eBay Best Offer Tactics

If you’re listings are in Fixed Price format, I wonder if you’re using the Best Offer feature. If not, perhaps you should consider it.

The current rules for Best Offer are easy to follow. Best Offer is available for listings using the Fixed Price and Classified Ad formats, and in eBay Motors. Best Offer isn’t available for auction-style listings. However, Best Offer isn’t available in every category. If Best Offer is not shown as an option when you list your item, it isn’t available in the selected category. There are no extra fees incurred in using Best Offer.

You should note that there are also feedback and other requirements you need to meet in order to be able to use Best Offer on your listings. You can check out the rules here:


If you’re listing on ebay.com, Best Offer requirements are here:


With Best Offer, you are effectively giving buyers an opportunity to negotiate your selling price with you. Once made, a Best Offer is good for up to 48 hours. From the buyer’s perspective, their Best Offer is binding, in the same way as any other bid on eBay.

In the majority of categories, buyers are able to make three offers on a listing. There are some categories where five offers can be made, with ten offers being available on car sale listings.

After you receive a Best Offer, as the seller you have several options.

1. You can accept the Best Offer, sell the item to that buyer and end the listing.

2. Decline the Best Offer, and explain your reasons to the buyer if you wish.

3. Respond to a buyer’s Best Offer by making them a counteroffer. If the buyer doesn’t respond within the specified amount of time, the counteroffer expires.

4. Ignore the Best Offer, and it will expire after 48 hours or when the listing ends, whichever comes first.

Having said that, you can set up your listing to automatically respond to Best Offers. You can specify upper and lower price limits that you are willing to accept via Best Offers. If you do this, the system will automatically handle accepting offers made within these limits and declining offers that are outside of your price limits.

The upper limit price you set must be lower than the Buy It Now price.

If you get an offer at or above your upper limit, the Best Offer system automatically sends an email to you and the buyer saying that the offer has been accepted. This means the item has sold, and the buyer will be directed to pay you.

If you get an offer below your lower limit, the system automatically sends an email to the buyer declining the offer. The buyer may submit a higher offer, or you can send a counteroffer.

When they see the Make Offer button on your listing, buyers will not know that you have set price limits. You can change your price limits at any time whilst the listing is active.

If you decide to use Best Offer, and you’re serious about it, it is recommended that you include a note in your listing description along the lines of “Make me an offer! I’m definitely interested in selling, and I’m sure we can make a deal.” This might encourage browsers to make an offer. By using the automated rules mentioned earlier you can let the eBay system handle ridiculously low bids for you.

An alternative approach is to elect to handle all Best Offers yourself, and not use the automated system. In this instance, if you want to decline an offer, you can make a counteroffer and include a note something like this “Thank you for your offer. I’m afraid I just can’t sell at that price without incurring a loss. If you’re willing to buy it for £xxx, it’s yours and it’s still an excellent bargain. What do you think?”

If you’re reasonable and can communicate with good humour and professionalism, you can do very well with the Best Offer option.