Why don't bidders make "A Best Offer"?


wag more, bark less
Aug 11, 2007
I was pretty excited when eBay started this whole 'best offer' thing. I thought it gave bidders a chance to make an offer, then buy the item for a little lower and then the auction ends, boom, you're done.

Have any of you sellers had trouble with bidders actually making a best offer?

I have had no luck with this set up.
For example, I will list an item with a very reasonable (almost low) BIN or Best Offer. I also put in the listing "Make an offer, all reasonable offers will be considered!!!" I get several people watching the item until the very end with no offers at all. Then the auction ends. Then if I relist the item under a regular auction set-up, the item sells either with a BIN, or at least starts getting bids on the starting price.

I know personally for me, if I see something on eBay that I want and it has a best offer option, I go ahead and MAKE AN OFFER!!! Are some people intimidated by this set-up and think their offers may sound stupid or may get denied?

What is your experience with this?


Done here
May 19, 2007
I've asked sellers before if they will take an offer, even if it isn't listed as an option (unless they specifically say not to). I agree, if you do it in a polite manner, what's they worst they can say? And if they're rude about, move on.


Apr 4, 2007
I haven't really thought much about why I've never made a Best Offer. I think it's because I figure that if my offer isn't near the buy it now price, it'll be too low anyway and will be denied...so why bother? Now that I've seen this thread, I may just make some offers!


Mar 2, 2006
I've done it but the sellers were so stingy with their terms, I usually offer only about $20 less than their BIN and they still rejected my offer. This was on a $250 item by the way.
As for my own use, I've also put some items up for BIN or best offer and no one has ever offered either. Lots of watchers but that's it.


Jan 10, 2008
If I see an item I like and there is a BO, I make a fair offer. Like others have posted, sometimes, it's $20 dollars less than the BIN price and it's been declined. I've had some success buying this way. It signals to me that the seller is willing to take less than the BIN price.


Feb 11, 2008
I have had a good experience, and a bad one. I made an offer of 92% of BIN, and seller made a counteroffer of 96%. I accepted.

The one that still galls me is: I made an offer when just after another had been submitted - overlapped by 1 minute or so. The seller asked the first submitter to match my offer - never said boo to me. But the first submitter accepted her counteroffer, and she sold it to her, even though I had first offered the price she accepted. When I wrote to ask her if she received my offer, she said she did, considered it (yes to raise the price to the first submitter), and invited me to bid on her other items... not on your life! Ebay told me that the sellers' choice is arbitrary.

So, I am reluctant to go through that again. eBay is difficult enough without adding the arbitrary layer... and about that I get to decide. And both items were priced over $1K. Luckily for me, a found a brand new bag in the same color for roughly the same cost at Bluefly. Couple that with the poor descriptions, the lack of response form many sellers, lack of ability to return many items if not described, etc. Well, I will not make an offer. Bid or bin - or nothing.

Vida from Milan

Gone Shopping...
Oct 20, 2007
Never tried, but If there was the "Best Offer" button in the auction I'm following, I'd try to make one, and hope to get the item at my price...because sometimes at the end of normal auctions, brain goes TILT and you can start fighting with others raising the price in the very last seconds...and often you can obtain your item, but spending much more than scheduled...So, I think Best Offer gives some kind of "emotional hush" to bidder...:P


Daddy's Little Girl
Feb 11, 2008
You know, I have found with both BIN and BIN with Best Offer is totally psychological on eBay. Meaning, whenever I post a BIN or BIN with BO, it seems nobody bites. But the minute I post as an auction style, instead of fixed price, boom—people bid.

I have done some reading on this exact subject, and what they say is (they meaning the eBay "experts") it's like the hunt. Bidders like the hunt and the "I have to win that" by bidding on an auction styled auction instead of a fixed priced auction.

I have found this to be completely true. Not only that, it seems with a reserve, people don't like that "hidden" factor involved in the price, so there are a lot of people who walk away from that even though if the bidder were to contact me and ask me the reserve, I will tell them.

But it's a catch 22—you don't want to lose money on the deal, and sometimes when you start a listing out say at 99¢, tons and tons of bids come in, but you're still not guaranteed to get the end price that you want or need.

So to answer your question, the ONLY time I have had a success at BIN with BO is with a Louis Vuitton epi that I just sold a few months ago. The first BO ended up being a NPB, so I relisted. Luckily, the second BO was a successful one.

I guess, just experiment and see what works best for you.