Article

New "Best Offer" Feature On eBay Motors

August 2006, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

by Rob Chesney - Also by this author

Kraig Klemme logged onto eBay Motors shopping for classic cars when he found a 1970 Chevelle. Klemme noticed the seller was utilizing a new feature offered by eBay Motors called “Best Offer.” He clicked on the “Submit Best Offer” link and sent an offer to the seller.

Within two hours, Klemme heard back from the seller indicating his first offer was not accepted, but he was very close to the seller’s desired price. The following day Klemme made his second offer, which was accepted.

“It went very smooth,” Klemme said. “You don’t have to wait three or four days to know if you’ve won.”
Many buyers like Klemme are finding the new Best Offer format on eBay Motors to be appealing. Respectively, as buyers begin to utilize the Best Offer process, many automotive dealers are finding it to be a viable option for selling vehicles online.
 
Dealers have already reaped the benefits of selling through eBay Motors. They appreciate the tremendously expanded market they’re able to reach and the increased profitability they experience.

Dealers also gain flexibility in deciding how to interact with potential buyers. With Best Offer, they have a new way to negotiate online with their customers to make selling through eBay Motors more like managing a best offer face-to-face on the lot and puts the dealing back into their dealer operations.

Traditionally, the eBay Motors site has enabled dealers to list vehicles in any of three formats:

1.) An auction, where the sale goes to the highest bidder within a specified time span, often with a specified minimum acceptable reserve price.

2.) Buy It Now, a fixed price for a particular period of time that steers the vehicle clear of any auction bidding.

3.) Auction with Buy It Now, in which auction-style bids are placed but any buyer can end the auction before the first bid comes in – or before the reserve price is reached – by clicking the Buy It Now button and thereby agreeing to pay the fixed price.

Best Offer is the most recent buying method made available for use on eBay Motors. This format provides the seller with the dealership-style decision making and give-and-take that often works best after a prospective buyer and seller make initial contact.

The seller lists a fixed price with no auction opportunities, but it’s not a take-it-or-leave-it proposition. The listing’s title and description indicate the seller is willing to consider the best offer as an alternative to the fixed price, just as happens every day at a dealership. Best Offer produces several advantages for the seller, who can:

  • Set an asking price that provides a target figure for the car, truck or motorcycle.
  • Receive qualified offers from any number of buyers.
  • Decide to negotiate with one or more buyers who make a best offer.
  • Accept the price and the buyer that the dealer chooses.

Through Best Offer, vehicles sell more rapidly, as this option eliminates the need to wait days for an auction to end. Vehicles sell immediately once the buyer and seller agree on a price. Rather than providing the dealer a lead, Best Offer brings in a buyer with a specific offer for a particular vehicle. Moreover, eBay Motors charges no extra fee to use Best Offer, and when the phrase “Best Offer Available” is incorporated into the item description, the listing automatically jumps higher up on the eBay Motors homepage at no additional charge.

The Best Offer feature is already available in most third-party listings tools. Contact your provider directly for help on using this part of the tool.

To take advantage of Best Offer, select the Fixed Price format rather than an auction, designating an asking price. To the right of the price box, they then check the Best Offer box. When the listing appears on the eBay Motors site, buyers will see the asking price next to a link that reads, “Submit Your Best Offer.”

When a buyer submits a best offer, the seller is notified through e-mail as well as in his or her “My eBay” section. Then the dealer, using a textbox on the site, can e-mail a response to the individual who made the offer. Prospective buyer and seller can continue to negotiate in this fashion, or the seller can move on to others who have made their own offers for the vehicle.

The Best Offer option is available to any eBay Motors user eligible to use Buy It Now. Qualifications include a feedback rating of 10 or more to list a single vehicle and five or more if the seller is registered for PayPal. The seller can also qualify by becoming ID Verified on the eBay Web site. In the ID Verify process personal information is cross-checked against consumer and business databases for consistency. The process costs $5 and sellers are asked to enter information such as their name and date of birth, as well as to identify certain credit accounts and their associated monthly payments.

Best Offer will be particularly valuable for sellers who have had difficulties with the proxy bidding system and also for those who have a specific buyer that expresses considerably more interest in a vehicle than others.

eBay Motors continues to make online selling an exceedingly valuable and accommodating channel for dealers to move vehicles faster, more profitably and with higher levels of customer satisfaction.

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