I doubt they had many offers of merit.
The cost of a package will FAR outweigh paying for something you have no clue about.
package or Nuc.. you can SEE what your getting.
Cuttout.. you cant. You may have just bought problems.
Package or Nuc your assured of having a queen
Cuttout.. can you find the queen? Did your chain saw dice her into tiny pieces when you opened the log? Did the combs smash her when the tree fell?
Package or Nuc Your chances of transfer to your hive with most of the bees alive and well are good, YOU KNOW how many bees you got.
Cuttout How many bees die from start to finish? How many were smashed or cut up? How many did the hive have to start with? WILL they stay in the hive you put them in?
Package or Nuc You know the general background and lines of the bees your getting
Cutout You have no idea if they are feral or a swarm from someones hive. BEST case scenario is that they are feral survivors. Worst case, they swarmed because their hive was infested with SHB, wax moth... ETC
Unless the beek KNOWS the cutout history, the size and age of the hive, AND it is easy to remove/transfer, I cannot see ANY advantage to paying someone for something they had no part in acquiring or caring for.
Selling a cuttout is pure greed, and the seller is also asking for trouble.
IF.. the odd chance came up and I DID PAY for a cuttout.. I would cut the log out and drive off with it. The seller would be cleaning up the mess left behind and dealing with the bees I didnt manage to collect.
Basically.. paying for a cuttout is like going to a casino and plopping down your chips on the roulette table. Its a gamble, but worse than a casino, your not comfortable sipping on a rum and coke while you watch your money vanish. Your sweating and working while upset bees ping off your head.
I am sure they DID have offers... offers of..
"If you cant get anyone to pay, call me and I will remove them for you."