Deciding to accept or decline eBay best offers
Anat Weissman is CampaignGo’s Marketing head. One of the tools Anat has helped develop is The Best Offer Advisor from CampaignGo
aff_link("http://pages.ebay.co.uk/help/sell/best-offer.html","Best Offer","","UK"); ?> 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?
Best 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?
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.
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.
- 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 “ aff_link("http://www.ebay.com/gds/How-to-Use-the-Best-Offer-Option-And-How-NOT-To-/10000000014829075/g.html","How to Use the Best Offer Option - And How NOT To!","","UK"); ?>” written by eBetsy of eBay Radio is well worth perusing.
“1. Best offer option items are ranked higher on eBay search engine”
Has the guest poster got any hard evidence of this? Or anything from eBay saying that this is the case? I could imagine that it could possibly increase conversions in some cases, which in turn would increase rank, but other than that it seems like a fairly sweeping statement.
I was going to ask the exact same question. Given what they say in point #4 surely eBay would think it’s possibly over-priced and do the exact opposite.
You have a good point, and my apologies if it sounded as if we were conclusive about this. Yet, from our long experience, it looks like listings with “best offer” option sell much better. The “best offer” option contributes substantially to that result. Of course it’s not the sole reason.
A support to our saying you can find here:
As you know,it is almost impossible to get from eBay the whole and exact information of how to upgrade your items on Cassini search engineI.
We Thank you for your opinion, and hope that you would try out some of our tools and let us know your feedback.
So, this is basically a long-winded plug for something the author is selling, something like what newspapers call an advertising feature?
Best Offer is a PITA and attracts tyre-kickers IME. It may work for some but all I get is stupid offers the odd time I stoop to using it.
I tried ‘Best Offer’ on a couple of items. It turned into a right pain in the nether-regions. I would get a Best Offer of say £2-97 on a New £20 Book. I would decline it followed by an abusive email about why did I show Best Offer if I did not really want them.
I tried to delete it. So far so good. But then the item came up for re-listing and there was ‘Best Offer’ back again even though I had previously killed it(or so I thought). So it is fair to say that as it is currently constituted I am not impressed.
I am sorry that this is the way you feel about the post and about best offer. Being eBay sellers for over 10 years we have been usuing best offers quite a lot. I agree it can be a pain and does not fit every sellers needs, yet we have found that having more data helps us make smarter decision which have eventually added to our profit.
Best Offer as we see it is a part of a few tools we have developed and that have already helped us make more money in our stores. We learn from feedback and therefore it would be great if you could let us know what you think, no commitment at all.
best offers great for cqtching the smart arse who gets the shock of their life when you accept what they think is a daft offer lol
I find it useful as I sell software on made-to-order discs; the profit margin is high so I can afford to give 15-18% discounts even when postage is taken into acocunt. And so I set it at a fixed minimum Best Offer price which the system accepts/declines automatically.
At the end of the day, I’d rather have a sale than no sale.
I totally agree with you, we always prefer to sell rather not to.
Of course, it can depend on which kind of store you have and which kind of items.
I invite you to try out our tools and see how it works for you.
Some of us are still waiting for some evidence that offering best offer increases search ranking, please.