how does best offer work on eBay

How Does Best Offer Work on eBay? A Step-By-Step Guide to eBay Offers

July 26, 2023

The Best Offer feature is a unique feature on eBay, one that makes buying and selling on the platform a much more involved – and exciting! – process than on other ecommerce platforms. But if you're wondering how the Best Offer feature works on eBay, you're not alone. This deceptively simple feature has a multitude of intricacies and rules, and it can take a bit of time to get the hang of how to use it to your benefit as a seller. This step-by-step guide will answer the important question of how does the Best Offer work on eBay, as well as go over how to remove a best offer from an eBay listing.

how does eBay best offer work

Best Offer on eBay: An Overview

Many eBay sellers are put off by the Best Offer feature, as it's gained a reputation in certain selling circles as being too much effort for too little payoff. On the other hand, many other sellers, even those who've been selling on the platform for years, simply don't know how the best offer works on eBay. Put simply, the Best Offer feature offers buyers an avenue to begin negotiations on the price of an item. In this section, we'll go over what the Best Offer feature is on eBay, and give a quick overview of how it works from both a buyer's and seller's perspective.  

What is the Best Offer on eBay?

The Best Offer is a feature can be added to both auction-style and fixed-price (known on eBay as Buy It Now) listings on eBay, and enables interested buyers to make you an offer on the listed item. For auction-style listings, you can add a Best Offer option for buyers, and it will be available up until you receive your first bid. If you decide to accept a buyer offer before you've received any bids, that buyer wins the item. For fixed-price listings, your Best Offer is essentially an invitation to buyers to negotiate the listed price. Other buyers will still be able to snap up the item at full price, even if there are buyers with pending offers.

How Does Best Offer Work?

When you receive an offer from a buyer through the Best Offer feature, you'll be able to reply to them with a counteroffer, accept their offer, or outright decline their offer. You'll also be able to include a short message with each type of response. You can also choose not to respond to the offer and allow it to expire, which happens either when the listing ends or after 24 hours, whichever is sooner.

Additionally, eBay enables sellers to respond to buyer messages with an offer, so if you have a buyer who's showing interest in your item, you can send them a reply along with an attractive offer to nudge them towards making a purchase.

eBay best offer

Benefits of Using Best Offer

Now that we've explained how the eBay Best Offer works, we'll take a moment to understand what the benefits of this feature really are. The Best Offer feature on eBay offers you a multitude of benefits as a seller, and once you understand how to use it to your advantage, you'll be able to use it in a variety of cases to increase interest in your items and drive more sales.

Increased Visibility for Your Listings

As you likely already know, the buyers on eBay are usually after a different shopping experience from buyers on other ecommerce platforms. They're always on the hunt for a bargain, which is why listings that accept offers often get more engagement when compared to fixed-price listings. In fact, buyers can even refine their search to show only listings that accept offers, meaning that you could be left out of searches entirely if you don't give buyers the chance to haggle the price.

More Flexibility in Pricing

It may not be intuitive, but increased pricing flexibility is an incredibly important tool for ecommerce sellers to have at their disposal. Pricing is a finicky business; what works one day can be entirely obsolete the next. Keeping on top of your competitors' prices, recalculating profit margins and balancing them against the whims of the market with every change can take up a great deal of time, which is why having a more flexible price range, rather than a firm price, can ultimately drive more sales.  

Streamlined Negotiation Process

eBay recognizes the value of a well-organized negotiation process, which is why they offer a dedicated and fully integrated platform for conducting buyer-seller negotiations. That said, handling offers one by one can be incredibly time consuming, which is why many sellers often avoid dealing with offers altogether. With tools like 3Dseller's Best Offer automation and eBay Offers Manager, however, you'll be able to automate the entire process for streamlined, hands-off Best Offer negotiations with buyers who've sent you offers, as well as buyers who have added your items to their watchlist.  

3Dsellers best offer

Tips for Maximizing the Benefits of Best Offer

When used correctly, eBay's Best Offer feature is a great tool for increasing visibility, boosting sales, and building trust with your buyers. It's important to ensure that you utilize the Best Offer functionality on eBay as intended, and that you fully understand how the Best Offer works on eBay before adding it to your listings or sending offers to interested buyers. Below, we've put together some key tips for maximizing the benefits of this unique feature and help you get the most out of eBay's Best Offer.

Offer Competitive Prices

Successful negotiations where both parties end up satisfied begin with competitively-priced items. Buyers like to feel like they're getting the most bang for their buck, which is why it's important to begin negotiations at a price point they feel is fair. If buyers feel like you're hiking up and artificially inflating your prices, your chances of receiving offers on your items drop. Instead of pricing high and negotiating low, price your items fairly and respond positively to equally fair offers. You'll be much more likely to sell your items at a price you're happy with, and have a happy buyer who feels like they got a great deal to boot.

Respond Promptly to Offers

How promptly you respond to your offers (just like how promptly you reply to buyer messages) reflects on you as a seller, and has a direct effect on the success of your negotiations. Buyers who feel like you're ignoring their offers will be less willing to negotiate a price you're both happy with. Plus, you don't want to leave attractive offers to expire and miss out on potential sales. 3Dsellers makes it easy to respond to offers quickly with handy Best Offer automation, which automatically accepts or declines buyer offers based on your predefined rules.

