An Insider’s Guide to the eBay Best Offer Selling Option

Posted on August 20, 2009. Filed under: eBay, Tips - for the eBay Seller | Tags: , , , |

What is the eBay Best Offer option?

eBay’s Best Offer option (also known as ” Make Offer ” from the buyer’s perspective) is an option eBay sellers can use when they list a fixed price item and are willing to accept a lower price or different terms than what is listed.



If the potential buyer clicks on the “Make Offer” button, they are given an opportunity to input a price they are willing to pay and/or click on a link to add additional terms:




When should you use eBay’s Best Offer (Make Offer) option?

1. When you absolutely positively must sell something in a certain period of time (either because you need the money or because you need the space the item occupies) and you don’t care what price the items sells for, then put your item up for auction on eBay.  But when you really want to sell your item and the final selling price is something you want to control but you don’t need to sell your item in a hurry then the eBay Best Offer option is a good choice.

2. When you have an expensive or rare item to sell on eBay, the Best Offer option allows you to be more picky about who you sell to because you have the opportunity to research a little about the potential buyer before you decide whether to accept their offer.  At times, I have accepted a slighly lower offer from someone because I felt more comfortable with their profile and turned away higher offers from bidders who were “new” to eBay (ie could have just started a new eBay ID) or who left not so great feedback for other sellers.  If an eBay member regularly purchases $500 or $600 items with success then I am much more likely to accept their offer on a $700 item I am selling rather than take a chance on a bidder who is new to eBay and who has only bought a lot of $2 and $3 items.

Additional comments: If you decide to include the Best Offer option on some, but not all, of your items then be prepared for increased email communication from potential buyers.  Many eBay members will see that you use Best Offer on some items and will assume that if they email you on other items where you do not include the Best Offer option that you might be willing to lower your price on those items as well.


When should you use the eBay automatic responder to accept / decline offers for the Best Offer option?

1. If you expect to receive a great many offers on a particular item and/or if you have quite a few items listed where you include the Best Offer option then you might want to consider using the automatic responder to automatically decline the really low ball offers.

2. If you have a great quantity of items for sale in the one listing then you may want to consider using the automatic responder to automatically accept offers of a certain dollar amount.  If your intent is to move a volume of items and you know the minimum amount you are willing to take then the eBay Best Offer using the automated accept feature could help you be much more efficient.

3. If your reason for using the Best Offer is to allow you to research the potential buyer before making a decision whether to accept their offer then the automatic responder probably should not be used.  Your decision whether to accept or decline is based partly on the dollar amount offered but also partly on the potential buyer’s reputation which you have to judge for yourself before making a decision about whether to accept.

Additional comments: Be careful about using the automatic responder for declining offers.  Once you have manually or automatic rejected offers, all eBay members can see the number of times you have declined offers. 




If you are selling an item with multiple quantities, the number of times offers have been declined might not be much of an issue.  But if you have only one item and especially if the item is expensive, then by not automatically declining the offers the other members can see that there are offers that you are considering.  They cannot see how much the other members offered but they can see that they have competition for the item and since you haven’t declined the offers yet, the potential buyer will be motivated to make the very best offer they can.


How can you leverage the eBay Best Offer option to experience the most efficiency and to get the most benefit from the option?

1. You can send the potential buyer a counteroffer once you have received a Best Offer.  But it is important to remember that by sending a counteroffer, you have declined the original offer and you cannot go back later and accept the original offer after you send a counteroffer.

2. I would recommend using the Immediate Payment option for the fixed price listing where you include the Best Offer option.  That way, anyone who is willing to purchase instantly and not negotiate the price will be required to pay for the item immediately.  This prevents buyers from “purchasing the item” (but not paying for it) and then trying to negotiate the price and/or terms after the fact.  Especially when selling higher price items where you want the opportunity to review the potential buyer’s profile, the Immediate Payment required option is of great benefit.  Personally, I have had buyers purchase an item where I had the Best Offer option and then try to negotiate after the fact.  Their explanation to me was that they didn’t want someone else to purchase it (since I only listed a quantity of one) while they were negotiating with me.  Using the Immediate Payment Required option prevents the “haggling after the fact” since the buyer can only purchase the item if they actually pay for it.

Additional Comments: More information about the eBay Best Offer option can be found in the eBay Help pages by clicking HERE


Make a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

4 Responses to “An Insider’s Guide to the eBay Best Offer Selling Option”

RSS Feed for TheBrewsNews Comments RSS Feed

Hi, well thought out suggestions.

I’ll add two more here, as I LOVE to use the BOffer feature, it’s actually fun.

1. we NEVER use the automatic responder. We have had $1 offers on $45 item, and countered with $37 and found it accepted. A buyer’s gotta try, even if offensive offer… I figure $1 is MORE than I had before, so it’s a starting point.

2. Use your TIME to your advantage. offer is good for 48 hours. If it was good enough to accept, wait. A better one may come along. A buyer’s offer is binding, no reason to rush unless you need to counter-offer, and even then you can play time a bit (remember offer IS binding).

I find it’s the ONE part of ebay which is still somewhat in MY control, and almost as much fun as the excitement of “auctions” (or used to be “auctions).


[…] An Insider’s Guide to the eBay Best Offer Selling Option « TheBrewsNews – view page – cached #TheBrewsNews RSS Feed TheBrewsNews » An Insider’s Guide to the eBay Best Offer Selling Option Comments Feed TheBrewsNews The Noise from the Hostile eBay Environment (an eBay OldTimer’s thoughts) Triple eBay Bucks thru August 23rd but only in 3 categories — From the page […]

I second vince’s ideas. Sometimes buyers just like to try a lowball offer. It also helps to write a little message when you counter-offer, even if it’s only “not even close”. I’ve had buyers come back weeks later with more realistic offers, and been able to do a deal.

[…] customer who tries to strong-arm you into lowering your shipping prices or to accept their “best offers” that are below 50% of the Buy It Now price. I especially like when they write: “It’s my best […]

Where's The Comment Form?


    The BrewsNews information blog about online sales, eBay, Amazon, Bonanzle and oh so much more!


    Subscribe Via RSS

    • Subscribe with Bloglines
    • Add your feed to Newsburst from CNET
    • Subscribe in Google Reader
    • Add to My Yahoo!
    • Subscribe in NewsGator Online
    • The latest comments to all posts in RSS


  • Archives

  • Top Posts

  • Most Recent Comment

  • Calendar of Posts

    August 2009
    M T W T F S S
    « Jul   Sep »
  • Topics

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...

%d bloggers like this: