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I also don't observe massive groups of Dave followers *buying* stuff. The how to buy stuff cheap is a small percentage of his books/focus/resources. Most new followers struggle to not spend, to save the $1k, to make a list of bills in order from lowest to highest.

 

DR (and I am not an indoctrinated, wholehearted follower) doesn't advocate *spending*. Most of his callers don't have spending questions, either.

 

I don't share your perception.

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IMHO, personal opinions. The gist I see is that if someone is saving for their poor income family, they are being frugal. If someone with more money is trying to be frugal, they are seen as cheap.

 

A frugal person saves money or resources without causing harm to others. A cheap person saves money or resources by causing harm to others.

 

Thus, at a restaurant a frugal person might drink water and order an appetizer instead of an entree, but she tips the waiter/waitress. A cheap person stiffs the waiter/waitress. (A really frugal person wouldn't eat in a restaurant, but that is another story.)

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I'll say it outright - I think it's stinkin' cheap if you know someone is in need and you low-ball them even though you can afford their reasonable asking price just so you can get a bargain. Rationalize it however you want - it's chintzy.

 

Reminds me of the time my dad was selling our old hot water heater. The price was low and a young couple came along. After talking to them for awhile my dad realized they were having it hard and he gave them the heater. My parents didn't have a lot, but Dad knew they needed the money more than he did. He did things like that all the time. I saw more "Christian charity" from my dad, the non-believer, than almost any professing Christian I've ever known.

 

And that was awesome of him.

 

However, there's several things to keep in perspective here.

 

1. Anyone selling a jag is on pretty even footing with anyone buying one.

 

2. No seller has any way of knowing what the buyer can afford, unless the buyer stupidly tells them.

 

3. The "I'm down on my luck and need an extra buck" is one of the oldest sales pitches ever and often isn't as true as people might think. It's an emotional manipulation ploy in hopes of a sympathy sale.

 

I'd wager there's a lot more people in the USA taken advantage of by over pricing due to their own ignorance or necessity than people low balled who can walk away if they really think they can get a better deal.

Edited by Martha
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I disagree. There is a big difference between accepting a fair market offer on something you're selling, or accepting a low ball offer out of desperation. When someone offers you an extremely low ball offer that is significantly below the fair market value of whatever it is you're selling, they are absolutely trying to take advantage. Can you refuse the offer? Sure. But should they even make that offer in the first place? That's the moral question.

 

I'm speaking from having experienced this over and over and over again these past three years. Yes, there's not really any way of knowing if a seller is in a desperate situation. But right now, given the current economy - the benefit of the doubt goes to selling out of need rather than choice. It is absolutely despairing to have people make such low ball offers. It feels like stealing.

 

Fair market value is whatever the market will bear. If the guy could have gotten a better price for the Jag, he would have sold it to someone else. Many people today are having to accept what seem like ridiculously low prices for their homes, but that doesn't mean the purchasers are stealing. A low ball offer IS fair market value if it's the best price anyone is offering.

 

ETA: I am not a heartless person. It is not my obligation to fix someone else's financial woes or pay more than necessary for anything I buy. But that doesn't mean I've never paid a little more for something than I thought it was worth to help someone out. And on a fairly regular basis, I give stuff away instead of selling it in order to help out friends.

Edited by LizzyBee
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Okay, so what if the potential buyer is in a financial crisis as well? Is he still cheap? Or would it be okay if he pays less than the potential buyer who has more money? :bigear:

 

Sure, if the potential buyer is also in financial crisis, let him make an offer he feels he can afford. The seller can always refuse.

 

My issue is with someone who CAN afford the (reasonable) asking price, KNOWS the seller needs the money, and still low-balls him to get a bargain. I personally would not be able to sleep at night knowing I had ripped off someone who was so desperate they took my too-low offer because they needed the money so badly. That's not a bargain I could live with.

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3. The "I'm down on my luck and need an extra buck" is one of the oldest sales pitches ever and often isn't as true as people might think. It's an emotional manipulation ploy in hopes of a sympathy sale.

 

 

 

:iagree:and I know my father was taken advantage of, not in this instance but in others. That's their cross to bear, though; he followed his heart.

Edited by Mejane
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Fair market value is whatever the market will bear. If the guy could have gotten a better price for the Jag, he would have sold it to someone else. Many people today are having to accept what seem like ridiculously low prices for their homes, but that doesn't mean the purchasers are stealing. A low ball offer IS fair market value if it's the best price anyone is offering.

 

Exactly. If I tried to sell my house right now, someone would probably offer lower than market value and even the market value is way lower than I paid. But that's the housing market right now. People who need to sell will sell for whatever they can get. Or people like me, who don't need to sell but just wish they could, are choosing not to sell and feeling quite vexed about it. But again, that's my problem not someone else's problem. I watch those real estate shows and I always see people make their first offer extremely low to see how much house they can get for as little money. It just seems like the way the business goes.

