Why do eBay sellers include a “Best Offer” option on their Buy-It-Now listings, anyway?
It’s because they’re open to a lower price in exchange for a quicker sale. Otherwise, they’d just wait for the asking price.
Perhaps you’re looking for a specific bargain, perhaps you’re a reseller looking to profit. Either way, the stream of Best Offer listings (and therefore, opportunities) is endless.
So, here are a few suggestions for making succesful Best Offers on eBay. They’re based on experience.
The most effective Best Offers are based on speed and sincerity.
- Make Offers on Newly Listed items!
- The fact is that the time that a casual seller is listing an item on eBay could be the time that they most need the money. You could be helping someone out here.
- The sooner after the listing appears, the better the time to make an offer.
- binEye Buy-It-Now Catcher is an excellent way to catch new Best Offer listings in your niche / category.
- Choose a category, or cast a wide net with a keyword and watch the new listings roll in! Items with a Best Offer available are labeled as such.
- Use the Message Box to Assure that You’re a Serious Buyer
- You should do this always, but especially if you feel that your offer is on the low side.
- Let the seller know that you’re online with the money, and if they accept the offer straight away, they’ll have it via PayPal straight away. (Obviously, be prepared to make good on this.)
- Also, indicate that your initial offer is your final offer. (You want this over so you can move on to the next listing or go to the pub, don’t you?)
Now for the “don’ts”:
- Don’t use the “Ask A Question” Button to Make the Offer.
- Nothing puts a seller off more than receiving a question, related to a Best Offer listing, asking: “What’s the least amount you will take for this item?”.
- The seller will probably assume you’ve either misunderstood the concept of bartering or are too lazy to play, and ignore you. So don’t do this, it’s not effective.
- Note: Talking a transaction away from official channels is also a scammer tactic, and you might be perceived as one.
- Don’t Insult a Seller With a Low-Ball Offer.
- You’re likely to ruin your chances of making a second, sensible offer. Just because you get three doesn’t mean the seller has to respond to them.
- This is a matter of personal principle, but as an eBay buyer, I don’t like to offer any less than 70% of the asking price. For a reseller, there should be plenty of room for profit with this sort of reduction.
- If the seller’s asking price is clearly too high in the first place, you should probably just move on.
The Best Offer feature is a very powerful tool if you know how to use it correctly as a bargain hunter, and can be a source of regular, reliable profit to eBay resellers. By the way – avoid the temptation to point out defects in listings as a justification for your offer, or to argue with a seller over what an item is worth. Get in quick with polite, sensible, serious offers and you’ll be both an asset to the eBay community and a winner at the same time.
Now get out there and make some offers!