I agree with orangputeh and drmerdp. I never put things like “firm” or “cash only” or any “negative” statement that might scare away a potential sale in an ad (i.e. serious buyers only!, FIRM FIRM FIRM!, low ballers stay away!, etc.). Those statements are for when you are talking to them on the phone or face to face at the appropriate time. In my humble opinion an ad is like a resume, you want to gain as much interest as possible if your goal is to make money and sell the item. The sale is made during the face to face/phone/email conversation, the ad is to bring them to your door and start that conversion.
If you have sold a few things on craigslist or eBay you can pretty quickly eliminate the scammers and low ballers. Yes, it might take a few minutes of your time to deal with a non-serious buyer, but you always have a chance to convert a low baller into a buyer if you have a great machine and can show him/her why.
I do everything I can do to make it easy for the buyer to purchase (increases sales). Here is a trick you can use. When creating a craigslist ad there is an option to allow the customer to call/text you. I never used to give that out as I don’t want my phone number out there for everyone to see. I recently downloaded a free app called sideline that gives your cell phone a second phone number. You can call, text and text pictures from this second number at no cost. I now enable the call/text option in craigslist and use this sideline number. Most all of my recent sales are now contacting me via texting/call vs the standard email feature on craigslist (it’s faster and easier for buyers). If for some reason someone starts abusing the number, I can delete the app, redownload it and pick a new number in my area code. Oddly, I have used it for over a year now and I have not had any issues.
Another technique I have used when talking to buyers when we can’t agree on price is to state I have their name and number and will get back to them in a few weeks if the item hasn’t sold as I just recently listed it. All a true statement and that has locked in many a sale for me.
Finally, I have had two sales in the last year where I was showing the item and I get a call from another potential buyer. The face to face buyer hears me say the item is still for sale but I have someone here looking at it and I will call them back if it doesn’t sell. In both cases the face to face buyer states “tell them it is sold” and purchases it for full price.
I am currently watching a high quality snow blower for sale and the seller states that the price is FIRM! I have tracked it for a few weeks and they have dropped the price 3 times now….
Finally Finally Finally….
When I find an item I am looking at buying, I don’t ask “Is the price firm”, I do ask “Do you have any flexibility in your pricing”. In most all cases they say yea, a little. I usually never negotiate the price over email or texting, that is for face to face after I have gone over the machine and point out its flaws. In some instances, the machine is worth what they asking for and I pay their price.