Why make offers?
Whether you are a starter or a veteran seller, considering Best Offer is something you will encounter for many reasons. It doesn't have to be an intimidating process nor become carelessly utilized. There are benefits to using this feature.
First, there are items or products in which the value is difficult to be determined. For instance, you bought a rare collection of teaspoons from an antique shop. Since there are no easy comparisons out there in the market now, you may find yourself thinking about how much you will sell it for.
Naturally, you would want to tag it for a high price and wait around for a buyer. However, this shouldn't always be the case. Sometimes, a potential buyer would turn out to be knowledgeable about antiques or rare collections and tell you your price is too high for that particular set. No one would purchase it, so they advise you to lower it slightly. Here, the Best Offer feature comes into the picture.
Second, some sellers have a business model focusing on changing inventories. This applies especially to those who purchase a range of wholesale items. Examples are fast-fashion items with hundreds of stocks and are sold by piece on eBay. Some sellers prefer having these purchased right away to make room for more. This is why they don't care about whether the Best Offer is still a high price–as long as it is justifiable and they can let go of the item, it is considered a good sale.
Third, other sellers are similar to the previous, but these may be individual ones who only want to let go of their secondhand items or their listings sitting on their account for so long. The goal is to let go of these items, and so again, they would care less about them being purchased at a higher price. They are content with closing a sale to have more space for other new listings.
Lastly, Best Offer also works when you have different potential buyers vying for the same listing. For instance, buyer A may want to purchase your vintage flared jeans for $30, and buyer B is willing to buy them for $45 simply because they badly want them and previously had tough luck finding such a beautiful design and comfortable material. With this kind of scenario, you would gain more earnings as a seller.
Listings allowed under Best Offer
Most categories across eBay are allowed to go under the Best Offer feature. This includes when a buyer opts to "watch" your listing or when they have added it to their carts, but they have yet to check it out–and five days have already passed.
Sellers can only give five (5) offers to potential buyers and ten vehicle categories. The five-count already includes accepted, rejected, and retracted offers.
This is why when you are the one making the Best Offer, make sure that you have considered all important factors. This covers determining the value of your items, evaluating the prices (e.g., shipping), reviewing your earnings, etc.
It is easier to renegotiate than to retract your offer or, worse, straight out declined by the buyer because your price is way too far off from the item's value. This happens especially when you don't research the items you sell. You may only appear as a clueless, unreliable seller, and of course, you wouldn't want this to affect your image as an eBay user.
What happens when you do offers?
When the buyer makes an offer, the seller has the choice to accept, reject, counteroffer, or simply ignore it. In the latter case, this automatically means you are rejecting the offer. This is why you should take note of the deadline so you wouldn't miss it by accident.
You can turn on the Offer to Buyers feature on the Active Listings under the Seller Hub. Select the listings you want to be part of it (you can do this by bulk), set your price offer, and tick the "Allow Counter Offers" and/or "Automatically Send Offers" before clicking on the "Send Offers."
Take note that the "Offer to Buyers" is also applicable to those "watching" your listing, while "Best Offer" is an option you can select when you are listing.
When you, the seller, make an offer, keep these short but effective tips in mind.
Some buyers may try to lowball you. For example, they may negotiate an item for $18.32 from $30, but considering the shipping fee of $4.68, they want the entire cost to be $23 only.
Like the previous example, some buyers would test an auto-decline option. They make offers as low as $1 to see the offer get declined immediately. Afterward, they may no longer make an actual offer because they prefer to converse with the seller themselves rather than the eBay system. This is why you should always try your best to monitor your Best Offers manually. This increases your chances of being a reliable seller, getting a good offer, and possibly getting repeat customers.
Set the option of "auto-decline."
If you don't have much time to monitor your offers, turning on the "Auto-Decline" button works best. This means setting a price floor or a minimum amount to the offers you will accept.
However, sometimes this is ineffective, especially when your listing has been in your account for so long and badly wants to let go of it. To address this, you should not have the "Auto-Decline" option so you can check potential customers' offers.
Buyer fails to pay
Make sure you enable the "Unpaid Item Assistant," which helps you in cases when the buyer does accept your offer but doesn't pay for it. This often happens in eBay, especially when the buyer changes their mind or finds a better offer from another seller. With this option, you wouldn't waste time on people who wouldn't push through with their commitment nor even have the courtesy of contacting you about changing their minds.
Currently, there are no repercussions when a buyer cancels your offer. This is why you have to be patient in negotiating with them, ensuring both parties are satisfied or have reached a compromise for the item.
A pro-seller tip
As a seller, you may find yourself struggling to find buyers, especially when there are hundreds of listings similar to yours. This is why you should consider crossposting your items across other online marketplaces.
OneShop, for instance, is a great service app that helps sellers with their business by connecting with fellow sellers, cross-listing, analytics, and setting up bots to help with sales. For a long time now, OneShop has been automating tasks on Poshmark and Mercari, and soon, cross-listing to the giant e-commerce, eBay will be available on the app.
Imagine, with just a few clicks, you would be able to gain further exposure across other marketplaces that OneShop integrates. There is no need to worry about accidentally selling the same item to two or more buyers as OneShop automatically delists the item once it has been sold on another platform. You can check out their pricing here.