eBay Best Offer can be a highly effective sales conversion tool for sellers.
Using the tips I’ll share, be ready to watch your eBay sales rise! eBay Best Offer can trace its lineage back to the early days of eBay. Back when eBay was still Auction Web, buyers flocked to the unique new site in search of a deal. More than 25 years later, they’re still flocking, and they’re still looking for a deal.
But nowadays, eBay is no longer all about auctions.
In fact, more than 80% of all listings are fixed price. So how can buyers still get that great deal? Two words: Best Offer. I call it the Haggle Feature. Not only is it free and easy to use, but you also can automate it! And it can be the difference between sale and no sale. Have I piqued your interest yet?
Basically, adding the Best Offer option to your fixed price listing is a flag to shoppers that you’re willing to take a bit less than your asking price for that item. In other words, it’s an invitation to haggle. If you’ve ever negotiated a better price at a garage sale or flea market, then you know how it’s done:
1. The would-be buyer makes an offer.
2. The seller either accepts or makes a counteroffer.
3. The buyer either accepts or counters the seller’s counteroffer.
4. Repeat steps #2 and #3 until both parties agree on a price.
That’s haggling for the win-win!
eBay’s Best Offer is designed to work exactly the same way: It’s the online version of haggling.
And it’s a fantastic way to boost your sales!
What You Need to Know to Succeed with eBay Best Offer.
Here are three factors you need to keep in mind when adding Best Offer to your listing(s):
- First, price the item 20%-30% above the lowest amount you’re willing to take for it. Don’t be greedy and double that amount, because you may well price yourself right out of the market! Besides, you want the price to be acceptable for people who don’t want to haggle — they just want to buy your item right then and there.
- Second, as you add Best Offer, check to see if you’re offering free shipping on that item. If you are remember to roll the actual cost of shipping the item into the minimum price you’re willing to accept.
- Third, be aware that buyers may find your item via Promoted Listings. Don’t forget to keep that additional fee in mind when calculating an acceptable price.
eBay Best Offer: How to Set It and Forget It!
Now let’s talk automation. When you check the box to add Best Offer to a listing, you’ll see two more checkboxes indented below the Add Best Offer checkbox. These give you the additional options of setting up Auto Accept and/or Auto Decline. Using one of these is a best practice, whereas the other is not. Here’s why.
Adding Auto Accept to Best Offer by checking that box and filling in the lowest price you’re willing to accept is smart.
It means that any offer at that amount or higher will automatically be accepted. That’s a huge timesaver. It’s also a lifesaver. If for some reason you’re offline and don’t see an acceptable offer before it times out, that offer will still be accepted. eBay will automatically inform the buyer and send them an invoice. So add Auto Accept to your Best Offer settings, and you’ll never miss an acceptable offer!
By contrast, adding Auto Decline takes away your ability to counter unacceptable offers.
This is not a good thing. Why? Because it closes the door to the possibility of making that sale, whereas countering even a lowball offer keeps the possibility of a sale in play. Some sellers use Auto Decline because they don’t want to deal with lowball offers. I think this is counterproductive.
Don’t waste time and/or energy being offended by lowball offers!
Put on your business hat. It’s not personal. Maybe the buyer is testing the water, trying to see how low you’ll go. Maybe they’re also a seller and hope to buy the item cheaply enough to flip it themselves. On the other hand, if I’ve had an item listed for a long time without an acceptable offer — or without any offers! — then I may be willing to take a lower offer for it.
So unless you have thousands of identical widgets listed and would be overwhelmed by the day-to-day volume of Best Offers you receive, I don’t recommend using Auto Decline. As a small or medium-size seller, you should be able to field unacceptable offers manually by countering them as they come in.
You can do so using standardized discounts or by calculating the acceptable discount on a case-by-case basis. You can also do a mixture of both: Use percentages as guidelines. Then follow your gut as to the exact amount of any given counteroffer. For example, did the buyer offer $10 for your $24.99 item? Maybe they like round numbers, so counter at, say, $20.
For more information about how to automate Best Offer, check out my video, “eBay FREE Automation That Makes You Money!”
Meanwhile, for more pro tips on using Best Offer, keep reading.
Best Practices for Success with Best Offer!
Please note that eBay gives both buyer and seller the option of adding a note to their Best Offer. Don’t pass up the chance to make a sales pitch! Open by thanking the buyer for their offer, then close with a call to action asking for the sale. Here’s a sample of a note you might write.
“Thank you very much for your offer. I can come down to $X (Y% off). Item is hard to find and in excellent condition. I hope we can make a deal!” Keep your preferred verbiage in a text document (ideally along with other boilerplate verbiage) so that you can simply copy and paste it. Then fill in the appropriate numbers and send your counteroffer.
Best Offer is a powerful sales tool for sellers. It’s an opportunity to dialogue with a potential shopper. Don’t overlook Best Offer’s no cost “Auto Accept” feature that can effortlessly score you sales.
eBay’s “Best Offer, a.k.a the “haggle feature” can help you move inventory, score sales and delight shoppers!
Now that’s a winning combination!