 

As for Dave Ramsey, if someone is really that put out that he did that, they could call into his show and ask him why he thinks that is an ethical action. It would be interesting to hear his reply.

 

It's an interesting thread. We've seen time and time again on this board that people think very differently.

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I expect the OP has gone to ground, but I see her question not as 'should one get a good deal if one can?' (by low-balling or whatever) but rather as 'is it ethical to take advantage of your knowledge of a persons desperation?'

 

I am the dd of second hand dealers, and we were always offered low ball figures day after day, week after week, year after year. It is very boring but we just said no, the items were fairly priced, take it or leave it. We were often verbally abused by the buyer after refusing a silly low figure. Did people think we didn't need to eat?

 

However my parents also brought this stuff, often from desperate people, and I KNOW they often gave more for an item than it was worth, and we would sell at a loss, simply because they WERE desperate. I don't think my parents would have considered themselves Christian. Certainly not born again. They did this because they thought they could help people.

 

Obviously we were not rich (not financially anyway,I remember being sent to the market after it closed to pick up the fallen fruit and veg from the ground, but we were certainly rich in other ways).

 

Oh yes, i do know how the market works, but I still don't believe in ripping people off.

 

Re Dave Ramsey, I didn't see this in the one book I read, but I would have been very disappointed to see pride in taking advantage of the desperate as opposed to information on how to haggle.

Edited by Willow
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:iagree:and I know my father was taken advantage of, not in this instance but in others. That's their cross to bear, though; he followed his heart.

 

And that's fine too.

 

But I think it is an error in logic to think everyone should have to do business the same way. It's a great attitude towards charitable giving. It's a recipe for financial ruin in business where the goal is to have an exchange of goods or services, not just kindly give away money or possessions.

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Sure, if the potential buyer is also in financial crisis, let him make an offer he feels he can afford. The seller can always refuse.

 

My issue is with someone who CAN afford the (reasonable) asking price, KNOWS the seller needs the money, and still low-balls him to get a bargain. I personally would not be able to sleep at night knowing I had ripped off someone who was so desperate they took my too-low offer because they needed the money so badly. That's not a bargain I could live with.

 

Wow, we think so differently. As a person who lives comfortably, it makes me kind of angry to know that people expect I should pay more for a product than someone who has less money than me. I just don't see fairness anywhere in that scenario. Now, if the buyer purposefully set out to make someone else miserable, I agree that's not a good thing. But to expect him to pay more just because he can afford to just doesn't resonate.

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Wow, we think so differently. As a person who lives comfortably, it makes me kind of angry to know that people expect I should pay more for a product than someone who has less money than me. I just don't see fairness anywhere in that scenario. Now, if the buyer purposefully set out to make someone else miserable, I agree that's not a good thing. But to expect him to pay more just because he can afford to just doesn't resonate.

 

 

That's ok. :001_smile:

 

I guess I look at it the way I look at charitable giving. I live comfortably, too. If I went to a sale and chatted with the seller (as I have often done), and found out they were selling everything because they were losing their home or had medical bills to pay, I would pay the asking price without batting an eye as an act of giving. Let's face it, I'm already getting a "bargain." If someone else would spend $10 less to get that same item because that's what they could afford, I'd say good for them. That $10 means nothing to me, but if could mean a great deal to someone else.

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But I think it is an error in logic to think everyone should have to do business the same way. It's a great attitude towards charitable giving. It's a recipe for financial ruin in business where the goal is to have an exchange of goods or services, not just kindly give away money or possessions.

 

Absolutely right. If it were my business to buy or sell, I'd be more discerning. Or I'd go out of business quick (which is probably more likely. ;))

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We were often verbally abused by the buyer after refusing a silly low figure.

 

See now, that's just rude of them.

 

However my parents also brought this stuff, often from desperate people, and I KNOW they often gave more for an item than it was worth, and we would sell at a loss, simply because they WERE desperate. I don't think my parents would have considered themselves Christian. Certainly not born again. They did this because they thought they could help people.

 

Obviously we were not rich (not financially anyway,I remember being sent to the market after it closed to pick up the fallen fruit and veg from the ground, but we were certainly rich in other ways).

 

Yep. There's that financial ruin when charity practices are applied to business expectations I mentioned before. :(

 

 

nformation on how to haggle.

 

Know the most you can and are willing to pay.

 

Make an offer. Low balling is fine. They can say no or make a counter offer. You can always counter offer.

 

Saying the price is fairly marked, take or leave it, is not a great negotiation technique either. Which hey, if they didn't want to haggle, that's their choice too and I hope they got their asking price more often than not.

 

I love charity. It's awesome to give to someone else. Even when I'm in need myself, it feels great to be able to do something for another.

 

But it's a horrid idea to do business like one does charity. It you want to give something - give it expecting nothing in return. But that is not business. Do your business. And if after the deal is done, you want to help them out - by all means do so if you can.

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A frugal person saves money or resources without causing harm to others. A cheap person saves money or resources by causing harm to others.

