Amazon launches new ‘Make an Offer’ facility
Amazon has taken a leaf from eBay’s book and launched a new feature that enables consumers to negotiate the price of goods. Aptly named ‘Make an Offer’, the facility will be available on selected items featuring on a dedicated microsite.
Peter Faricy, vice president of Amazon Marketplace, called the feature a “game changer” for customers who want great prices on rare and unique goods. He also stated that sellers will be able to communicate better with potential buyers, allowing them to explain benefits and even drum up further business.
According to the Daily Telegraph, Make an Offer has been created following an Amazon survey that found more than 50% of the ecommerce site’s sellers saw the ability to negotiate prices as way of driving increased sales. Steven Costello, executive vice president of Steiner Sports Memorabilia, said the move will help his business to gauge what prices are correct as well as generate more offers.
While eBay and Amazon sellers will undoubtedly now see similarities between the platforms, Amazon has been keen to stress that Make an Offer will involve one-on-one negotiations rather than offers being posted in an auction format. Sellers will be given 72 hours to counter, reject or accept offers. If a counter proposal is made, consumers will themselves then have 72 hours to accept or decline.
Amazon has attempted to rival eBay in the past and failed. In 1999, it launched its own online auction facility, but the venture only had limited success and was later closed down. Today, transactions involving third party sellers make up more than 60% of the firm’s business so it sees increased seller/buyer engagement as a lucrative area to mine.
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