Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Tue Aug 6 2019 23:26:25

eBay Seller Initiated Offers - What's Working?

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

eBay reportedly made a change to its "Seller Initiated Offers" feature, which it launched in a pilot program in the fall and expanded in May. Unlike Best Offers, where buyers reach out to sellers with an offer, with Seller Initiated Offers, sellers reach out to buyers - for example, they can make offers to buyers who are watching their items.

Today, a seller reported on the eBay discussion boards that sellers can now only make offers that are at least 5% less the original price.

Another seller responded that sending an offer that's only 1% - 4% off the original price wasn't a good strategy anyway, since it wasn't a very enticing discount.

One seller said they had never "made an offer" to a buyer watching a listing of less than 15%, and they reported a success rate of 50% using that strategy.

Have you used the Seller Initiated Offer, and how has it worked for you?

Comments (47) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Initiated Offers - What's Working?   eBay Seller Initiated Offers - What's Working?

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 7 00:01:32 2019

Should sellers also send DW a birthday card with a %100 bill in it?

How little does your Goodwill/General Dollar/Garage Sale item cost that you can give away another %15 (to those MAGICAL respondents) ?????

Unless you paid virtually nothing for the item or you priced it so high to begin with - how does this even work?

"Real" sellers pay "keystone". Add/subtract Paypal/eBay fees along with subtracting any other costs ... then tell me please how you go another %15 below your listing price.

YAWN to the eBay cheerleaders who somehow think that sellers NEEDED eBay to once again stick its nose in where it doesnt belong. But "those guys/girls" have long ago drank the eBay Koolaide - so no matter what DW and his merry crew of thieves do - its all ok and makes sense.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Initiated Offers - What's Working?   eBay Seller Initiated Offers - What's Working?

by: industrystones This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 7 00:32:01 2019

Golly, this is a game changer! 1-4%???  People are going to be scrambling to initiate bids. It will be a circus!!
Wondering if all offers will be followed up by the traditional proselytizing emails -
"Up your offer!  How bad do you want it?"" "Make the deal NOW!"
.  .  .  At this point, Ebay belongs on the sidewalks in Time Square with a tin cup. Right next to the man with the organ grinder and monkey hustling the tourists.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Initiated Offers - What's Working?   eBay Seller Initiated Offers - What's Working?

by: angryllama This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 7 05:20:24 2019

One to Four percent would be a HOLD YOUR FIRE "smart move" if you considered it ONLY as a NUDGE to remind Watchers that they DID want to buy YOUR listing.
NO, I'm not saying that 4 percent off would lead to HEAVY BREATHING and index finger whiplash on the part of PHONE APP buyers, but it certainly has the POTENTIAL to get somebody OFF THE PROVERBIAL COUCH to ACT to complete a purchase.
My biggest hesitation to even TRY this myself is the way the FEW, Correction VERY FEW times that I've tried to send Seller OFFERS to buyers has gone sideways.
I think it CRAZY that when I (as seller) went through the steps to do so I was NEVER shown a "final version page" that would let me SEE and APPROVE what showed up for shipping cost and GRAND TOTAL $$.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Initiated Offers - What's Working?   eBay Seller Initiated Offers - What's Working?

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Wed Aug 7 07:58:39 2019

Now if Ebay can ELIMINATE the "PayPal ONLY" seller option....
Tried to buy something with a charge card....no.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Initiated Offers - What's Working?   eBay Seller Initiated Offers - What's Working?

by: DingDong This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 7 08:43:41 2019

I took a chance with this feature with 5 items. They were marked down from 5-8%.
I kept track the 5 items with the original price and the price I offered. After 2 weeks, I put the original prices back on these 5 items.
I get 2 questions from people that I guess was offered the new price why I changed the prices. Am I going to reduce the price on those items that they wanted to buy. I just wrote back that 2 weeks was long enough to make a decision if you wanted to buy it, but thank you for your interest.

You lower your price and then eBay wants you to lower your price more. Instead of 5% minimum requirement, they will want 20% off. Who knows. I won't be using that feature.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Initiated Offers - What's Working?   eBay Seller Initiated Offers - What's Working?

by: eBaySince2006 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 7 09:20:14 2019

I've used it. It works. When eBay is glitching and I go 12 to 15 without any sales or questions I'll mark down about 5 to 10 items in my store and it will result in 2 or 3 sales. The only problem is you can't revise those listings until the offers have expired.  

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Initiated Offers - What's Working?   eBay Seller Initiated Offers - What's Working?

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Wed Aug 7 09:59:52 2019

Yeah, you just know the minimum discount requirement is coming, just like they ruined BIN on auctions.

I've tried making offers to watchers, anywhere from 5% to 25% and it hasn't spurred any sales.  I don't _entirely_ blame Derpy though.  Collectors will beg Hasbro for years to make some obscure character and then wait for clearance sales to even consider actually buying it.  It makes for a difficult experience on any venue.

