eBay, Marketplaces

The Change To eBay’s Best Offer Auto Pricing Strategy

A feature on eBay, known as Best Offer allows increased sales without any extra cost or time investment. With the eBay’s Best Offer feature, buyers are able to initiate conversations with sellers and make attempts to beat down the price of a product. Of course, it’s natural for sellers to get annoyed when a buyer negotiates close to the lowest price possible for a product. In order to handle the pool of offers coming in for a product, sellers have added the Best Offer option to deal with the negotiation.

 

How the eBay Best offer system works

The negotiation begins with the seller choosing to use the Best offer option. When buyers make offers through the Best offer system instead of the conventional mail exchange and off-eBay transaction, the Best offer system helps the seller accept the offer, reject it, make a counteroffer or simply ignore the offer.  The process is kept alive for a period of 48 hours unless the auction ends sooner. The Best Offer system typically specifies automatic accept and reject prices, against which incoming offers are crosschecked and sorted, this eliminates the need for manually dealing and responding to offers.

 

The new change to the system

Earlier this month, a change happened to eBay’s Best offer system with the way automatic accept and reject function works. Prior to this change, the system accepts offers equivalent to or above the auto-accept price, and strictly rejects any below the auto-reject price. Sellers that wish to, can make the two prices the same so that offers equal to or above the automatic accept price turns into a sale immediately while those below are rejected instantly, then the potential buyer can have another go by trying a higher offer. For sellers that allow a spacing between the automatic accept and reject prices, they need to manually respond to the offer by the buyer which ultimately slows down the sale.

 

However with the new upgrade, if prices are set to the same values, listings and relists will fail. An error message pops up saying “The price for accepting offers can’t be lower than or equal to the price for declining offers.” This is confirmed both via API and relisting on the site page. There is still the option “automatically reject offers less than” on the Sell your item form, but when you try to set to the same auto-accept price, the error message pops up.

 

There is still a vagueness about this been either an intentional move by eBay or if it’s just an error in coding. It could be eBay trying to enforce a change or fixing up the system to the way it was supposed to work since introducing it.

 

Advice to Sellers

For those that have significantly large number of listings with the feature enabled, it will be best to ensure that there is a difference between the auto accept and reject prices before eBay tears down the listing, to which edits will be difficult to make afterwards. Make use of bulk editing tool and take charge of the situation.

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