy to handle low ball offers that allows you to keep your cool and most importantly convert some of these lowballers to customers.

What Is Considered a Lowball Offer?

Anything that is equal to or less than half of your asking price is considered to be a low ball offer. Poshers are always on the lookout for their favorite brands and styles but they want to purchase it for a great deal. New poshers should not get upset if they receive a lowball offer that has no interest in accepting a fair price because it just comes naturally with selling.

The Typical Low Ball Offer Reaction

Low ball offers on Poshmark are not rare, in fact, the more items you have in your seller’s closet, the more you will see low offers come in. If you’re looking for a quick sale these lower offers can be tempting to just take what you can get, however, the typical response of many would be to scoff and click the decline button. Some might even hit back by responding with something mean about how these lowballers are wasting their time and being unfair with their low price.

How to Respond to Lowball Offers

As tempting as it might be, sellers should never react emotionally to these low ball offers because at the end of the day you as a seller are running a business and it should never be mixed with personal issues.

For whatever reason, low ball offers will come in for all kinds of reasons and though as per community guidelines Poshmark offers are private although many times sellers and potential buyers will actually post a public exchange in the comments. This takes on the form of negotiating the lowest offer they can get from the asking price. Sometimes, sellers will try to sweeten the deal with shipping discounts, free gifts, and bundles.

As long as you have a strategy for dealing with lowballers and don’t ever let it get to you, Poshmark can be a pretty good side gig that can turn into a full-time job.

Things to Consider With Low Ball Offers

Meeting in the middle is the ideal strategy for both buyers and sellers even if the new buyer starts with a lower price. As a seller whose goal is to make a sale, you need to think about it from a buyer’s perspective.

Buying items on Poshmark is not the same as buying them in a store

Take for example, if you want to buy a designer pair of jeans for 30% off you can either wait for a department store to have a sale or go to outlet stores that will have a closet clear out. The fact is that a lot of items that are designer are being priced more competitively nowadays so if people want slightly discounted items new options are now available for them to buy in malls or online.

Never negotiate in the comments section

Only remember to answer questions about the item and any additional questions that could be helpful for other buyers to see in the listing but never talk about the price. Always give private discounts within your privacy because a potential buyer might get the wrong impression if they see back and forth negotiations in the comments of your listing then they might assume that your closet is open to haggling.

You can direct questions about the price along the lines of “Thanks for checking out my closet! I’m open to negotiating a reasonable offer so please feel free to make an offer”.

You don’t have to set garage sale prices, but always remember that most items depreciate quickly

On Poshmark, one of the best tips is to not use the manufacturer’s suggested retail price as an anchor when listing items. The reason for this is because from a buyer’s perspective no matter how fashionable an item was or still is, the fact is that it will depreciate over time. Sellers are always looking for a bargain so remember that even if you were thrifting and ecstatic that you paid 25% off a designer good it isn’t always going to be the same care for your potential buyers.

Don’t Decline But Counter a Lowball Offer

If you don’t accept low ball offers then what you can do is to give counteroffers instead of declining them and this needs to be based on your pricing strategy. As you should always counter a lowball offer with an acceptable price and be properly done with it. Poshmark is a marketplace for buying and selling clothes as it is a community that can be linked to social media platforms. Your interaction as a seller to potential buyers should always be friendly and positive so by giving a counter offer you are making an effort to negotiate with a buyer by not declining their offer.

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Here’s a good message that you can say instead of outright declining an offer and after you’ve gone back and forth with your counter offers:

“Thank you for your offer! I wish I could accept, however, I need to consider my costs and the 20% selling fees on Poshmark. I can make one more counter offer but it’s the best that I can do. Thank you for your consideration!”

It shows respect to the potential buyer and as a seller, you are also expressing your gratitude for them browsing your Poshmark closet. And by not declining you are also avoiding giving potential buyers a bad experience with your shop and improving your star rating.

Don’t Be Afraid to Make it Known that You Stand Firm on Your Poshmark Pricing

If you’ve done your research and are confident with your listed price then don’t be afraid to stand by it when confronted by a low baller. Another tactful way to handle low ball offers is by utilizing a price chart to determine a reasonable price offer that is below your asking price but not low enough to be considered a low ball offer.

Consider Poshmark fees, shipping costs, and offer discount

Whatever counter offer you give should be profitable, always consider what your expected profit will be when you deduct posh fees, shipping discount/shipping costs (especially free shipping), and other offer discounts. As a seller, you should remember that profitability is the goal so be cautious of just how much of discount customers will get.

Now that we’ve gone over the Poshmark etiquette when it comes to creating offers. OneShop offers a helpful and easy automation tool that can act as your own sales marketing expert in handling shares, follows, and creating offers around the clock 24/7 for your Poshmark business

OneShop gives you the advantage to market faster and more than the competition and get thousands of views from potential customers without you having to do anything. It features a built-in share jail protection that allows it to create human-like behavior to optimize your listings to be top of the search rankings and attract more active buyers.

