Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sat Jan 5 2019 16:25:46

eBay Lets Buyers Shorten Best Offer Window

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay tweaked its Make an Offer ("Best Offer") feature. Sellers typically have 48 hours to accept an offer, but now buyers can limit their offers to sellers to 12 hours or 24 hours if they feel 48 hours is too long - at least in some listings spotted on eBay.

eBay explains Best Offers on this page where it wrote:

"Best Offer lets you offer the seller a price you're willing to pay on Buy It Now items. The seller decides whether to accept, reject, or counter your offer."

And, it explains, "The seller has 48 hours to decide whether to accept or reject your offer, or suggest another price. If they choose not to respond to you in that time, or if the listing ends before they respond, then your offer expires."

A reader sent us a link today to an eBay listing where Best Offers are accepted that shows the additional options; clicking a Help icon displays a pop-up that explains, "You can now select how long your offer remains valid for. If you’re in a rush, select a shorter time to get an answer faster!" It offered buyers the option to limit their offers to 12 hours or 24 hours.


He described his reaction from buyer point of view: "As a buyer I view this as a small benefit; though I would prefer the option to specify a number of hours less than 12 (though I'm sure many sellers would not care for that option at all)... 48 hours can seem like an eternity when you're waiting around for a seller response."

He also reminded us of the "Name your price" feature eBay had hinted at during the eBay Open seller conference in July - there's more about it in this August 5th Blog post.

Let us know what you think of the new Best Offer durations from the seller point of view - good or bad?

PS: I also found this post which should be of interest.



Comments (25) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

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by: Bob V2 This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jan 5 17:23:02 2019

I always respond to all buyer communications in less than 12 hours, and certainly don't need that long to decide whether or not to accept an offer, so I don't really care.

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by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jan 5 18:05:30 2019

We don't have best offer on any of our auctions. If a buyer is so rudely arrogant to send us one we just delete the message and block the buyer. What makes these idiots think I will take less if I don't offer it.

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This user has validated their user name. by: NoMoreEbay

Sat Jan 5 18:08:39 2019

Until ebay has IPR upon buyer acceptance or the listing stays live, BO is just another haven for ebay's vast base of deadbeats.

Considering most if not all used items on ebay are in different condition, name your price is one of the stupidest ideas ebay has ever copied.  

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by: smallstuff This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jan 5 19:10:27 2019

I use Best Offer all the time, both as a seller and as a buyer.  I've concluded that auctions are for those sellers who don't know what they have.  I deal with some fairly expensive items and auctions rarely yield multiple bidders, but Best Offers come in all the time and I can almost always turn then into a sale with a counteroffer.  The same goes for things I buy, it gives me a chance to get a better price - so why not try.  As for shortening the window - I've used that also - big improvement from the buyer's perspective.

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

Sat Jan 5 22:43:18 2019

That's a great point about IPR - I suspect MP sellers may be the 1st to get IPR for BO's.

For occasional ECB readers - a bit of resume history on a couple of key eBay execs:

_________________________
Devin Wenig - CEO:

After running his daddy's business, CEO Devin Wenig spent most his career at Thomson Reuters, the famous media and information firm. Wenig was CEO of Thomson Reuters Markets (a subsidiary of TR) when he was fired in 2011 for under-performing and failing to deliver a product offering to compete with Bloomberg's.

Speaking of Bloomberg, as they report Wenig's division processed "information and news products including financial data, collective investment data, numerical, textual, historical and graphical databases."

No retail or B2B/B2C/C2C ecommerce experience - just moving bits and bytes of data, most of it having to do with stock exchanges and financial markets.

Wenig is also an attorney.

_________________________
Scott Cutler - SVP, America's
Scott Cutler is a former EVP of the NYSE. Another organization involved with the massive processing of data. As a stock exchange, there are of course buyers and sellers, bids and asks.

No retail or B2B/B2C/C2C ecommerce experience - just moving bits and bytes of data, most of it having to do with stock exchanges and financial markets.

Cutler is also an attorney.

_________________________
Harry Temkin, VP Seller Experience (unless he's already gone):
Wenig's buddy, the newest VP of "Seller Experience", Harry Tempkin is also a financial tech guy. Temkin spent several years as a director of the BATS stock exchange after working for Wenig for many years at Thomson Reuters. According to his LinkedIn profile, Temkin was a CEO at a couple fintech firms with an emphasis on stock market analytics before joining eBay. Temkin best I can tell has gone dark and I am quite surprised he didn't participate in the podcast with Cutler and Kupbens.

It would seem there's a lot of ambiguity, redundancy, and/or overlap between Temkin's and Kupben's roles. I'm not sure how Wenig justified bringing his friend and ex -employee in this role during eBay's current performance struggle (not to mention layoffs) when he already has Kubens. Has anyone seen or heard anything meaningful from Tempkin since his video interview with Kathy Terrill a couple months ago?

No retail or B2B/B2C/C2C ecommerce experience - just moving bits and bytes of data, most of it having to do with stock exchanges and financial markets.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

So with all that said the writing is on the wall: Wenig wants eBay of the future to function like a stock exchange - Bids and asks, buyers and sellers transacting (though not necessarily consummating!) buys and sells for goods on the eBay Market Exchange.

Best offer and "name your own price" are natural areas for eBay to focus efforts in attempt to move the needle in marketplace transaction velocity and volume to yield a net increase in GMV and of course revenues (while other initiatives focus on increasing ASP).

