I've been thinking about how much the wording of a for sale listing can influence my willingness to make an offer at full asking price or to move on without attempting to buy. I've realized that, at least for me, the terms FIRM and OBO send powerful signals about the seller.
I always pass by sales that include the word FIRM, always. Whether it's pins, craigslist, or the antique shop, when a price tag says FIRM, to me it signals that:
(1) the item is likely overpriced,
(2) the seller is very, very proud of it, and
(3) the seller is likely a tool and won't be pleasant to work with.
As for OBO, no matter how fairly it's priced, if the term OBO is included I'm not going to offer asking price. It signals that:
(1) the seller doesn't know what the true value of their item is and they are fishing,
(2) desperation to sell, pure and simple
Am I way off base here?
For me, negotiating is one of the more fun parts of buying/collecting anything and I think it's interesting that subtle cues in wording play such a powerful role in influencing my willingness to buy/offer.