Amazon introduce eBay style Best Offer function
It’s usually eBay following Amazon, but this time it’s the other way around. Amazon have introduced a Best Offer style function called.. wait for it.. Make an Offer.
Amazon say of the new feature: “The new ‘Make an Offer’ experience is a game-changer for Amazon customers looking for great prices on one-of-a-kind items, and for sellers looking to communicate and negotiate directly with customers in an online marketplace environment just like they do normally in their own physical store or gallery. In a recent survey of our sellers, nearly half of the respondents told us that the ability to negotiate prices with customers would be important to drive more sales on Amazon. ‘Make an Offer’ delivers that functionality and makes customers feel confident they are getting an item they want at the lowest price possible.”
Apparently, 150k items are already involved in the trial (we assume that’s in the States at this stage, but correct us if we’re wrong and you’ve seen different).
And the change does seem to be very much aimed at eBay territory with trials running in one-off categories like sports and entertainment collectables and art. However, a much wider roll-out is planned in 2015. Willing sellers can opt-in to the feature of which Amazon say: “all negotiations are 1:1 and private between individual customers and sellers. A seller is able to accept a customer’s offer at any time. The intention is to lower prices and a customer negotiating with a seller will never pay more than the listed price.”
If you’re an Amazon seller, how do you feel about this? Isn’t one of the benefits of Amazon that you don’t need to deal with these eBay-like hassles?
I can’t imagine this ever going beyond collectibles and other non-SKU items. For normal product lines it runs counter to everything Amazon stands for with the Buy Box and overall simplicity of the buyer experience.