Give it a try and sign up for a free 14-day trial.

The Art of Lowballing: How to Make an Offer on a House

Are you thinking about buying a house and considering a lowball offer to land the perfect deal? You’ve come to the right place! We’ll show you how to navigate the art of lowballing and make a confident offer on a house. A rude house offer is significantly below market value or asking price, intending to exploit desperate sellers. In contrast, strategic lowballing involves a well-reasoned, fair offer below the asking price but within an acceptable range. Discover the art of lowballing, how to make a respectable offer, and strike the perfect balance between getting a great deal and not offending the seller.

Understanding Lowball Offers and Rude Offers

To start, it’s important to differentiate between a rude offer and a lowball offer. A rude offer is one that is so low it can be seen as disrespectful to the seller and may even damage your chances of negotiating a fair deal. This type of offer is often made without considering the property’s true value or the current market conditions. It might leave the seller feeling insulted, leading to a breakdown in communication and a lost opportunity. On the other hand, a lowball offer is a calculated, strategic move that takes into account the property’s market value, the seller’s situation, and other factors that could influence the negotiation process. This type of offer is made with the intention of securing a better deal for the buyer while still keeping the seller’s interests in mind. A well-executed lowball offer can lead to successful negotiations and a favorable outcome for both parties.

What Percentage Constitutes a Lowball Offer?

A lowball offer typically falls at least 5-10% below the asking price. However, the specific percentage can vary depending on market conditions, property specifics, and the seller’s situation. Determining what percentage constitutes a lowball offer can be subjective and is largely influenced by the current state of the real estate market and the individual property in question. In general, an offer that is at least 5-10% below the asking price is considered a lowball offer. It’s important to remember that this is just a guideline and each situation may require a different approach. In a buyer’s market, where there is an abundance of properties for sale and fewer buyers, a lowball offer may be more acceptable and even expected. However, in a seller’s market, where there is high demand and limited inventory, making a lowball offer could result in the seller not taking your offer seriously or even considering other offers over yours. To determine an appropriate percentage for a lowball offer, you’ll need to conduct thorough research on comparable properties and analyze the local market conditions. This will provide you with the necessary context to make an informed decision about how much below the asking price you should offer. Remember, the goal is to make a reasonable offer that reflects the true value of the property and provides a solid foundation for negotiation with the seller.

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Researching Comparable Properties and Market Conditions

Before making a lowball offer, it’s crucial to do your homework. Research comparable properties in the area and analyze recent sales to gain a better understanding of the market conditions. This will help you determine a fair price range for the property you’re interested in and give you a solid foundation for making a reasonable lowball offer. For instance, let’s consider a $500,000 house in both a buyer’s market and a seller’s market. In a buyer’s market, where there is less competition, you might make a lowball offer of around $450,000, which is 10% below the asking price. This offer is on the lower end of the spectrum but still within a fair range, given the abundance of available properties. On the other hand, a rude offer in this scenario could be as low as $350,000, which is 30% below the asking price and likely to offend the seller. In a seller’s market, however, you’ll need to be more cautious with lowball offers. In this case, a lowball offer might be closer to $475,000, or 5% below the asking price, to remain competitive and avoid alienating the seller. A rude offer in a seller’s market could be anything more than 15% below the asking price, such as $425,000, which would likely be dismissed by the seller due to high demand for their property. The key is to strike a balance between securing a favorable deal for yourself and respecting the seller’s expectations. By researching the market conditions and understanding the difference between a lowball and a rude offer, you’ll be better equipped to navigate the delicate art of lowballing in any market scenario.

Evaluating the Seller’s Motivation

Understanding the seller’s motivation is an important aspect of making a successful lowball offer. A highly motivated seller may be more willing to entertain a lower offer if they need to sell quickly or if they’re experiencing financial difficulties. In such cases, a lowball offer could be seen as a helpful solution rather than an insult. To gauge the seller’s motivation, look for clues such as how long the property has been on the market, if there have been any price reductions, or if the listing mentions the seller’s urgency. However, be cautious not to exploit the seller’s vulnerability; make sure your offer remains respectful and fair.

