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Sun Aug 7 2016 22:00:40

Do You Have a Rule of Thumb for Best Offers?

By: Ina Steiner

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People seem to do much more haggling these days than in the past, in real life and on sites like eBay, which has a "Best Offer" feature. We wondered what kind of offers sellers liked to see, if lowball offers were insulting.

When buyers ask for a discount with free shipping thrown in, is that a turn-off, or do you see free shipping as a reasonable request?

When you're pricing items where you offer Best Offers, do you price a bit higher so you can settle on a lower price? Conversely, what have you learned constitutes a good initial offer when you set out to make a best offer yourself?

Nowadays auctions aren't as popular as they once were, and for certain kinds of items, there may be a very limited number of people who would be interested. Yet you know the right person would be willing to pay a good price once they come across the item.

That's one case where Best Offer comes in handy. Another is for commodity goods that have MAP pricing - the manufacturer prohibits you from advertising a price lower than the MAP price. In that case, the seller may be more than willing to accept a Best Offer.

eBay also has another feature where, in some cases, a seller can initiate a haggling session. "If a member asks a question about an item listed in a fixed price format, you can send an offer to the member to invite them to purchase the item at a lower price. The offer is good for up to 48 hours, when the listing ends or until you cancel the offer, whichever comes first."

Let us know your haggling strategies, and tell us - what's the best Best Offer you ever negotiated on an item, on eBay and elsewhere?




Comments (46) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Do You Have a Rule of Thumb for Best Offers?   Do You Have a Rule of Thumb for Best Offers?

by: comments This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 8 02:45:05 2016

Best match is probably one of the best tools ebay gives us, yet it is used poorly by sellers.

Many sellers leave a best offer option and wait for offers to come in. Then either counter offer or decline. There is no worse way to implement best offer, and yet everyone does it.

In sales they have a saying "be backs never come back". Leaving the buyer waiting before ultimately sending a counter offer or declining vastly decreases your odds of getting the sale. Buyers don't like to accept counter offers or wait for you to get around to sending a reply. Buyers also rarely come back to send another offer when you have declined.

If your strategy is to actually make the sale then you should set an auto accept and auto reject. Offers lower then you know you can/will accept should be auto declined. This leaves the buyer hot and still in the moment without "thinking" time to change their mind or find a cheaper one elsewhere. Buyers often place a second offer immediately after an auto decline That leaves you more more likely to get the sale. Auto accept lets the buyers know they won right away and so they can pay right away.  

Do You Have a Rule of Thumb for Best Offers?   Do You Have a Rule of Thumb for Best Offers?

This user has validated their user name. by: iBuyers

Mon Aug 8 07:15:45 2016

We utilize a best offer auto responder which responds with a predetermined counter offer within 1 minute . Thus producing activity on the listing, vital to BM. Far better than auto decline in the listing.

Do You Have a Rule of Thumb for Best Offers?   Do You Have a Rule of Thumb for Best Offers?

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 8 07:19:56 2016

We don't use Best Offers...

So when someone thinks that we would be interested we just delete the message, block the buyer and move on.

What makes these people think that we are open to a best offer if we don't offer it????

Do You Have a Rule of Thumb for Best Offers?   Do You Have a Rule of Thumb for Best Offers?

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Aug 8 07:36:47 2016

If there is no "best offer" on a listing,we do not accept a best offer.

I am not sure why buyers send a best offer when there is not one shown  on a listing.

Do You Have a Rule of Thumb for Best Offers?   Do You Have a Rule of Thumb for Best Offers?

by: unknown This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 8 08:19:02 2016

You can tell ebay's lack of experience with retail by the setup they have for best offer.

Do they REALLY think retailers calculate a sale/markdown by exact price by each individual item or do retailers do something like 20% off or 50% off for a sale? You can bulk edit and add or remove best offer, but have to add auto accept/deline one at a time with difference prices for each option on each item.

I have questioned them about it since day one and they've ignored my questions since day one too.  

Do You Have a Rule of Thumb for Best Offers?   Do You Have a Rule of Thumb for Best Offers?

by: DingDong This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 8 08:21:14 2016

I don't accept "Best Offers" and still get them.

I had one that asked for a "military discount" of 65% off including free shipping. This item cost $12 in shipping alone.

I calculated what the over all cost of this item and I would end up giving them money. I sent this information and then I told her that she need to send me a copy of her military paperwork to prove she was in the military for a discount.
She replied, "why would I give you my personal information?"
My reply, " Why would I give you a 65% when I don't accept "best offers"?

I do sell my items lower on my site or on eCrater. I feel comfortable on these 2 sites to run specials due to the lower fees.

