New ‘Make offer’ feature launches on eBay auctions

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It seems there’s a new feature out there for eBay auctions. A new ‘make offer’ option is being offered to shoppers. Rather like with Best Offer on fixed price listings, buyers can now make an offer on an auction in the hope of bagging a bargain.

But it appears to operate in a significantly different way to Best Offer in several respects. Firstly, its appearance isn’t determined by the seller. It seems that if eBay thinks you have set too high a start price for your auction item, that they will add it for you automatically. And there also doesn’t appear to be, as far as affected sellers can see, any option to remove it. Best Offer is, in contrast, utilised entirely at the discretion of an individual seller.

One particular upshot of the new feature could mean a significant uptick in messages as sellers deal with offers that come in.

One one level, it’s scarcely something to get too agitated about. It’s not a bad feature per se (although sellers ought to have the power to remove it and/or discretion to have it added in the first place) and could help sellers convert items. It could also be a way to engage buyers with auctions again.

Auctions are an increasingly less important part of eBay’s ecosystem with over 80% of sales being made through Buy it Now. So maybe this is an attempt to give them a lift? It could also simply be a test.

As it stands we don’t know a great deal about this new option because eBay has yet to make a formal announcement about the new feature. So what we do know has mostly been gathered from the discussion boards. At the moment it would only appear to be available on the US eBay site and we don’t know if it will be coming to eBay auctions in the UK in due course.

4 Responses

  1. Just what we need…. more messages with stupid offers… The reason i removed the feature from my BIN listings was because i was fed up with offers like £10 on a £80 item… then coming back with a new offer of £15!
    Thankfully i dropped auctions along time ago due to non paying bidders and the time it took from listing to be able to relist due to non payment.
    Godd to see ebay concentrating on the issues it has rather than the ones it ‘thinks’ exist.

  2. i dont see how ignoring messages from ebay customers can be benificial to ebay.
    if you dont want offers, you dont put on offers. ebay force offesr on you, so what do you do?
    waste all day replying politely to morons with stupid offers, or just ignore them?

    you dont get this crap at tesco, not once during my time working there did someone offer me below cost for anything on sale there.
    not once did they say “well i’m buying three tins of beans, so i want them cheaper”.

    i think once i, as a customer, wasted my time messaging three of four sellers with offers, only to be completely ignored, i’d just go to amazon instead.

    so where is the incentive for an ebay seller to reply? say £100 is my starting bid, i clearly want more, but £100 is the absolute bare minimum i’ll accept. i have ten offers ranging from £10 to £50, clearly none have any interest in paying my minimum, so why bother replying at all?
    – in fact, under the current grey cloud of banning sellers for buyer communication, not replying is the only sure safe approach.

    if only someone hadn’t forced offers on the listing in the first place.

  3. Normally Ebay make good choices. I am kinda with James on this one though. Unless we are missing something.


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