 

Thus, at a restaurant a frugal person might drink water and order an appetizer instead of an entree, but she tips the waiter/waitress. A cheap person stiffs the waiter/waitress. (A really frugal person wouldn't eat in a restaurant, but that is another story.)

 

Yes, this is exactly what I meant when I said there is a fine line between frugal and cheap.

 

And I would add that it really doesn't matter how well off (or not) the person is. I've seen well-off folks that were cheap and those who were frugal. I've seen folks barely getting by that were frugal and those who were cheap. It is all the intent of the action, not the financial worth of the person.

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Wow, we think so differently. As a person who lives comfortably, it makes me kind of angry to know that people expect I should pay more for a product than someone who has less money than me. I just don't see fairness anywhere in that scenario. Now, if the buyer purposefully set out to make someone else miserable, I agree that's not a good thing. But to expect him to pay more just because he can afford to just doesn't resonate.

 

I agree. It is business, not charity. I tend to get cranky when people act like they are entitled to my money and then get on some holy roller high horse when it's pointed out I'm not there for charity, but to do business. If they don't want my business, that's fine by me. But don't claim I owe you EXTRA just because you think you need my money more than I need it.:glare:

 

ETA Disclaimer: all "you" and "people" refer to the general populace and not any other specific fellow boardy. :)

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Yes, this is exactly what I meant when I said there is a fine line between frugal and cheap.

 

And I would add that it really doesn't matter how well off (or not) the person is. I've seen well-off folks that were cheap and those who were frugal. I've seen folks barely getting by that were frugal and those who were cheap. It is all the intent of the action, not the financial worth of the person.

 

Dh is reading The Millionaire Next Door and it addresses this very thing... most self-made millionaires are where they are because they are very frugal people. I'm looking forward to reading it when he is finished.

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I agree. It is business, not charity. I tend to get cranky when people act like they are entitled to my money and then get on some holy roller high horse when it's pointed out I'm not there for charity, but to do business. If they don't want my business, that's fine by me. But don't claim I owe you EXTRA just because you think you need my money more than I need it.:glare:

 

ETA Disclaimer: all "you" and "people" refer to the general populace and not any other specific fellow boardy. :)

 

:iagree:

 

Sometimes I'm amazed at the audacity of some actually - my business is one where it's one price....occasional coupons or discounts are out in the community, but it's one price. Most don't complain or question the price since I was careful to price for what the market can (and does) bear without taking it too close to the edge of that 'bearing'....I also priced to be able to occasionally offer discount specials....with price, it's easy to go down a bit, much, much harder to go up!

 

Anyway, in the last year I'm open, I've had a handful not only complain loudly, but literally expect that because they complain loudly, I'll comply with their wishes to lower the price to their expectations - they don't seem to know/understand/care that I have overhead - rent, utilities, payroll, insurance, supplies, etc. - nope, they just think I'm open to do a public service or something, and that I'm somehow making money hand-over-fist.

 

A couple of times, for those who weren't obnoxious, I did give them a discount - it was obvious to me they were tight on money....but the others, who are loud and obnoxious - no way - especially when I haven't even taken a penny for myself in the year - not my capital investment nor a salary - and we're barely breaking even!

 

Giving a discount is my choice, not an obligation.

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I agree. It is business, not charity. I tend to get cranky when people act like they are entitled to my money and then get on some holy roller high horse when it's pointed out I'm not there for charity, but to do business. If they don't want my business, that's fine by me. But don't claim I owe you EXTRA just because you think you need my money more than I need it.:glare:

 

ETA Disclaimer: all "you" and "people" refer to the general populace and not any other specific fellow boardy. :)

 

People expect the same things from their employers. For some reason, Americans these days think that businesses and employers are in business to give them a job. And if it comes out that, heaven forbid, the employer/businessman is in business to make money for themselves, then that person is castigated. I am just dumbfounded when I hear about people griping because they think that somehow they are owed a job, and if they take that job they are owed a certain wage and certain benefits. Employers don't owe anyone anything. They offer certain wages/benefits not to be nice, but rather to compete with other employers in their field to get the best workers. Now, I don't want to paint employers as Scrooges, because I would guess that most employers want to treat their employees right because they want happy employees, but the bottom line is people are in business to make money and that is not selfish. It's life. And if the free market economy would be left to run itself it would work beautifully.

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I've had a handful not only complain loudly, but literally expect that because they complain loudly, I'll comply with their wishes to lower the price to their expectations

 

Giving a discount is my choice, not an obligation.

 

Complaining is fine when done right.

Haggling is fine.

Being a turd is not a good negotiation tactic though.

 

Haggling does not equal being a donkey.

 

Tho I freely admit in modern American society haggling in and of itself tends to be frowned on as crass/rude/tacky.:confused:

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That's because there isn't one.

 

Best connection is that prostitutes and mine workers should make more money.

 

In which case, we should all remember to pay more for our coal and hookers.

 

I'm not in the market for either.

 

So I'm not paying them anything.