I hate answering eBay buyers request for best offer. I do try to be polite, but you get one person that  

Do You Have a Rule of Thumb for Best Offers?   Do You Have a Rule of Thumb for Best Offers?

This user has validated their user name. by: White Rabbit

Mon Aug 8 10:16:41 2016

I do not accept best offers anymore. I did lower most of my prices. Not too low as i do not want bottom feeders. Bottom feeders are also notorious for leaving stupid bad feedback. a lot of best offers are from these same bottom feeders. :)

sales and profits increased drastically after stopping best offers. Now i price it low and insist on 7 or 10 day Auction format the first time around. no buyers? i list at the exact same price on the BIN for 30 days.

still no buyers? i remove it and list on my website with unlimited space to store things. I can always cut / paste and relist on Ebay in a year or so.

I am sure this does not work for everyone buy for me it works. I have tried best offer in the past. if you are desperate for funds it does help. generally.

Do You Have a Rule of Thumb for Best Offers?   Do You Have a Rule of Thumb for Best Offers?

This user has validated their user name. by: White Rabbit

Mon Aug 8 10:26:48 2016

to add.. once you list it on your website be sure to send out coupons % off or notices as to where your website is. I had a couple rubber stamps made up but a fancy card could be better or both. Eventually you have a nice inventory of unsold Ebay items..LOL - in some cases a better selection than Ebay itself has.

If you use Google webmaster tools you can get a bit of traffic to the website also, and social media.

Do You Have a Rule of Thumb for Best Offers?   Do You Have a Rule of Thumb for Best Offers?

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 8 11:23:06 2016

"My price" is the best one I can give including shipping, PERIOD.

Thats the number, thats what it is, thats what it will be - unless I have alot of them and want to move them OR I feel like cutting eBay out of the sale and go around them (which I do as much as possible)(the scum deserve it)

When you put BEST PRICE - you get people who want $100 items for $15 ... why play with eBay looser buyers - when you can put the items up on Amazon?

If you want to "haggle", go to the Lower East Side of NY and find a "shmata dealer" to annoy about the price of a coat and leave the rest of us ALONE.

Do You Have a Rule of Thumb for Best Offers?   Do You Have a Rule of Thumb for Best Offers?

by: 27tcle This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 8 11:35:46 2016

I respond to stupid lowball offers with a highball offer of 5 to 10% off the BIN price. If it is a reasonable offer with any profit at all, I usually take it. IME i found that most real buyers generally make offer at about 5 to 20% off the BIN price. Put bluntly, auctions are rigged and a waste of time.

Do You Have a Rule of Thumb for Best Offers?   Do You Have a Rule of Thumb for Best Offers?

This user has validated their user name. by: White Rabbit

Mon Aug 8 12:06:12 2016

In collectibles.. Auctions are different than in items that have a fixed known price. sometimes an item will sell for 50x the opening bid or more. this generally happens when someone wants an item and has a lot of money. :-)

had a civil war soldier confederate tintype sell for $1000 because the guy did not like the other bidder and he said the tintype was a family member. :-) Us rebels are funny like that..LOL

lots of things will sell via auctions, gems and gem rough are another area.

Do You Have a Rule of Thumb for Best Offers?   Do You Have a Rule of Thumb for Best Offers?

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Mon Aug 8 13:15:52 2016

When I was starting out, I put Best Offer on everything.  At the time, I used eBay between conventions where I did accept counteroffers, so it made sense.  My experience was like many others, apparently; people trying to get stuff for free.

I had one particularly egregious customer that really turned me off.  I had signed up for a subscription with Mattel and was parting out some stuff that I wasn't interested in at cost plus fees/shipping.  He claimed it was for his kid so I was up front about some QC issues and this went back and forth and finally because I wanted them sold I agreed to retail plus shipping (I would eat the fees).  Then he comes back with "oh, I meant $X shipped."  Reviewed his history (back when you could do that), saw how much "his kid" was buying and blocked him.

Now, I only use Best Offer on expensive items that I'm not sure exactly where to price.  And even then you still get some wackos who are positively outraged that an out of print item from 20 years ago costs a cent over MSRP and have to let you know what a monster you are.

Do You Have a Rule of Thumb for Best Offers?   Do You Have a Rule of Thumb for Best Offers?

by: Beth This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 8 13:28:29 2016

I put Best offer on things that are priced $19.99 or above and that i know I can sell for slightly less.

I do not like folks who make a best offer and specify local pickup - if I wanted you at my house I wouldn't be selling online.

i don't like snarky comments when I say "Sorry, $XX.XX is the best I can do">

Today I got a rude remark because over 3 offers the buyer kept insisting on coming to my house.   and when I said no got rude.  So guess who's blocked forever now. ??

