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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.

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