 

Does that make me a worse Christian?

 

I don't think so... But maybe I'm wrong. Wouldn't be the first time I wasn't Christian enough for someone, but it would be the first time it was because I wasn't giving more consideration to paying for a hooker.:001_huh:

 

Best. Post. Ever. :D

 

My issue is with someone who CAN afford the (reasonable) asking price, KNOWS the seller needs the money, and still low-balls him to get a bargain. I personally would not be able to sleep at night knowing I had ripped off someone who was so desperate they took my too-low offer because they needed the money so badly. That's not a bargain I could live with.

 

Yes, that's tacky. I have no knowledge of DR advocating this though and I believe it is different than what the OP is talking about. I also think it is unwise at best to make your desperation known to someone with whom you're doing business. I usually stay away from sellers like that--the sympathy ploy is the perfect breeding ground for a scam.

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That's ok. :001_smile:

 

I guess I look at it the way I look at charitable giving. I live comfortably, too. If I went to a sale and chatted with the seller (as I have often done), and found out they were selling everything because they were losing their home or had medical bills to pay, I would pay the asking price without batting an eye as an act of giving. Let's face it, I'm already getting a "bargain." If someone else would spend $10 less to get that same item because that's what they could afford, I'd say good for them. That $10 means nothing to me, but if could mean a great deal to someone else.

 

In that situation, I would do the same thing. I'm not unkind or try to take advantage of people. But I prefer that it goes both ways and not have someone expect more from me just because I can afford to pay it. As usual, the topic thread meandered and I got caught up in the 'what ifs' which can go on forever if we let it. :tongue_smilie: I hate judgemental attitudes. I've been called cheap because I wouldn't pay an inflated price for something. I've been treated like I was inferior because I don't have a college degree. I've gone back to school mostly to just have that piece of paper. I doubt I'll ever use it, but I sure hate feeling stupid when people find out I don't have a college education. It's a personal issue I guess. Of course I could also be considered stupid for paying thousands of dollars so others won't think I'm stupid! :lol:

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People expect the same things from their employers. For some reason, Americans these days think that businesses and employers are in business to give them a job. And if it comes out that, heaven forbid, the employer/businessman is in business to make money for themselves, then that person is castigated. I am just dumbfounded when I hear about people griping because they think that somehow they are owed a job, and if they take that job they are owed a certain wage and certain benefits. Employers don't owe anyone anything. They offer certain wages/benefits not to be nice, but rather to compete with other employers in their field to get the best workers. Now, I don't want to paint employers as Scrooges, because I would guess that most employers want to treat their employees right because they want happy employees, but the bottom line is people are in business to make money and that is not selfish. It's life. And if the free market economy would be left to run itself it would work beautifully.

 

Well anyone under that delusion after that last three years of crappy economy needs to wake up and get a clue about reality.

 

I think people should get a minimum living wage (not to be confused with the actual federal minimum wage which no one can live off of) and reasonable steps be taken to make worker conditions reasonably safe and there should be clear expectations of days/hours required.

 

I don't know that a free market should be entirely left to it self sans regulation of any kind is a good thing, but I'm no where near as govt socialist as is currently politically popular.

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That's because there isn't one.

 

Best connection is that prostitutes and mine workers should make more money.

 

In which case, we should all remember to pay more for our coal and hookers.

 

I'm not in the market for either.

 

So I'm not paying them anything.

 

Does that make me a worse Christian?

 

I don't think so... But maybe I'm wrong. Wouldn't be the first time I wasn't Christian enough for someone, but it would be the first time it was because I wasn't giving more consideration to paying for a hooker.:001_huh:

 

I love your response!

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I flipped through Total Money Makeover, and this was all I found. It may not be the quote the OP was talking about. DR tells about how his weakness is cars, and how he hung on to his Jaguar long after he should have gotten rid of it. Then he says, "Fast-forward 15 years. We had become wealthy again, and I decided to get a different car. I'm always looking for a one-or two-year-old car, I'm always paying cash, and I'm always looking for a deal, not really caring what car it is. I was kind of looking for a Mercedes or a Lexus, but I was really looking for a steal. A friend in the car business called me with a deal - on a Jaguar. So all those years and tears later, when it was no longer the driving force of my approval rating, God allowed a Jaguar back into my life."

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I've been called cheap because I wouldn't pay an inflated price for something.

 

Oh, believe me, I'm no spendthrift! I'm probably "cheaper" than you. :D I haaaate throwing money away. There are just some times I refuse to haggle or worry about it at all, and this would be one of those times. I don't think you're unkind. :001_smile:

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I'm not using an extreme...I'm putting into perspective. He knew that the guy selling the jaguar was desperate, and then he offered an even ridiculously lower price for it because he knew the seller was that desperate. He proudly proclaims this in his book and tells people it's okay to take advantage...

 

I'm having a hard time conjuring an image of what I would call desperate from someone with a Jaguar to sell. And no, I don't see making a low-ball offer as "taking advantage." The seller has a choice to wait for other buyers.

