Make an offer and get it for less on eBay

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Sharp eyed reader has spotted a shopping hint appearing on eBay listings with Best Offer. Just below the Buy It Now and Best Offer buttons a new line of text has appeared which reads “Make an offer and get it for less.”

It’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out – personally the biggest reason I use Best Offers are for buyers who wish to make bulk purchases (I’m always happy to do a deal for multiple quantities) and for gaining Recent Sales score on newly listed items to get them to the top of Best Match.

I’m not so sure about a free for all where buyers are encouraged to make Best Offers, although I guess having added the feature to listings it’s fair game. For the future there are two tactics I’d strongly suggest using:

1) Make sure you have auto-accept/decline on all listings that have Best Offer on. The auto-accept should be set at the level that you’d be willing to accept for a single item. The auto-decline should be set at the lowest level you’d accept for a multiple item purchase. From then on you’ll only have to manually accept or decline offers that fall between the two levels.

2) Once you have an item showing well in Best Match with Recent Sales either remove Best Offer (or remove it when you relist), or adjust the levels for auto-accept/decline.

For buyers you need to decide how badly you want the item and are you willing to pay the full asking price to secure it, or whether you’d rather make an offer and hope that the seller has some margin to play with. When making an offer keep it realistic, offering £1 for a £50 item isn’t likely to be accepted.

If you want to buy in bulk it may be worth using Ask Seller a Question to discuss a price before you make the offer, especially if you’re considering buying from several listings from the same seller. Don’t forget sellers can’t see your User ID before they accept an offer so they don’t know you’ve just placed a large order for other products with them.

Best Offers is a good tool for both buyers and sellers for getting great deals, but for a deal to be great the seller still needs to make a margin 😉

24 Responses

  1. Done at least £300K+ in best offers this year, its a valuable marketing tool.

    Auctions died a death a while back, best offer enables the buyer to get involved in a deal/barter, I love it and couldn’t recommend it highly enough.

  2. Don’t forget sellers can’t see your User ID before they accept an offer so they don’t know you’ve just placed a large order for other products with them

    Did eBay ever explain why that is? Do you at least get to see their feedback score? Back in March I had an Italian buyer on .com submit an offer for one of my items. I noticed that he neged about half the sellers he bought from so I declined. The price itself was fine but it didn’t seem worth the cost.

  3. #3 You get to see there feedback and there postcode. I was advised a few weeks ago that best offer comunication would be made more use friendly soon.

    #2 So! are you saying that just Best Offers attracts nutters norf 😆

  4. You would have to be pretty dumb not to realise that making an offer could get you the item for less, why the need to point it out ?

    Personally I ban anyone who asks for a discount, they’re always going to be unhappy with the deal when I refuse and leave lower DSR’s.

  5. I shall re-phrase that statement
    best offers attracts nuttier nutters

    once again I wonder if anyone at ebay has ever made al iving from buying and selling on ebay,
    they come out with and suggest some of the daftest things

  6. There’s a little trick that sometimes work with Best Offers.

    If as a seller you receive a best offer and want to find out a bit more about the buyer, click on their feedback number and then check out their feedback as a buyer.

    Occasionally another seller will leave their user ID in their feedback comments, you can then take a note of the time/date feedback left and search for that seller by their ID.

    Then click on that sellers’ feedback left for others, and locate the same time/date. Cross reference the feedback score by the hidden buyer and the sellers feedback left.

    You can then identify who the Buyer is that has placed an offer on your product. Handy if it’s a rival looking to see your product or even a rivals buying ID and you then find out their suppliers.

    For example ***d**s (354) places a offer.
    ***d**s has had feedback as a buyer on 18/11/08 at 15:45 of ‘Great buyer, paid instant, thank you from lillyclothing450.
    Search for seller lillyclothing450 using advanced search.
    Click on lillyclothing450’s feedback left for others column.
    Locate 18/11/08 15:45, then match the feedback score of ***d**s (354) with full ID.
    ***d**s (354) becomes foodisforfools (354).

    Doesn’t always work if you can’t find a sellers ID in the buyer’s feedback column, however it has helped me on a number of occasions and made my mind up on whether to accept or decline an offer.

  7. 8#
    I am a seller not an MI5 spook
    I want to sell not
    break codes

    you have made my point very well

    best offer is complicated, involved ,and time consuming,

  8. @ # 8

    I wonder if the API could be used to figure out the user making the offer. It gives out quite a bit of information that it probably shouldn’t. If you log into .com while an offer is pending does it tell you any other information?

  9. #8 & 10

    Good grief – you have time to do that?
    You must be joking, right?

    Only trouble I find with setting an auto decline is not being able to go back with a counter offer. I find that some buyers (not all, some just disappear for ever, but then they would if I declined, so no loss there) do come back and accept a counter offer. Then we both have a win.

  10. Yesterday I had 2 offers in. Offer 1 £550 on a £824.99BIN, he finally paid £750.00. Offer 2 £455 on a £589.99 BIN, he finally paid £550.00.

    Happy with both prices and I feel it is highly probable that if best offer was not available then both would have probably looked/purchased elsewhere, perhaps they may have come back and paid full whack, who knows really? but I got them before anyone else did and sold at a price I am happy with.

    Lets not forget we are in a recession and buyers are looking for a deal, the UK apparently has some of the smartest online buyers in the world.

  11. blimey if the uk has the smartest online buyers
    the rest of the world must get bids from the vegetable patch

  12. Here’s an interesting ASQ received this morning:

    Q: “Hi, As we have run out of offers, what is the lowest you are prepared to accept?”

    They were actually very close with their third offer, close enough that we can close the deal 😀

  13. #13 I read that in the Telegraph Norf, they may have made an error 😆

    Remember lots of people in the UK don’t use eBay, maybe they are the smart ones!

  14. The problem I find with Best Offer is that buyers often trawl feedback comments to see previously accepted offers – in this case Best Offer became an margin erosion tool. After realising this, I now have all of my Best Offer lines as private listings.

    I choose to use Best Offer in order to facilitate combined postage deals as these lines are offered with “Free” P&P, so people were seeing accepted offers that were conditional on other purchases, and expected them to be sold singly at the same price.

    I too contact people making Best Offers to either negotiate, or direct to my website to make the purchase at a more competitive price…

  15. I’m not using best offer now.
    Would try it again if there’s an auto-counter offer option added in the future.

  16. I would like to be able to tell the buyer why I declined the offer, as often they forget it includes P&P. Sometimes the additional £2 would mean I could do it,

    A flat decline often gets a buyer to try again, where as a counter, often I get no response

    Odd isnt it?
    Suz x

  17. best offer is the best tool created by ebay…. isn’t that what its all about – getting for less!! Its the only way to control your price….better than auction, and better than a ridged fixed price. I sell most of my item this way.

  18. we have not the time or inclination to deal with the best offer ,pikeys and chancers.
    we cant be bothered with doing the dance round the price ,as if we were in some eastern bazaar

    its Auction only for us
    that way we get the best offer without the chew

  19. #22 Thats interesting. I always counter but earlier I declined, 20 minutes later I had a message to ask if my offer still stood. I may run a trial on that tactic and see what the results are.



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