Deciding to accept or decline eBay best offers

CampaignGoAnat Weissman is CampaignGo’s Marketing head. One of the tools Anat has helped develop is The Best Offer Advisor from CampaignGo

Best Offer is one of the great promotional tools available for sellers – It allows flexibility and some negotiation space for sides, buyers and sellers. Anat says that after years of using best offer as is on their eBay shops, they developed The Best Offer Advisor which has spared them tons of trouble and time. All data on the spot, gathered in one place, supporting immediate smart business decisions.

Today Anat takes a look at why and when sellers might use Best Offer and what information you need at your finger tips to make smart decisions on whether to accept or decline an offer.

Do you have what it takes to accept or decline a best offer?

Make OfferBest Offer is an option sellers can use when they list a fixed price item but are willing to accept a lower price or different terms than what is listed.

There are 5 main reasons for using best offer:

1. Best offer option items are ranked higher on eBay search engine.

2. Reaching potential buyers, i.e., if you have an expensive fixed price item which isn’t easily affordable, the best offer option can make it affordable for people who couldn’t buy it for full price.

3. Purchase decision trigger – a lot has been said about behavioral economics.

4. Correcting an over-priced item, you might realize you priced an item too high through the offers you receive, and make the required adjustment accordingly.

5. It enables you to give a higher price reduction for a large quantity order.

So, we can all agree that this is a great promotional tool but how can it be used to the maximum, increase the selling chance and boost revenues? In our view it all comes down to the methodology of making the final decision.

The final decision if to accept/decline or counteroffer is usually based on raw information that is related to the specific offer. What happens today is that once a best offer is received, eBay informs you via email message with the offer details which contains the following information: item’s title, offered price and original price, expiration time, buyer message if exist and buyer’s ID. Can one make the best possible decision with the above information? Or to be more specific, would you make a different decision if you had more relevant information?

Offline/Online offers

Let’s think what happens in a similar situation in the “offline” world (it does still exist!),
where the seller can see the buyer, talk to him and get information, maybe even know the customer, seen him before, has a membership card, all that information in addition to the obvious number of items and so on, allows them to make the best decision per circumstance.

In online platforms, the seller usually depends on the data that is delivered by the specific platform be it eBay, Amazon etc. and on that basis they have to make a decision.

If as a seller you want some more data that might be relevant, you would have to go back and forth to browse the information, a process which is time consuming and can be quite annoying.

Making a good decision requires all the information presented to you in one place, preferably on one screen.
Sometimes, you are just out there, camping, hiking or having coffee and you only have your mobile with you, so that data mining process might be a bit of a hassle.

Smart Decisions

Accepting offers should be made out of knowing the facts, all the facts with regards to the specific item and in relation to the whole store and situation. Only then you could make a smart decision and probably earn more.

So here is an example: You have received an offer. You check the suggested price and see that it consist 80% of original price. That looks ok to you and you decide to accept the offer. But, with so many items in the store and limited information in the email, you might have missed out that the specific item has free shipping (higher cost for you!).

Ouch.. If you had known that, you might have declined the offer. It actually caused you to lose money because the free shipping expenses were recalculated in the item’s price, and by approving an offer with 20% off you actually bear the shipping costs for yourself.

Decisions should be made with all the information in front of you.

The Best Offer AdvisorWhat information do you need to make an informed decision?

  • Buyer’s information: returning customer or a new one, buyer’s history if exist, number of other offers form this buyer in the last 2 days. If it’s a loyal customer you tend to accept his offer.
  • Item information: quantity, sold/unsold, is it a best seller? How long is it in stock and when was it last sold? What is the item’s minimum sale price?
  • Free shipping or not, it is most relevant for price reduction decision.
  • Does the item have watchers, it might influence your decision, more watchers, maybe wait for a higher offer.
  • Item sales history, see the average sale price and sales rate of the specific item.

All the above information is available today, yet it is not presented at the moment of decision in one place. If you have the time, effort and knowledge to find all that information, then that is great and possible. BUT, if you don’t then The Best Offer Advisor can help.

Further Reading for Best Offer and Counter Offer Strategy

If you want to find out more about eBay Best Offers and Counter Offers, then an eBay Guide “How to Use the Best Offer Option – And How NOT To!” written by eBetsy of eBay Radio is well worth perusing.