 

No object has an intrinsic worth. It is only worth what people value it for. For whatever reason, humans have traditionally valued gold. There have been situations in history in which gold lost its value to food. A used Jaguar (or any other thing) is only worth as much as it is worth to a potential buyer. If the Jaguar seller hadn't been able to sell it at his asking price, it wasn't worth that much. If Ramsay offered him a lower price (what it was worth to him) and the seller sold it, the seller was accepting that as the current worth of the vehicle.

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I am selling nearly everything I own in order to move. I qualify as desparate. If people on Craigslist want to lowball offer me, I'll consider it. I won't feel taken advantage of. It's how it works.

 

Exactly. You'll be trying to figure out if you can get more out of it if you wait or whether you're willing to risk ending up with nothing; the buyer has determined how much worth it has to him/her and may be willing to go up so far, but no more. There is not a cosmic pricing system. Things are worth what people will pay for them.

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I disagree. There is a big difference between accepting a fair market offer on something you're selling, or accepting a low ball offer out of desperation. When someone offers you an extremely low ball offer that is significantly below the fair market value of whatever it is you're selling, they are absolutely trying to take advantage. Can you refuse the offer? Sure. But should they even make that offer in the first place? That's the moral question.

 

.

 

The "fair market value" is whatever you can get someone to pay for it for within a reasonable amount of time. The "fair market value" can go up or down over time. What was fair market value 2 years ago may have little relevance today. Fair market value is today's value--what people think it's worth today.

 

If a seller truly believes the "fair market value" is higher than an offer they get, they can wait for another offer---and shouldn't have to wait very long if they are right about the fair market value. There is no way to actually know the "fair market value" without a list of comparable sales. Without that, the "fair" value is simply a fantasy in the buyer's head and a different one in the seller's head. So a low ball offer is just that--it's what the buyer is willing to pay. Is it better to not offer anything and have the person stuck with no money than to make a low ball offer? That to me is trying to get too far into the head of the seller. They can determine whether it's better to take the low ball offer or take nothing at all.

 

In the summer before the presidential election, the "fair market value" of a certain stock was X. About Sept or so, it dropped to 1/2 X. The stock had not changed--wasn't damaged or broken or anything--the market had changed and its worth was subsequently different. The same thing happens when selling used items. Something that may have been appraised at $X before auction that actually sells for less at auction simply shows the appraisal was not an accurate guess for the market value of that item.

 

I think we get into really muddy waters when we try to determine what is best for the unknown other person in a financial transaction . For instance, should a sales person morally sell someone a fancy TV when their family barely has enough money to buy food each month? How is the sales person supposed to know that? Is it his business? Most of us wouldn't want to be scrutinized in the marketplace as buyers. Why should buyers be expected to scrutinize sellers?

Edited by Laurie4b
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People expect the same things from their employers. For some reason, Americans these days think that businesses and employers are in business to give them a job. And if it comes out that, heaven forbid, the employer/businessman is in business to make money for themselves, then that person is castigated. I am just dumbfounded when I hear about people griping because they think that somehow they are owed a job, and if they take that job they are owed a certain wage and certain benefits. Employers don't owe anyone anything. They offer certain wages/benefits not to be nice, but rather to compete with other employers in their field to get the best workers. Now, I don't want to paint employers as Scrooges, because I would guess that most employers want to treat their employees right because they want happy employees, but the bottom line is people are in business to make money and that is not selfish. It's life. And if the free market economy would be left to run itself it would work beautifully.

:iagree::iagree: Thank you! I agree so wholeheartedly. Can I print this and hand it out? ;) Hank Rearden and Fransisco D'Anconia would be so happy.

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The "fair market value" is whatever you can get someone to pay for it for within a reasonable amount of time. The "fair market value" can go up or down over time. What was fair market value 2 years ago may have little relevance today. Fair market value is today's value--what people think it's worth today.

 

If a seller truly believes the "fair market value" is higher than an offer they get, they can wait for another offer---and shouldn't have to wait very long if they are right about the fair market value. There is no way to actually know the "fair market value" without a list of comparable sales. Without that, the "fair" value is simply a fantasy in the buyer's head and a different one in the seller's head. So a low ball offer is just that--it's what the buyer is willing to pay. Is it better to not offer anything and have the person stuck with no money than to make a low ball offer? That to me is trying to get too far into the head of the seller. They can determine whether it's better to take the low ball offer or take nothing at all.

 

In the summer before the presidential election, the "fair market value" of a certain stock was X. About Sept or so, it dropped to 1/2 X. The stock had not changed--wasn't damaged or broken or anything--the market had changed and its worth was subsequently different. The same thing happens when selling used items. Something that may have been appraised at $X before auction that actually sells for less at auction simply shows the appraisal was not an accurate guess for the market value of that item.