Back before TRU closed, people bragged about hiding toys so they could pick them up on markdown.  Under bottom shelves, in baby changing stations, you name it, somebody hid a toy there.  Some even went and damaged entire cases to thwart imaginary "scalpers" or just to get a discount for themselves.  Hope they're happy with the result.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Initiated Offers - What's Working?   eBay Seller Initiated Offers - What's Working?

by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 7 10:22:31 2019

Well I generally don't pay much attention to much of what ebay is doing. I have been self employed - in business on my own for 35 years. Here's the bottom line - my widget cost X amount of dollars - I know what my fees are - I also know what I need to get for that widget to still stay in business.  I have watched my competitors come and go over 20 years on ebay. Pretty much most are gone these days. I'm still here plugging away.  If you don't make a PROFIT your not in business. I run a constant sale these days because if you don't nobody looks. I price my items accordingly. If I run 20% off and still get low-ball offers I don't even respond anymore. So there's the widget - that's the price - buy it or not. I'm not here to keep eBay in business - I'm here to keep myself in business.  Too bad eBay can't embrace that.

We are all not Chinese.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Initiated Offers - What's Working?   eBay Seller Initiated Offers - What's Working?

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Wed Aug 7 11:07:07 2019

When I run a sale I offer 20% off my low low prices.

I could offer 50% off and I would still make a profit on my merchandise.

I pay pennies on the dollar, buying your items "right" is where you make your profit. . .

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Initiated Offers - What's Working?   eBay Seller Initiated Offers - What's Working?

by: eBay Shill Buster This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 7 11:22:29 2019

Sellers can hardly give away their items now on eBay due to a lack of buyers who are willing to spend, so you are going to list something at a give away price then discount it even further with this program...

That tells you the state of the eBay marketplace, it is not a hot market, it is a dead marketplace that Wenig has killed, coming up with bright ideas to make a sale is not going to help a marketplace in steep decline.

To need more foot traffic, without that, there will be no growth and folks are leaving eBay (sellers who are large buyers) because of the way they are getting ripped off for fees, it is a snowball effect and that snowball is going to run over Wenig.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Initiated Offers - What's Working?   eBay Seller Initiated Offers - What's Working?

by: TomH This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 7 11:45:02 2019

I no longer bother with any eBay games or specials of any kind. I just can not be bothered any longer.

I set a competitive price and shipping.  Buy it or not. I do not haggle at all these days and I do not waste my time worrying about anything that eBay promotes or wants me to do; which almost always results in their wanting me to lower my prices.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Initiated Offers - What's Working?   eBay Seller Initiated Offers - What's Working?

by: comments This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 7 12:26:42 2019

Ebay rolled out the ''send buyer an offer'' feature horribly. Buyers with existing opt-out settings to block 100 watched item reminders a day were excluded from ever even knowing that they can now receive legitimate discounts via sellers sending offers to watchers.

When send offer to watchers feature first rolled out there was a 5% limitation, but that limitation has since been removed months ago (at least for me and still gone and offers last sent yesterday).

Though after that limitation was removed for send offers to watchers I had a buyer send me an offer for an item. I tried to use the ''send buyer and offer'' email reply feature from the ebay app and was told there I could not send an offer less then 5% even though a less then 5% solicitation was received by email from a buyer. Then I went to a PC and sent the offer, which went though without issue. I know send offer to watchers and the send offer email reply are different features but it might be an issue only effected by the app and not a PC browser. I suggest if anyone tried on the app and got the error to try on a PC browser instead.

Lastly, regarding the seller who said ''sending offers 1-4% is not a good strategy''. How do they know what is or is not a good strategy? Many products have a set retail price where $40-$50 off a $500+ item could be a bargain. It may not be a great strategy if you are selling a $20 widget but an extra $50 off that new TV could be a deal maker.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Initiated Offers - What's Working?   eBay Seller Initiated Offers - What's Working?

by: papergoy This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 7 13:15:02 2019

5% of the offers I extend are accepted.  5% of the time, people counter.  10% sell-through when the option wasn't there in the past..I would call that a success.  Very happy.  But from reading the comments throughout the years, I'm one of the few who actually has a business plan and understands how things work- it seems a lot of people still think it's 1998 and there's no competition.  Change with the times, and in fact embrace the changes, or you'll be left behind.

Unrelated note- my favorite argument against promoted listings- "I already give eBay enough money..I'm not going to give them more." Um, you do understand how business works, right?   You only pay if you sell the item...so there's no downside to you....  I for one hope I pay eBay tens of thousands a month in final value and promoted listings fees....as that would mean I'm making a boat load of money.  If you don't understand that sentiment, perhaps you should look into a different career choice.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Initiated Offers - What's Working?   eBay Seller Initiated Offers - What's Working?

This user has validated their user name. by: unsuckEBAY
Web Site

Wed Aug 7 13:18:14 2019

NOTE: eBay has yet to implement a fix to notify sellers if their Best Offer acceptance will include an additional promoted listing fee or not.

