Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Wed Dec 2 2020 21:08:37

eBay Says Ability to Make Offers to Buyers Is a Success

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay allows sellers to make offers to buyers in a few different ways, and the company said the feature, also known as "Seller Initiated Offers," was a success.

This month, Offer to Buyers reached a huge milestone and surpassed $1 billion in gross merchandise volume (GMV) since January 1, 2020, according to Harry Temkin and Parin Jogani in a blog post today.

eBay had already allowed buyers to reach out to sellers with Best Offer when it launched Make Offers to Buyers in 2019.

Sellers have shown tremendous enthusiasm for Offer to Buyers, the eBay pair wrote. "With the popularity of this feature among sellers, we began exploring additional updates which would make the tool even more useful. One update was the ability to counter-negotiate. More than 60% of offers have counters enabled, resulting in about a quarter of all Offer to Buyers transactions."

Sellers using the feature don't actually target any specific, known buyers - the offers reach shoppers that have signaled an interest in a seller's item but haven't yet purchased. Sellers can make offers on items shoppers have opted to watch, or they can make offers to items added to cart that have been there for at least 5 days. 

Temkin and Jogani wrote, "We have taken multiple buyer interest signals (such as Abandoned Cart and Heavy Browse) and made them available to our sellers, enabling around 20% more listings to be eligible to send offers, and we're excited to continue implementing more such signals in the future."

There are some restrictions, including, as eBay explains in its help pages: "Not all listings are eligible. Eligibility is determined by a number of factors, including age of listing, listing format, and rules that manage the number of offers buyers receive."

One oddity of the feature is that once a listing has ended, eBay will only show the original Buy It Now price even if the buyer purchased the item from at a discounted price. (You can learn more about sending offers on this eBay help page.)

Are you as enthusiastic about Seller Initiated Offers as eBay is?



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by: smallstuff This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 3 00:28:53 2020

Works great for me.  If you make an offer to ''watchers'', you can choose to enable - (1) allow buyer to counter offer and (2) automatically send the same offer to new watchers.  I understand how the first option works and some buyers have chosen to negotiate, which means I got a second chance with them.  I'm not sure how the second option works - does it immediately send the offer or wait a couple of days after the buyer puts the item on their watch list.  Either way, I've made several sales already since I started enabling the second option.  

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

Thu Dec 3 00:49:06 2020

I've done much better with it than I did with Best Offer.  I almost never use Best Offer anymore.

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by: Vigilant Eye On eBay This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 3 01:31:08 2020

From a buyer's perspective, if an item has been placed in one of my watch lists for a potential future purchase, a seller offer of at least 20% off will likely prompt me to buy.

Have also found that most of the sellers who sent me an offer were willing to dicker a bit on the sales price when the allow buyer to counter offer function was enabled.

Typically, my primary reason for making a counter offer is because the landed price (i.e., the sales price plus the shipping cost) is somewhat higher than what I am willing to pay.

Have found that the majority of long-time sellers who make offers to buyers provide reasonable discounts on reasonably priced items.

The aforementioned group of sellers genuinely want to move their products, as quite often the discounts are being offered on long tail items.

From my observations, it is quite rare to see discounts and/or offers from sellers utilizing promoted listings, which typically tend to be higher priced than non-promoted products.

Making offers to buyers does have one very serious flaw.

Regardless of how many items a seller has available for sale, a buyer can only purchase one at the discounted price.

Furthermore, even when a seller is willing to sell more than one of an item at the offer price, there is no way for either the buyer or the seller to consummate a discounted multiple item purchase until the seller's original offer has expired.

A bulk purchaser, having to wait until my multiple item purchase can be made through a buyer initiated offer has almost become the norm when it comes to make offer transactions..

When it comes to eBay, patience is not only a virtue, it's the rule that users must often live by.





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by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 3 04:21:40 2020

Offers to buyers never ever work for me.

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by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 3 04:59:34 2020

A listing already IS an ‘offer’ by a seller. What this is, is an offer to discount process.

Which is fine, but if it’s so (on an individual basis) ‘successful’ and acceptable, why not set the ‘offer’ in the listing at THAT price to begin with?

Maybe saving some time and effort along the way....free up some server space to be able to handle all the listings that never get shown as a bonus?

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Dec 3 06:26:20 2020

Stolen directly from Poshmark. Scheme of the week.  No thanks.

More race to the bottom pricing.  Wonder how long it will be before they send out their Amazonian style bots to delist items that their bots perceive to be overpriced. (I am not sure why the big brands aren"t pushing back on Amazon over that practice because it hurts them too.)

As a result of this scheme look for more annoying offers on items that don't show a best offer.

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by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 3 07:17:57 2020

Rexford - EB is already changing my listings and checking the "best offer" button.  I never check the BEST OFFER, but EB does in our behalf.    It's also checking the "relist every 30 days" button.
THIS MUST STOP.  That's why I have auctions only.  For better control.

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

Thu Dec 3 10:12:23 2020

I haven't found anything good to buy on Ebay since March 2019.
They're killing Ebay.