 

I think we get into really muddy waters when we try to determine what is best for the unknown other person in a financial transaction . For instance, should a sales person morally sell someone a fancy TV when their family barely has enough money to buy food each month? How is the sales person supposed to know that? Is it his business? Most of us wouldn't want to be scrutinized in the marketplace as buyers. Why should buyers be expected to scrutinize sellers?

 

:iagree: I know in the instances where we've had to sell things the value of cash exceeded the value of whatever material possession we were selling. I can't take a broken go-cart to the grocery to buy food, they want cash. So the go-cart became less valuable than the cash it was worth, does that even make sense (brain fog)? With the cash we could buy a full stomach and a warm house, while the go-cart was simply taking up space. Desperate? Some might say, but we re-evaluated what something was worth based upon our current needs. Hunger economics, maybe?

 

I know my dh never did this begrudgingly or even stated some of desperate need. We felt good that someone got a deal and we got what we wanted.

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I'll say it outright - I think it's stinkin' cheap if you know someone is in need and you low-ball them even though you can afford their reasonable asking price just so you can get a bargain. Rationalize it however you want - it's chintzy.

 

Reminds me of the time my dad was selling our old hot water heater. The price was low and a young couple came along. After talking to them for awhile my dad realized they were having it hard and he gave them the heater. My parents didn't have a lot, but Dad knew they needed the money more than he did. He did things like that all the time. I saw more "Christian charity" from my dad, the non-believer, than almost any professing Christian I've ever known.

 

Sounds like your dad was a great guy. And I think what he did was great. But it was a choice to give a *gift*. One is not morally obligated to give gifts, though it is nice if you can do it and if you want to.

 

The original story was about a "poor" guy selling a Jaguar, not a poor couple having hard times. I think what most people are saying amounts to 1) Fair market value is what people will pay for something, so if a low-ball offer is truly low-ball, then the seller can *easily* get another buyer. If it's the only offer, then the seller was mistaken about "fair market value." 2) This is not an unfair, dishonest, etc. transaction .

 

I don't think anyone should assume that people who are arguing for a fair market transation are not also people who are generous in giving gifts. They may choose who to give to, though, correct?

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No seller is obligated to accept a ridiculously insulting offer. I would think Mr. Ramsey's point is that, you don't know until you ask. Start low, and haggle.

 

As others have pointed out, there are various definitions of "desperate" when it comes to sellers. The guy selling the Jaguar may have been "desperate" because he wanted to sell the Jaguar ASAP to have cash for his vacation or to buy an even better car that his neighbor's selling; who knows? He's clearly in a hurry to sell for whatever reason, so Mr. Ramsey gets a better price than he would from a seller who's not in a hurry. I don't think a "desperate" seller is necessarily someone whose kids are starving, KWIM?

 

I've been through FPU, spent a lot of time listening to Dave, and read one or two of his books. Although he does recommend haggling and making low offers, I've never heard him recommend preying on truly "desperate" people as a strategy. Nor have I experienced other "followers" promoting that. Have you seen this happen, or are you assuming it would because of the Jaguar story?

 

Wendi

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Thinking on it, weren't the Egyptians pretty desperate to get rid of the Israelites, and didn't they give them tons of things when they left?

 

:confused: I'm not seeing how this relates. There wasn't any financial transaction. It could have been looked at as a bribe--"Here, take this and get out of here!" but the text says that God inclined them to do this to "spoil" the Egyptians. It was akin to the looting that a conquering army does--the Israelites walked out with the "spoils" of the conflict, though since God had been fighting for them, the spoils were gained by the occupied people giving their stuff away rather than the Israelites taking it.

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Sounds like your dad was a great guy. And I think what he did was great. But it was a choice to give a *gift*. One is not morally obligated to give gifts, though it is nice if you can do it and if you want to.

 

The original story was about a "poor" guy selling a Jaguar, not a poor couple having hard times. I think what most people are saying amounts to 1) Fair market value is what people will pay for something, so if a low-ball offer is truly low-ball, then the seller can *easily* get another buyer. If it's the only offer, then the seller was mistaken about "fair market value." 2) This is not an unfair, dishonest, etc. transaction .

 

I don't think anyone should assume that people who are arguing for a fair market transation are not also people who are generous in giving gifts. They may choose who to give to, though, correct?

 

:iagree:on all points (esp. about my dad being a great guy. :001_smile:)

 

If a seller jumps at the first offer, even a low one, that's his choice. He may have over-estimated the value. I don't think it's dishonest when someone low-balls to get a bargain; it's just not something I would do.

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I remember the part about the Jaguar but more because of how he tied God into it. ;) People will do what they are comfortable doing. I would never personally be comfortable taking advantage of someone who was desperate. Maybe some see it as 'good business', but it would bother my conscience.

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The desperation of the seller is not the buyer's responsiblity.

 

We have at times given more for something when we realised th low price they accepted made them feel bad. We prefer exchanges where the seller is also happy. They usually are...even if they accept a lower price than they intended..because cash in hand is better than whatever it is they were selling, still sitting in the garage- adn chances are that is what the seller of the jaguar DR bought was feeling too- relief to have the money.

