Scavenger Life Episode 80: How To Handle eBay Best Offers

Haggling doesn't come naturally to most Americans. We like our fixed prices. But as this recent New York Times article points out, we also like getting a good deal.

Adding “Make Offer" was a game changer for our eBay store. It's the honey pot to attract buyers while still having strong prices on good quality items. As we dabble with Amazon, we really miss the ability to haggle. Think about it: if you buy something for $1, price it at $60, and get an offer of $40, everyone is getting a good deal.

In this episode, Ryanne and Jay tell the story of how they moved from all auctions to only "Buy It Now"(BIN) with "Make offer". Sales doubled. We share our best offer tactics and "make offer" strategies. How to handle best offers and when to accept. It makes your eBay store into an old-time bazaar. It's where the action is.

Direct .mp3 link. Direct ogg vorbis link.


  1. I know this is the wrong topic, but if a buyer and I mutually agree to cancel a transaction and the transaction is cancelled through the resolution center (with buyer confirmation), I know my FVF's are returned, but do I have to send a refund or is that done automatically? I can't find anything on eBay (as of yet) to answer my question.

    If I have to do the refund manually, do I do that on eBay or do I have to do that from PayPal?


    Keep up the good work.

    I'd love to see more podcasts more often.

  2. hi doug
    yes, you'll have to refund the customer through paypal manually.
    good luck!

  3. I had a buyer return a shirt with no notice or communication. I asked him to go to resolution center and fill out a refund request. When I clicked through from the notification and agreed to refund another another window came up which allowed me to click for the refund to be issued from Paypal. It was done immediately and that was all I had to do. Very easy.

    1. Every so often, we get an item returned without any warning. As you said, we just issue the refund. No problems.

  4. many times I do not want the item back and I certainly do not want to pay to have the item shipped back that I why I stopped doing the managed returns, every buyer lied and said it was not as described so they could print a return label at my expense, even before contacting me! So stupid how the un-creative tinkerers at eBay can think of nothing other than "must copy amazon"

  5. Great episode and advice with the best offer feature! We use best offer for almost all of our items that are $40 or more (unless it's something we are very confident with leaving at buy it now only). We have had a ton of luck since we started doing this. I agree that having best offer in place on items less than $30 can get to be a waste of your time. I accidentally left best offer on a punk rock looking sleeveless camo vest that was listed at $19.99. Guy offers $7, I counter with $15, guy offers $9 ... at this point when you are wrestling over a few bucks it really can be frustrating on a smaller item.

    We have found the same to be true with counter offers as you guys. About 90% of the time the buyer does not accept or even respond to our first counter offer. They seem to have offered what they are willing to pay and that's it (almost every time). So, like Ryanne mentioned, if it's a slow day and we are itching for sale, we might just accept something that is fair, even though it is lower than what we think the item is worth. At that point in time you have to figure out if it's worth holding on to that item for another 3 months to get that extra $10 for it from someone else.

    Keep up the great work with the show and thanks again for all of your advice!

    Adam - TMC