Go. Now. Run!I'll probably go check it out either today or tomorrow and see.
Irvin is correct on this.If you don't buy it someone else will. I would not even try to dicker with the seller.
However, I would disagree that it's not worth "dickering". It almost always pays trying to negotiate. Keep in mind that not everyone is aware of what they actually have - or certainly, what it's worth. There are many reasons why people will let things go at a fraction of the price that they should get for an item.
Time isn't always on their side. Sometimes, people just want to get rid of something NOW, especially if it's big and heavy.
If you immediately hand over the $500, you definitely aren't going to get it for less than that.
However, (assuming you are actually at the seller's house), you stand a reasonably good chance of getting it for less than $500
Once you are there, with cash in hand, the seller is highly unlikely to sell it to someone else - because you are standing there in front of him with money in your hand.
Do NOT make your sub $500 offer over the phone, text, email, etc. That is something you will attempt in person - after the test stringing.
You don't want to turn the seller off before you've even arrived. So, don't utter anything of the sort before you're there, standing shoulder to shoulder.
Obviously, be prepared to pay the full $500, but do not talk about price, or try to bargain, until after the test stringing.
Wait until he (or better yet, YOU) have put the machine through it's paces and strung up a test racquet on it.
During the "run through" do not exude any excitement on your part.
Once the test is complete, look the machine over - as if studying what you think it's actually worth.
Feign immense interest... casually mention it being "nearly 20 years old"... also mutter something about "the amount of rust on it" (especially that tensioner bar) as well as muttering something about the amount of "sweat equity" that you'll need to put into the machine for it to be back to tip-top shape.
Really look like your trying to think all this over. Basically, at this moment, you have the cash, so YOU have the upper hand.
THEN offer $400.
Watch (and wait) to see their reaction (again, you'll have the freedom at this point to up the amount as needed).
You never know what people will do (especially if they think you're about to walk away).
The seller might take your offer on the spot. They might counteroffer.
No matter how you look at it, you're leaving there with a very good machine for no more than $500. BUT, most importantly, YOU have to be the 1st person to get there!
Haste makes waste.
Now go. Git!