 

We are bargain hunters and we enjoy it. It's not our job to find out who is desperate or not or to make them happy. We prefer a happy interaction, especially because we ourselves are not usually desperate, but its not our responsiblity.

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And yeah, I know it's a hypothetical situation (and a pretty ridiculous one at that), but I would have a hard time feeling sympathy for a jag owner that now is having to accept a lowball offer because they can't feed their family.

:confused: What a bizarre concept, surely ANYONE who can't feed their family is worthy of sympathy, regardless of previous wealth or lack thereof.

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The Israelites weren't Christians. There is plenty in the old testament that shouldn't be used to justify our actions today. Especially in books that can be considered history (as opposed to say, Proverbs, which is advise that is still probably good).

You have probably said so before, but are you a Christian? I ask, because I am unsure how to answer you. If you aren't and you're looking for an argument, then I'd appreciate knowing it now. If you are, then I'm very surprised to read this. We're supposed to glean knowledge from the OT, there were a great many lessons learned in there, they suffered, in part, so we could learn from them. And yes, it is very applicable today.

Either way, the free market is supposed to be about being self interested and making the best decisions for your self or your company. Serving your own interests in whatever way you can (ideally within the bounds of good ethics). Christianity is about being selfless, and giving freely to those in need. It's not that I think Christians shouldn't have good business sense, but I'm a little confused about basing your financial decisions on Christianity. As a good business person, yes, getting the best possible price is ethical, regardless of the situation of the seller, so long as the seller has the option not to sell. As a Christian, I'm not sure how you justify a lack of concern for the situation of the seller.

Well, if you're a Christian, then you should be basing EVERYTHING on that.

Edit: And I know Dave Ramsey advocates giving to charity, but it doesn't really mesh in my mind to say that it's ok to take advantage of a person's situation so long as you are giving to other money to orphans. That doesn't make sense, in the context of Christianity. In the context of being a good businessperson, then getting the best price has nothing to do with any charitable giving at all.

God creates situations. He opens doors for us everywhere. I would imagine that opening doors in order to bless us financially is one of those things that most Christians expect and unfortunatly (imo) many Christians base their faith on. We're admonished NOT to lean on our financial gains, but we're also told God will take care of us, not to worry about money (lily of the fields and all that). Well, if God puts us (as he has) in a situation where we can get a more sound vehicle through the desperation of another person then I can't see saying "no" because he didn't make it magically appear in our driveway without another person involved. It's funny, we accept in many other facets of life that when one good thing happens (like better gas mileage in a car) something else is going to be reduced (like accelleration), but then we think that everything in life must be growth growth growth. Sometimes our finances get pinched so that God can bless us elsewhere and bless another while He's at it.

IMHO, personal opinions. The gist I see is that if someone is saving for their poor income family, they are being frugal. If someone with more money is trying to be frugal, they are seen as cheap.

Ah.

:confused: I'm not seeing how this relates. There wasn't any financial transaction. It could have been looked at as a bribe--"Here, take this and get out of here!" but the text says that God inclined them to do this to "spoil" the Egyptians. It was akin to the looting that a conquering army does--the Israelites walked out with the "spoils" of the conflict, though since God had been fighting for them, the spoils were gained by the occupied people giving their stuff away rather than the Israelites taking it.

What I was trying to say is that profiting from someone who is desperate is not necessarily the evil it was being portrayed as. We think desperation and seem to forget that desperation does not revolve around starving children.

 

Our pastor was desperate to sell his old house, because he was paying two mortgages. It wasn't taking food out of the mouths of his children, they weren't going to end up homeless, it wasn't even hurting his credit. He needed to get rid of it, because it had become a burden.

 

We've gotten all of the cars we've had in our marraige from people desperate to get rid of them. Not because they needed money, no one was knocking on death's door or needed a transplant. It was because they could not afford to fix their cars and it was an additional personal property tax, more insurance, and taking up space in their yard.

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That's because there isn't one.

 

Best connection is that prostitutes and mine workers should make more money.

 

In which case, we should all remember to pay more for our coal and hookers.

 

I'm not in the market for either.

 

So I'm not paying them anything.

 

Does that make me a worse Christian?

 

I don't think so... But maybe I'm wrong. Wouldn't be the first time I wasn't Christian enough for someone, but it would be the first time it was because I wasn't giving more consideration to paying for a hooker.:001_huh:

 

This should SO go in Nance's funny quotes thread!

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Wow, we think so differently. As a person who lives comfortably, it makes me kind of angry to know that people expect I should pay more for a product than someone who has less money than me. I just don't see fairness anywhere in that scenario. Now, if the buyer purposefully set out to make someone else miserable, I agree that's not a good thing. But to expect him to pay more just because he can afford to just doesn't resonate.

