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Negotiate on eBay Without Offending Seller

Best offer on eBay

Your way My wayOne of the bedrocks of eBay buying and selling is the art of negotiating.  After all, eBay is foremost a site where commerce is conducted in a unique auction style. The site works best for buyers and sellers when both can come to an agreement that satisfies both parties. To get there, you will need to employ the kind of negotiation skills that keeps respect for each other in mind while you seek the best deal possible. Pay close attention to the following principles as you make best offers and counter-offers and take the most advantage of the deals to be had on eBay.

Fair Market Prices

Fair market price is not a scientific value. In fact, a “fair” price is a number that takes into consideration a whole host of important factors. The prevailing manufacturer’s suggested retail price is not necessarily the fairest price. The MSRP is a price that is set by the manufacturer to be used as a guide for retailers who resell the goods or services. eBay is not always a forum for retail selling. Occasionally, a buyer is more appropriately seeking a wholesale price – a price point often far below the standard retail pricing.

To find a fair price for a good or service, research the other listings for a similar product both on eBay and elsewhere. An informed buyer can distinguish between a good deal or an opportunity for a good deal and a seller that is trying to squeeze every penny of profit from the sale.

Approaching the Seller

When making best offer on eBay, realize that you can alienate the seller by offering an insulting number. There’s nothing wrong with seeking a deal but you can eliminate yourself from being considered a serious buyer by trying to begin negotiations at an appallingly low level. Remember, you are most often dealing with another private seller, a person, and the emotions that dictate the transaction will go a long way in determining the success of your negotiation. This doesn’t mean that you should expect to pay more than what your research has determined as a fair price, it means that serious negotiations demand a serious offer.

Create a plan for your offer. For example: determine a reasonable range of a fair price and submit an offer a set percentage lower than that price. If you find that a fair price for a set of cufflinks is $75, choose to submit an offer that is 20% lower to gauge the seller’s interest. If the seller is interested in selling at or near that price you will be able to work toward an amicable price from there. If the seller is not willing to sell at that price your offer will at least be in a range that isn’t insulting. You can still salvage a good deal and a friendly transaction from that starting point.

Justify your Best Offer

When making offers and counter-offers it might be a good idea to include comments to justify the level of your offer. Citing other places you’ve seen the item listed or making comments regarding the condition of the item will go a long way toward justifying your best offer. The goal of making a respectful offer and coming to an ultimate agreement is made easier when you offer your reasoning for arriving at the offer you’ve submitted.

Even if your reasons are rebuffed and even if your offer is rejected, the seller will understand your concerns and the reasons behind your offer. That level of communication will smooth the negotiation process and increase the chances that you will eventually meet for a deal.

Using eBay Best Offers To Your Advantage

What is eBay Best Offer

Best offer is an eBay feature that allows you as a buyer to negotiate the price of the item. It allows you to get the item you want at the price you're willing to pay, assuming that the seller accepts your price.

Why use eBay Best Offer

If a seller listed an item as Buy It Now and added best offer option, this means that they are willing to accept less for the item than Buy It Now price. If you find an item that's priced close to what you want to pay and it has best offer, you might be able to get a good price. Just make sure you've researched completed eBay listings so you know what this item is selling for on eBay.

Also, when you submit your offer, seller can come back and give you counter-offer which should be lower than Buy It Now price.

Best Offers can save you money

I've had some success with best offers. Several months ago, I was able to get an item for $1320 where seller was asking $1450. I was very happy with this deal. After doing my research on completed listings, I found that similar items were selling for $1400 - $1450. I also noticed that this seller just made a lot of money selling something else by searching for completed listings by seller. I figured that he'll be happy with the other sale and he might sell me this item even if he has to take a loss just to get rid of it. I was right and he accepted my offer.

I also had a lot of best offers declined. I learned that if you offer unreasonably low price, seller is just going to decline. If you submit reasonable price, even if seller does not accept, they might send you counter-offer. If that happens, you can decide to accept it, submit another counter-offer or just move on to the next item.

Unreasonably high Buy It Now prices

Some eBay sellers set Buy It Now price that's way above market value and add second chance offer. I usually don't waste my time with those listings as those sellers try to be slick and will not give you good deal.

Final thoughts

I don't specifically look for best offers but when I search for something on eBay and I see a decent Buy It Now price with best offer option, I'll look at it to see if it's worth pursuing.

Best offer is just another tool you can use to find good deals.

If you're interested in other way to save money, take a look at eBay software that I've created called Buyer Auction Manager. It's for eBay buyers and it will help you find good deals and save you money.

Robert