Make Offer added to eBay auctions in error

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Last week we reported that a ‘Make Offer’ feature was appearing on some eBay auctions. You can read that story here: New ‘Make offer’ feature launches on eBay auctions.

The new feature was announced and not universal so we wondered if it was maybe a glitch or perhaps a test. It seems it was something of both and eBay has been in contact with affected sellers. As far as we are aware this only impacted sellers in the USA.

On the eBay discussion boards an eBay employee called Trinton has given more details: “I wanted to step in and provide an update on this topic. We have identified an issue where the Best Offer option was incorrectly added to some auction listings that were created between October 8th and 10th. We are actively working on a fix for the impacted listings. We have identified affected sellers and will email them with further instructions. We will be testing this feature with a small number of lower-volume consumer sellers in the coming weeks.”

An email has also been sent to affected sellers. Trinton added that the test would continue: “The error was that this feature was applied to a larger audience than intended and earlier than was planned. This will be a feature that we test in the near future, but with a smaller group of sellers to start.”

So, eBay is testing a system for auctions that closely resembles Best Offer which is currently only available on fixed price Buy it Now sales. Obviously this has caused some confusion for sellers, but it’s no bad thing that they are looking at changes and developments to auctions.

As long as sellers have full control and discretion about when and how they can use Make Offer on auctions it could be useful addition and potentially popular with buyers.

6 Responses

  1. Hmmm, not sure about this.

    Presumably the ‘make offer’ option would only be available prior to any bids being placed (as with ‘buy it now’ option on auctions) … otherwise it would terribly undermine bidders confidence in the auction.

    Also, it rather goes against the (usually) sound advice about not responding to buyers making offers for auction items in order to get you to end early …. and get them selves something under true value.

  2. Knowing that someone else can make an offer & kill an auction does not exactly inspire a bidding battle which is how you make money on an auction. Many will feel reluctant to bid. eBay change too many things without informing users which causes confusion & bad feeling.

    They moved the ask seller a question link last week & 3 out of 4 eBay CS reps never knew about it. One said she had 6 calls about it in one day.

    Devon Wenig is employing CS reps to answer questions that arise simply from a lack of communication. A simple email to all members would make sense in the real world but not at eBay Towers.

  3. the only reason for a buyer to make an offer on an auction is they beleive they will not win an auction with the amount their hoping to pay

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