:iagree:

Edited by OregonNative
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Originally Posted by Rosy viewpost.gif

And yeah, I know it's a hypothetical situation (and a pretty ridiculous one at that), but I would have a hard time feeling sympathy for a jag owner that now is having to accept a lowball offer because they can't feed their family.

:confused: What a bizarre concept, surely ANYONE who can't feed their family is worthy of sympathy, regardless of previous wealth or lack thereof.

 

I don't get this either! Maybe he's selling his car because his son has cancer and the medical bills have left them with a shortage of money for food.

However, I think this is a common judgment on ppl who "were once wealthy".

Not everyone who has lost everything because they were financially irresponsible. And even if they did, who am I to say they don't deserve to have food on their table.

Edited by OregonNative
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I don't get this either! Maybe he's selling his car because his son has cancer and the medical bills have left them with a shortage of money for food.

However, I think this is a common judgment on ppl who "were once wealthy".

Not everyone who has lost everything because they were financially irresponsible. And even if they did, who am I to say they don't deserve to have food on their table.

Why does his desperation have to revolve around the dead or dying? Perhaps he just didn't want a big insurance payment.

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I don't get this either! Maybe he's selling his car because his son has cancer and the medical bills have left them with a shortage of money for food.

However, I think this is a common judgment on ppl who "were once wealthy".

Not everyone who has lost everything because they were financially irresponsible. And even if they did, who am I to say they don't deserve to have food on their table.

 

I think there might be a misunderstanding.

 

Most people don't wait until they are doing without food to sell their jag. I mean if you are broke today and need food today, wth did you wait until today to sell your jag?:confused:

 

Usually in times of serious financial crunch, the jag is the first to go and it usually goes way before things are bad enough that there's no food on the table.

 

Following that theory of sound reasoning, tho heaven knows sound reasoning does not always apply to humans, if someone is literally needing money for food - one does have to wonder why they kept the jag so long to begin with.

 

No one is commenting that a previously wealthy person does not deserve compassion. They are saying someone who is claiming needing food on the table yet owns a jag is either scamming for sympathy or should have had the common sense to part with their jag a long time previously.

 

My sympathy wouldn't really change either way. Not as though I've never made a stupid financial decision. But I can understand how one would think that the owner of a jag isn't going to sleep with hungry children if he doesn't sell it that day.

 

Are there exceptions that make it more plausible? Sure.

 

Is that the likely situation though? Not too often.

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Why does his desperation have to revolve around the dead or dying? Perhaps he just didn't want a big insurance payment.

The comment was directed at a poster who suggested that they would have no sympathy for them needing money to feed their family because they were once able to afford a jag. No one knows what the real situation is, but it was a direct response to that quote.

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The comment was directed at a poster who suggested that they would have no sympathy for them needing money to feed their family because they were once able to afford a jag. No one knows what the real situation is, but it was a direct response to that quote.

See Martha's post, she said it better than I could.

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I read Ramsey's books and in one of them he proudly states how some one was desperate to sell their Jaguar and Ramsey offered them even less than they were asking because he knew they were desperate.

How do you know they didn't set the price higher than what the expected to get? They may have been planning to negotiate.

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I think there might be a misunderstanding.

 

Most people don't wait until they are doing without food to sell their jag. I mean if you are broke today and need food today, wth did you wait until today to sell your jag?:confused:

 

Usually in times of serious financial crunch, the jag is the first to go and it usually goes way before things are bad enough that there's no food on the table.

 

Following that theory of sound reasoning, tho heaven knows sound reasoning does not always apply to humans, if someone is literally needing money for food - one does have to wonder why they kept the jag so long to begin with.

 

No one is commenting that a previously wealthy person does not deserve compassion. They are saying someone who is claiming needing food on the table yet owns a jag is either scamming for sympathy or should have had the common sense to part with their jag a long time previously.

 

My sympathy wouldn't really change either way. Not as though I've never made a stupid financial decision. But I can understand how one would think that the owner of a jag isn't going to sleep with hungry children if he doesn't sell it that day.

 

Are there exceptions that make it more plausible? Sure.

 

Is that the likely situation though? Not too often.

Well when we were struggling to put food on the table, selling our very expensive car at a great loss would have put us in a deeper financial hole due to the financing on it. So it would very much have been a last resort, thankfully it did not come to that, we were given gifts of food which allowed us to keep our car. Our financial hole that we had to dig out of was bad enough as it is.

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think it's okay to rip people off? It's one of my biggest complaints about his program. It seems that everyone that reads his books begins to think it's okay to make ridiculously insulting offers when buying things from another person.

 

I read Ramsey's books and in one of them he proudly states how some one was desperate to sell their Jaguar and Ramsey offered them even less than they were asking because he knew they were desperate.

Does no one else see anything moralistically wrong with that?

 

 

Taking advantage of another person's situation seems evil, for any reason - especially if it's for one's own personal financial gain.

It is evil, immoral , weak and frankly should be a reminder that just because a person says they are Christian does not mean a thing. I am really glad you brought this up. Another sacred cow that needed to be exposed.

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