Key difference from the current best offer functionality is that instead of a one-to-one haggle between buyer and seller, the desire is to develop a one-to-many, or many-to-many capability that eBay hopes will scale, just like a financial stock exchange.

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

Sun Jan 6 01:47:50 2019

@FidoMaster

One thing you neglected to mention was that Wenig ran his daddys company almost into the ground until he finally hired somebody with experience to come in and at least salvage the business.  It still is barely profitable but Daddy ran the company very similar to how Wenig runs Ebay, smoke and mirrors and all types of fancy comeons to get people to invest in his company.  I guess like father, like son with neither able to legitimately run a company.  Thomson Reuters underperformed just as Ebay is underperforming, so nothing has changed in his abilities but somehow he has conned the BOD into thinking he has some type of ability to make money for the company, typical con man.

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by: TomH This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jan 6 11:29:45 2019

I think he has been able to con the BOD because they are much like him in some aspects.

For most of the stuff I sell I'm already at the bottom and there is no room for even lower offers.  So, I just turned that off completely a couple of years ago. For me now eBay is a 30 day transition period before placing items on other sites.  

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by: Vernfern This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jan 6 11:49:35 2019

I am for this change. This is a good option for serious buyers who want to know if if their offer is accepted before going to another seller / listing.

Now if eBay would only allow the immediate payment requirement for best offers accepted. This is the key reason why so many sellers do not use this option.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Sun Jan 6 12:12:27 2019

I like Best Offer

Seller had a 38 S&W Lee Hand Loader listed for $49.99

I only wanted to pay $39.99

The seller accepted my offer and I bought what I wanted for the price I wanted to pay.

eBay works & works well for both buyer & seller

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This user has validated their user name. by: CanBrit

Sun Jan 6 17:19:46 2019

I think buyers will like the shorter window. Items can be bought even when a best offer is out there, so if you are anxious to buy something and hope for a bit of a discount, it will be good for them.

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by: mainesail This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 7 00:46:44 2019

I've been selling on ebay for over 15 years and the world has certainly changed. Heck, back then we'd wait for checks in the mail. As buyers become more aggressive about pricing, we sellers need to change strategies. Now, I anticipate offers on many items and price accordingly, as well I have lots of sale events. You need to know how low you can and are willing to go. Sometimes you just have an item that you almost need to pay someone to take, be a better buyer of inventory.

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by: Paul W This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 7 01:05:51 2019

I'm happy to be selling 100s of items that no other seller on eBay is selling.  I see no need to accept offers for less than my BIN  price, and I don't.

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by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 7 01:57:07 2019




ebay is all for the buyer these days, a big mistake for a company that earns ALL it's money from sellers.


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by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 7 05:45:24 2019

@Fidomaster, their resumes explain why I'm selling one item a month on Ebay :)  Best Offer should stay at 48 hours.  Many of us don't carry our cell phones in our hip pocket, and don't get notifications from Ebay....even though I have my notifications turned on, never get notifications.  Oh well, all my sales anyway are coming from other sites.  As soon as my store is up, I'm going to go back to 50 free listings and be done with Ebay.

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by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 7 05:46:15 2019

Also, this tells me that EB more and more wants to do away with Best Offer and auctions and go strictly fixed price.

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by: tcpjs This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 7 08:50:34 2019

I would be fine with whatever duration eBay wants to allow for Best Offer if they would also send an e-mail blast to other potential buyers who are just watching the listing to let them know there is an offer on the table. Sort of a, "Hey, this is about to sell, unless you finally pony up and buy it at full price." It wouldn't make as much sense for typical retail stock items, but for collectibles categories that are largely fueled by emotion and impulse buys, the possibility of losing out on an item altogether is often more of a motivation than the specific price point. I can't tell you how many times I've had inquiries on items a day or two after they sold, when they were sitting in my store for months prior. I would much rather get those inquiries while the item is still in hand and I am still able to accept higher competing offers.

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by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 7 09:51:24 2019

@tcpjs -- that makes sense.  Maybe that should be put in the "suggestion box".  Also, Posh allows 24 hours to respond to make an offer.  One time I didn't get the message in time and responded on the 26th hour.  Lost the offer.  I think it should stay at 48.  12 hours is just too short a time.  We're not tied to our phones.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Don Wagner

Mon Jan 7 10:05:11 2019

The Best Offer feature was implemented in response to years of Buyers complaining that eBay search results had become saturated with overpriced listings (and I was one of many who complained about it on this very forum). Actually it was one of the very, very few 'You talked - We listened' new features that makes sense to me. Sure I have gotten some silly lowball offers (which I have also gotten on listings with no Best Offer option)  but wouldn't dream of blocking a potential customer over it.

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 8 09:15:25 2019

Makes no sense that eBay would let the BUYER change the time - it should be up to the SELLER.

Its neither eBays NOR the buyers item - why should they get t decide that?

Not that it matters to me - I dont do "lets make a deal", this isnt the arabian marketplace etc.

Just put it in the listing flow - and the seller can get to decide "how available" they want to be.

Why would you need it sooner ?(then 12 or 24) ?

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This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Tue Jan 8 12:21:13 2019

@pace306

If you go to the swap meet and see a set of Bose Headphones and the guy wants $50 and you offer him $25

Should you stand around until he makes a decision or are you the buyer going to decide how long you wait for his answer before leaving?

eBay has this one right, the buyer may need this item right now and if the seller isn't going to answer in a timely manner the buyer may want to offer another seller a best offer.

You have forgotten the golden rule of business!

The customer comes 1st and the customer is always right. . . .

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