Originally Posted by Getahobby
…always get a non-refundable deposit after making a deal. Even if it's on the phone, make them either send or hand you a deposit.
If it's after
making the deal, that's not a deposit, it's a down payment. A non-refundable deposit before
the deal will only scare off otherwise interested potential buyers who are still shopping around and haven't made up their minds that your trailer is the one that they want.
But if you still want to require a deposit, keep the dollar value small and set a time limit. For example, the deposit takes the trailer off the market to anyone else for one month. If the deal isn't
concluded in that time, the deposit is forfeit and the trailer goes back on the market. If the deal is
concluded in the allotted time, the amount of the deposit will be applied to the purchase price. For the buyer, the deposit serves as a guarantee of exclusive negotiating privleges, so he gets something in exchange for the money he's paying.
A fair dollar value of the deposit would be the cost of any paperwork processing you would incur to pursue the sale, and just enough more to cover the expenses of re-advertising the trailer for sale if the buyer backs out. No need to be greedy.
More to the point if you don't
get a deposit to reserve the trailer, you shouldn't tell other potential buyers it's sold until you actually have cash in hand. And in all fairness, in that case you should also tell the potential buyer that it's remaining on the market until the sale is final.
That works to your advantage in another way… When selling, you're more likely to get the price you're seeking if the prospective buyer knows that there are others interested in buying as well and he has to offer a better price than the next guy.