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This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Thu Dec 3 11:18:13 2020

Like I needed more evidence that my thought patterns are atypical...

As a seller, sending offers is a waste of time.  Dozens of people put my stuff on their watch list with no intent to buy.  No offer is ever cheap enough for fools conditioned to expect free shipping on Ollies pricing.  Effort is better spent hauling the same stuff to conventions where people are interested and willing to spend.

As a buyer, it's worked out OK.  I browse through eBay every few weeks and put stuff on my watch list.  Sometimes within hours I have a discount offer.  I was likely going to buy one of the saved listings anyway, but the offer probably sped up the process a little.  Because I also sell, I feel a little bad for those sellers, especially those quick to offer discounts (presumably out of some level of desperation).

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by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 3 13:22:21 2020

I agree with RKtoys.  However, EB probably has data that proves it works.

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by: RL15 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 3 14:41:17 2020

fleecebay says a lot of things...usually they are lies

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Dec 3 15:05:14 2020

I cant say that much about this - since I dont do these kinds of things - I try to price the items RIGHT the first time out (based on my cost and what others sell for) and thats it.

I do get offers from other sellers - who offer me discounts (like a whole $5) on items ive looked at - but those are not as common nor are they worth anything to me (not enough of a discount to spur me to buy).

My one and only question is ...... JD, DW et al have said over and over that they dont want eBay to be a FLEA MARKET (I love flea markets so Im not sure what their beef was) so why have (introduce) the ability to haggle aka turn eBay into a Turkish bazaar ? Isnt that what they said they DONT want?

I would surmise that eBay "is" what ever the current CEO who needs to post numbers for Wall St, wants it to be - a "5 year plan to make eBay into a world class ecommerce platform" be damned.

eBay has never "been shy" about changing its positions on things - or evev out right lieing about them - so nothing at this point surprises me.

If as a seller this works for you - then god speed, if not then just chuck it onto the rust pile of eBay silly ideas and move on I guess ....

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by: Vox29 This user has validated their user name.
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Thu Dec 3 15:42:13 2020

Since I started listing things last month, I routinely uncheck the "Allow Offers" feature, because eBay thinks I am willing to take less than half what the item is worth. I sell my items at the prices I want, not what eBay wants. Now they think I wil offer buyers a discounted price. As it is, if I think I can stand a discount I just change the price $2 lower.

My first sale is somewhat problematic, as the buyer made an end run around my rule and offered me a price $6 lower than what I wanted at auction. After a flurry of emails, and my relisting the item at the regular price, she bought it and then asked me to "refund" the difference. Some buyers don't realize that prices are predicated on the cost to sell, the cost to produce or inventory, and eBay's Final Value Fee. After all that, if I refunded the difference it would eliminate any profit to be made in the transaction. Since she elected to buy at the regular price, the "contract" we made was void at that point. Buyers make offers based on what they think they can get away with. Sorry, but I'm a business owner and need to look at what I can do to keep my prices low. That means not going lower than necessary. For me, the regular price made it worth the sell, not the price discounted.

So far, eBay has not tried to "make" me do things I don't want to do. The listing form allows me to uncheck features I don't want, and I can easily ignore the plea to allow them to lower the price for me after a short time on sale. The only bugaboo I have is that the form resets the checks when revising, so I end up doing twice the work again. Otherwise, I get a lot of views and a few watchers. None of them realize that my prices are not going down automatically. I don't make offers to buyers. I don't think I know anyone who does that.

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by: steveylang This user has validated their user name.

Fri Dec 4 18:02:26 2020

It's a good feature to have added, but not some huge new revolution in e-commerce either. I don't have 'Best Offer' on my auctions because I price them realistically (they will sell, but I'm not in a huge rush either.) But occasionally someone will contact me asking for a small discount or free shipping, and I'll make them an offer just to seal the deal.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Lightning

Fri Dec 4 23:46:18 2020

It has been working great for me.  If I feel the need to drum up some cash, I do the offers.  I usually look at Active Listings and it will say anywhere from 50-120 item qualifying for Send Offers.  I offer 10% off for most items, 5% for stuff over $150 or so.  

Within minutes, a sale or two will come in.  In the hour, probably 6-7 more.  Then they dribble in that first 24 hours, a few stragglers before the 48 hours are up.  

One time that first hit of 7 or 8 orders was about $1200.  My average sale is probably around $80, so that's not a bad result for the minimal effort.  All day long, there hadn't been a single sold item, and then BAM!.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Sat Dec 5 11:05:43 2020

What's NOT a success is Mangled Payments!

We have a return coming back.

Mangled Payments is making us use Paypal for shipping labels even though we have more then enough in MP to pay the refund and buy shipping labels but for some strange reason we can't use our pending funds for shipping while we have an active return! Something's not right with this!

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This user has validated their user name. by: CanBrit

Sat Dec 5 19:04:04 2020

I know what my bottom line number is. Sometimes I find it invites absolutely nutty offers from customers.  If I feel I have a great saleable item that I've gotten for a song, I can play with some best offers occasionally but if I'm professing to have the best, it sure doesn't look like it with best offers. If you know what I mean. Quality does have a price.



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