Keen to try and stay at the top of marketplace-style arenas eBay continually changes and evolves. As sellers, these changes are not always welcome, and there has been some controversy over some changes recently, watermark removal being perhaps the most contentious. On the surface latest move seems to be pretty harmless. But, once more eBay has thrown a curve ball. Let’s have a look at more details.
Now, when you list something as at a fixed price – or buy it now, you will be used to the best offer section. Here you can either enable or disable the feature. Once activated you are inviting customers to make an offer on the item you have for sale. You can set predefined conditions as to whether the proposal is accepted or rejected – or you can have every offer sent to you for review. Many sellers love this feature as it also helps give you an indication of how the market is feeling about pricing. You can see if things are generally miles off, with people making offers much lower than you are asking, or whether you are probably spot on and people are just looking to save a couple of quid here and there. Generally a good feature.
So What is New?
Make an offer has now been launched – specifically to your auction listings. This is not as straightforward as it sounds and does not function in the same way as best offer does. This function is not for the seller to control. It comes on automatically and cannot be disabled if eBay feels you have started the auction at a price they consider too high. Now, obviously you do not have to accept the offers, you can simply decline them, but it could lead to an influx of inbox messages as buyers try their luck.
Give it Time
Although on the surface it seems entirely wrong that this is not a feature sellers can control, it also has a relatively low impact so let’s see how it goes. It could be that after making an offer, which you decline, the buyer may still bid on your item. Auction style listings are also much less prevalent now, with only 20% of things being listed in this way. It may well drive businesses to finish with auction-style listings altogether, but for some, it might work well. We can foresee some cheeky inflated starting prices giving the seller scope to psyche the buyer into thinking they have scored a bargain when their offer is accepted. UK sellers, before you go scrambling for your computer, stay calm! Currently, this feature has only been launched in the US – but as we know, these things usually find their way here in time.
In the meantime, it gives you a good heads up and plenty of time to decide how this may or may not affect you. We will update you with how the new feature is going down across the pond in due course. In the meantime some food for thought for the future.