Consider Your Margins

In order to negotiate your items' prices while remaining profitable, you'll need to have a solid grasp of your profit margins. Calculate your margins before entering negotiations with buyers so you know how much wiggle room you actually have, and to ensure that you don't unintentionally accept an offer that takes too big a chunk out of your profits. Knowing your margins helps you set up your rules for automated negotiations with 3Dsellers' Best Offer automation, too, and help you ensure you always remain profitable in your negotiations.

Set Up Automated Offers

Automating your Best Offers with 3Dsellers is a great way to get the most out of eBay's Best Offer feature across all your eBay selling accounts. Automated offer management can be set up using precise predefined rules, and enables you to quickly send and reply to buyer offers, even while you sleep. Paired with the Best Offers Manager, which enables you to automatically send offers to buyers who are watching your items before they even send you an offer through eBay's Best Offer system, you'll be able to easily drive more sales without having to lower your prices across the board.  

Use Best Offer for Time-Sensitive Items

One of the key strengths of eBay's Best Offer feature is its use in driving sales, fast. Items you need to get off the shelves quickly or items that are time-sensitive (such as event tickets, for example) benefit the most from the Best Offer feature. eBay's Best Offer allows you to negotiate on the price when getting the item sold quickly is more important than the exact sale price, making it a handy feature for getting time-sensitive items sold fast.  

Removing the Best Offer Option from an eBay Listing

If you no longer wish to have the Best Offer feature available on a given listing for any reason, it's important to familiarize yourself with how to remove the Best Offer from an eBay listing.

To remove the Best Offer option from a given listing, navigate to your active listings and locate the listing. Then, click the edit button, and select "Change Listing Preferences" at the top right-hand corner of the edit screen. Select "Enable More Options" and then click save. Now you'll be able to untick the "Allow Offers" option under the Pricing section, which will disable the Best Offer feature on that listing.

eBay best offer explained

Final Thoughts & Key Takeaways

Understanding how the eBay Best Offer works is crucial to using it to your advantage. eBay's offers system can be a great tool for sellers, and can help you move stock quickly at a price you can be happy with. Setting up Best Offers on your eBay listings with the help of 3Dsellers' Best Offer automation can help you more easily manage your offers, thereby giving you all the benefits of eBay's Best Offer system without the added work.

FAQs for Using the Best Offer on eBay

Still wondering how does the eBay Best Offer work? Check out these frequently asked questions from eBay sellers to answer some important questions about eBay's Best Offer feature and how to use it to your advantage.

Q:  What tips should I follow to maximize the benefits of Best Offer?

To get the most out of eBay's Best Offer functionality, you'll want to follow these tips:

  1. Start with competitive prices. Buyers like to feel like they're getting a good and fair deal, which is why hiking up prices with the intention of negotiating down may seem like a good idea in theory, but falls flat in practice. Instead, price your item fairly and competitively, so that negotiations can begin at a realistic price.
  2. Respond to your offers on time. Prompt offer responses – even if just to decline – are an important part of the Best Offer system. Responding to offers on time reflects positively on you as a seller, and adds a sense of urgency to negotiations, making it more likely that you'll reach a sale price you're happy with.
  3. Calculate your profit margins, and keep them in mind when negotiating. Knowing your profit margins will help you enter negotiations with a better orientation, and enable you to avoid accepting offers that hurt your profits.
  4. Automate your offers. Setting up automated offers, especially with handy tools like 3Dsellers' Best Offer automation, can save you valuable time and help you avoid costly mistakes. Offer automation ensures you get the most out of the Best Offers feature, without spending your valuable time negotiating on every item.
  5. Add a Best Offer option to time-sensitive items. Time-sensitive items benefit the most from the offers system, since the priority is to get the item sold as soon as possible. Things like event tickets or seasonal items are ideal for Best Offers, since they hold value for a limited time.  

Q:  What should I consider when setting up automated offers?

When setting up automated offers, it's important to consider a few key points. Firstly, you'll want to accurately calculate your profit margins in order to ensure that the rules you set in place for accepting and rejecting offers keep you profitable. With 3Dsellers, you can enable the automatic Best Offer acceptation option, which allows you to automatically accept offers that meet a predefined minimum and automatically reject offers that do not meet the lowest threshold you define.

Q: How do I ensure I'm offering a competitive price?

Making sure you're offering your items at a competitive price is key to successful negotiation and sales. Before deciding on a price for your item, you'll want to do your market research to see what other sellers are offering similar items for. Competitor prices will help you gauge the fair market price of your item, and enable you to offer a price that is competitive yet still profitable.  

Q: What is the best way to respond to offers?

No matter what offer you receive, it's important to always respond to your offers, and to do so in a professional and courteous manner. Even if you feel like a buyer is lowballing you, you can reject their offer outright while taking care to reply to them in a professional manner that reflects positively on you and your eBay store. Always know your lowest possible threshold, and never accept an offer that's below what is profitable for you. Always remember that you've invited buyers to negotiate, and it’s important to use the Best Offer negotiation platform to reach a price that you're both happy with.

Q: What types of items should I use Best Offer for?

eBay's Best Offer feature is most suitable for sales where you've prioritized moving stock quickly over selling at the highest possible profit margin. This includes items that are time sensitive, such as concert tickets or seasonal items, and other items you need to get off the shelves quickly for any other reason, like making room for new stock.

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