Do You Have a Rule of Thumb for Best Offers?   Do You Have a Rule of Thumb for Best Offers?

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon Aug 8 17:30:40 2016

pace306 writes: "'My price' is the best one I can give including shipping, PERIOD."

Exactly! If I wanted to sell for less, I would have put down a lower price in my listings.

I recently had two different people contact me about lower prices for items in my eCrater store. One person asked me if I would take $20 less on a limited edition item. I checked eBay, and there were two with BINs of $20 MORE than what I was selling mine for, which I relayed in response to the inquiry. That person eventually purchased mine at the stated price.

Then I had another person contact me about a different item. She wanted me to knock off $10 of the price of a sold-out item because, she said, if she had gotten there in time she would have been able to buy it at the price she wanted. I told her to check eBay where there were two sellers who had the item in her price range. I didn't hear back from her so I guess she bought there.

Personally, I wouldn't have the nerve to contact a seller to ask if they'd take a lower price on a BIN.  

Do You Have a Rule of Thumb for Best Offers?   Do You Have a Rule of Thumb for Best Offers?

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Mon Aug 8 18:19:07 2016

Though not always, Best Offer serves only ebafia's best intere$t$. The low ballers infuriate me and the ones who ready that I don't accept offers and send them anyway infuriate me even more.

Mye xperiene has been that when the bottom feeders get rude, not only block them but end the listing so they don't have a friend or family member buy it just to leave negative feedback or SNAD.

If a seller doesn't specify Best Offer in a listing, ebay should develop a pop up that politely instructs the buyer not to send offers when they Ask Seller a Question.

Low ball bottom feeders and the semi literates account for 99.9% of the buyer problems on ebafia.

I block most of them in order to protect myself. Only on ebafia.

 

Do You Have a Rule of Thumb for Best Offers?   Do You Have a Rule of Thumb for Best Offers?

by: HappyOne This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 8 20:19:37 2016

I use Best Offer sparingly. I do not do auctions. I do Buy It Now with immediate payment required (I take vacations and can't be waiting for payments or game playing) . Most of my yard sale treasures ( junk) have a price history. Sometimes I find a rarer item that has spotty price history and I offer it with Best Offer. I set the price at the high end of what I have found with the idea of taking a 20% reduction.  When I get an offer it does give me a chance to somewhat ''vet'' the potential buyer with the remaining few tools that EBay has left. I rarely accept an offer at the start of a listing; by letting it sit/ripen sometimes it gets a watcher to take action and pay full price on a rarer item. I have raised a price on an item that gets some initial quick offers and five or six watchers (and had it sold at the higher price). On an unsold relisted item I am more flexible. This is ''fun'' money for me not to pay the rent or put food on the table; pity the people that depend on Ebay for that.

Do You Have a Rule of Thumb for Best Offers?   Do You Have a Rule of Thumb for Best Offers?

This user has validated their user name. by: maxheadroom

Mon Aug 8 21:48:02 2016

When i was an ebay seller i blocked all that tried to  lowball me . Meaning, anybody that offered $10-$20 on a $70 item was not serious and deserved to be blocked. Or anybody that asked about returns when i had a no return as-is policy. All my problems happened when paypal was forced on us.

Do You Have a Rule of Thumb for Best Offers?   Do You Have a Rule of Thumb for Best Offers?

by: sanddogg This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 9 00:20:07 2016

'comments' says...Best match is probably one of the best tools ebay gives us, yet it is used poorly by sellers.  YOU GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!!!!!!

Do You Have a Rule of Thumb for Best Offers?   Do You Have a Rule of Thumb for Best Offers?

by: smallstuff This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 9 00:28:09 2016

I sell collectibles and frequently alternate the same item between auctions (with a buy it now price) and fixed price listings priced the same as the buy it now price with best offer available.  For example, I might start an item off with a $95 auction with $125 buy it now.  If the item does not sell, I relist at $125 with a best offer.  Frequently the best offer I receive is above my original starting price.  Some regular buyers just like to make offers.    

Do You Have a Rule of Thumb for Best Offers?   Do You Have a Rule of Thumb for Best Offers?

by: Ilka This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 9 01:14:42 2016

I'm a brand new eBay seller and my very first sale came through a Best Offer deal. The customer sent me an offer and I counter offered and he accepted and then left a raving review both about me as a seller, as well as about the item I sold. Now, that is priceless!
Then, yesterday I was reviewing a couple of items and discovered that the system had automatically rejected 3 offers because of the way I set it, however, I would have accepted 2 of them. Since then, I've lowered my prices and eliminated the Best Offer option. I can't stop thinking that the way I started was not bad, though. Now, I'm waiting to see if the new way will bring as much interest as the Best Offers did.  

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