Striking the Perfect Lowball Offer: Best and Worst Scenarios

When making a lowball offer, the best-case scenario would involve a buyer’s market with a motivated seller and an overpriced property. In this situation, the seller is more likely to be open to negotiations and could potentially accept a lower offer than they would in other market conditions. For example, in the best-case scenario, where the $500,000 house is in a buyer’s market with a motivated seller and comparable properties are selling for around $450,000, a lowball offer of $425,000 (15% below the asking price) might be considered reasonable. In this scenario, a rude offer could be one that is below $400,000, or 20% less than the asking price, as it would take advantage of the seller’s urgency to sell. On the flip side, the worst-case scenario would be a seller’s market with a newly listed property that is at or below the market price. In this situation, the seller is less likely to entertain lowball offers and might even receive multiple offers at or above their asking price. For instance, in the worst-case scenario, where the $500,000 house is in a seller’s market and the seller has priced their property competitively, a lowball offer of around $475,000 (5% below the asking price) might be the most you could reasonably attempt without risking the seller’s disinterest. In this situation, a rude offer could be anything more than 10% below the asking price, such as $450,000 or lower, which would likely be dismissed outright by the seller due to the competitive market conditions. Ultimately, the art of lowballing relies on your ability to read the market, understand the seller’s motivations, and gauge the appropriate level of risk in your offer. By considering the best and worst scenarios, you can better tailor your lowball offer to suit the specific conditions at hand and improve your chances of securing a great deal on your dream home.

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Crafting a Respectful Lowball Offer

When making a lowball offer, it’s important to communicate your reasoning clearly and respectfully, regardless of whether you find yourself in the best or worst-case scenario. To politely make a low offer, research comparable properties and market conditions, present the offer in writing, and provide a well-crafted letter explaining the rationale behind the offer, using relevant data. Be prepared to negotiate and demonstrate a cooperative attitude to reach a fair agreement. Regardless of the market conditions, be prepared to negotiate. While your initial offer may be on the lower end, show that you’re willing to be flexible and find common ground with the seller. Remember, the goal is to strike a deal that benefits both parties, so demonstrating a cooperative attitude can go a long way in facilitating a successful negotiation. By crafting a respectful lowball offer and providing a well-reasoned explanation, you’ll be better equipped to navigate the complexities of the homebuying process, whether you find yourself in the best or worst of scenarios.

Navigating the Risks of Lowball Offers

Despite the potential benefits of a well-crafted lowball offer, there are risks involved. One of the primary risks is offending the seller, which can lead to a breakdown in communication or even the rejection of your offer outright. To mitigate this risk, always approach the negotiation process with respect and professionalism. Be honest about your intentions and your reasons for making a lower offer, and be prepared to compromise when necessary. Another risk is losing out on a property to a competing buyer who submits a higher offer. In a competitive market or when dealing with a highly sought-after property, you might need to weigh the benefits of a lowball offer against the potential risk of losing the property altogether. In such cases, it might be wiser to submit a more competitive offer to secure the property, even if it means paying a higher price.

Offering 20% Less on a House: Is It Feasible?

While it is possible to offer 20% less on a house, the feasibility depends on market conditions, property specifics, and the seller’s situation. Research, a clear rationale, and respectful communication are key in making such an offer. In certain circumstances, offering 20% less on a house might be appropriate. This could be the case in a buyer’s market where comparable properties are selling for lower prices, or if the property has significant issues that require costly repairs or updates. In these situations, a well-researched and respectfully communicated offer may be considered by the seller. However, in a seller’s market or when the property is already priced fairly, offering 20% less is likely to be viewed as a rude offer and may jeopardize your chances of securing the property. In these cases, it’s important to be realistic about your expectations and consider making a more competitive offer based on the market conditions and the specific property you’re interested in. As with any lowball offer, the key to success lies in thorough research, respectful communication, and a willingness to negotiate. By presenting a well-reasoned offer that takes into account market conditions, comparable properties, and the property’s unique characteristics, you increase the likelihood of reaching a mutually beneficial agreement with the seller.

When Will Sellers Take a Lower Offer?

Sellers may take a lower offer in cases like a buyer’s market, a property with unique challenges, or when facing personal circumstances that necessitate a quick sale. Thorough research and a respectful approach increase the likelihood of a successful negotiation. For instance, a seller might be open to a lower offer if their property has historical significance, which could limit the pool of potential buyers due to the costs associated with maintaining or restoring the property. In this case, a respectful and well-researched offer that takes into account the unique challenges associated with the property could lead to a successful negotiation. As always, conducting thorough research and approaching the negotiation process with a respectful attitude are key to increasing the chances of the seller accepting a lower offer. By understanding the seller’s circumstances and the specific details of the property, you can craft a well-reasoned offer that benefits both parties.


The art of lowballing involves walking a fine line between securing a great deal on a property and maintaining a respectful relationship with the seller. By understanding the difference between a rude offer and a strategic lowball offer, market conditions, and the seller’s motivation, you can successfully negotiate a favorable outcome without alienating the seller. Remember, the key to mastering the art of lowballing is to approach the process with a well-informed strategy, a respectful attitude, and a willingness to compromise. By doing so, you’ll increase your chances of landing your dream home at a price that works for both you and the seller. Happy house hunting!

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