Ebay was appraised of this disclosure gap in March, and ECB covered in June's "eBay Best Offers with a Side of Fees" 👉 http://bit.ly/2ZF3iMH

If sellers accept Best Offers on items they promote, they will have to take eBay at their word that the buyer did indeed click through the sponsored listing.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Initiated Offers - What's Working?   eBay Seller Initiated Offers - What's Working?

by: eBay Shill Buster This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 7 13:22:25 2019

papergoy, you were going to sell the item anyway without promoted listings, you just decided to pay eBay 15% more on top of your regular fees, so instead of paying 15%, you payed eBay 30% and are now a victim of the fraudulent algos that Wenig created.

If you don't understand that you are in the wrong business selling on the wrong platform.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Initiated Offers - What's Working?   eBay Seller Initiated Offers - What's Working?

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Wed Aug 7 13:36:01 2019

@unsuckEBAY

If a seller has promoted listings maybe they should be smart enough not to accept best offers!

I accept best offers but never run promoted listings.

We all know what eBay will do, they'll say it was promoted and take the fees. . . .

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Initiated Offers - What's Working?   eBay Seller Initiated Offers - What's Working?

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Wed Aug 7 14:03:31 2019

If you're comfortable scamming a grandmother out of a box of G1 TransFormers for $1 at a yard sale, you do you but I'll have no part of it.

Margins are pretty thin for some current retail products.  It's less about buying right than buying or not buying.  If the distributor offers you $17 per unit for a $20 item, those are the choices - buy them or don't.  When everything offered is the same sort of proposition, you're out of business either way.  The only "choice" is when and how much red ink you've swallowed.  It sounds like a "fun" business to get into so a new sucker lines up after every one that gets wise to the game.  There are games you can play to soften the crash but that's all they are - games.

The shame is that I _can_ make a little money at a show with a fixed table fee and decent traffic.  I just cannot do it online with these venue fee structures, lack of traffic, or both.  It's just like having a shop on Main Street, every middleman with their hand out wants 120% of the revenue so you don't do anything and they get 0.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Initiated Offers - What's Working?   eBay Seller Initiated Offers - What's Working?

This user has validated their user name. by: unsuckEBAY
Web Site

Wed Aug 7 14:07:29 2019

Toolguy, we have found the 2nd thing we can agree on.

We don't recommend running BO & PL on the same items until eBay fixes this issue.

Unfortunately eBay is heavily looking to on-board naive consumer sellers who are unlikely to pay catch this oversight, and there are plenty of reasons seasoned sellers might want to run PL & BO as well.

Regardless, eBay should be disclosing to their seller-customers what the actual cost of completing the transaction will be and that's not currently the case.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Initiated Offers - What's Working?   eBay Seller Initiated Offers - What's Working?

This user has validated their user name. by: NoMoreEbay

Wed Aug 7 14:28:36 2019

@The End
''Tried to buy something with a charge card....no.''

I won a pair of cufflinks from a seller in Austria. Payment method was Visa or MC. I hit the Pay Now button. The cursor spun around and now it shows 'payment in process.' That was 2 days ago.

I called the abysmal support in the Philippines yesterday and was told merchant accounts were no longer allowed on ebay. To contact the seller. Can you imagine leaving a buyer hanging like that. No way I'm going to give my CC info out.

On hold now with yet another Philippines cube dweller who told me to call my bank (BS line number 2), asked for a supervisor and am waiting to see what kind of BS I get this time.

Just got off the phone with the 'manager.' His line of BS (number 3) was for me to have the seller cancel the transaction and then send me an invoice. I told him if the transaction is cancelled I am no longer the winner and that wouldn't work. He said that's the only option. I can't be the only buyer who's experienced this.

21 years in business and this laughing stock of a company can't even keep up with their endless changes and get a simple payment process in place.


Perminate Link for eBay Seller Initiated Offers - What's Working?   eBay Seller Initiated Offers - What's Working?

by: Silver Ice King This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 7 15:29:50 2019

Once again Ebay wants the Sellers to foot the bill for them to make money.  Remember that Ebay has made the conscious decision to spend little to nothing on marketing since the beginning of the year, even acknowledging that it is hurting Gross Sales, but they don't care.  Everything is about getting the Sellers to finance not only Ebay but now their own Advertising.  I have never sent an offer and never will as there are to many other sites where they do have traffic and who at this point in time still run as a viable business, not some schlocky 2 bit company that only cares about how much more money can they steal from their customers.

I still remember when Ebay took away 10% of the discount on FVF that Top Rated Plus listings got that they were going to use those savings to pay for additional marketing.  Well we see how long that has lasted.  Every move Ebay makes is all about putting less money in the Sellers pockets and more in theirs rather than realizing that the more a Seller sells, the more that Ebay will make and both sides are happy.  But that subject matter is completely lost on Wenig.  He is the type of Attorney that gets the entire profession looked down on and called snakes.

Click to view more comments
1 2 3  [Next Page]


Login is required to post comments.
To sign in to leave a comment using your AB Verify User Name, fill in the form below. If you have not yet signed up for AB Verify, or if you'd like more information, go to the Registration Page
.

Login for AB Verify
Be sure and use your email address and password to log in.

 
Email:
Password:
 
 Forgot Your Password?
 Even though you are signed in with the AuctionBytes Blog, you will have to sign in to the EcommerceBytes blog. But you can sign in with your existing AB Verify info.