Making Second Chance Offers for Items

Second Chance Offers is a feature that enables a seller to sell another identical item to one or more of the non-winning bidders in an auction. Second Chance Offers also enables a seller to offer the item to another non-winning bidder when the winning bidder in the original auction fails to complete the purchase of the item.



Determining Item Eligibility for a Second Chance Offer

Extending a Second Chance Offer

Supporting API Calls


When an auction ends successfully with a winning bidder, the auction may also have had other users who bid on the item. In this group of bidders, the seller has a known group of users who were interested in the item. If the seller has an identical item, they can offer that item directly to one of the non-winning bidders in the auction. If the seller has multiple items, they may make Second Chance Offers to multiple non-winning bidders. This allows the seller to quickly sell a second item without creating a new listing and going through a complete competitive bidding process. By making the offer directly to a user who has already expressed obvious interest in the item, the seller has a better chance of selling the second item—and in much less time than a full new auction would take.

The recipient of a Second Chance Offer is notified of the offer via email, which asks them if they'd like to buy the item at a Buy It Now price equal to their last bid amount. It also contains a link directly to the Second Chance Offer listing.

A seller can also extend a Second Chance Offer in the same when, when the winning buyer does not on complete the transaction by paying for the item.

Determining Item Eligibility for a Second Chance Offer

For the seller to use the Second Chance Offer feature for an item, that item must meet certain eligibility requirements. The following table discusses these requirements.

Second Chance Offer Item Eligibility Criteria

A Second Chance Offer can be made of items listed with a Buy-It-Now option, if there was a bid made (turning the listing into an auction). Then the listing can be eligible for a Second Chance Offer if it meets all other applicable criteria.

In an application, the eligibility of an item for a Second Chance Offer is indicated by the SellingStatusType.SecondChanceEligible field, returned by calls that retrieve item data (such as GetSellerList and GetItem). An application uses one of these calls to determine that a particular item is eligible for a Second Chance Offer before proceeding to the next step of actually making the offer.

Extending a Second Chance Offer

Extending a Second Chance Offer for an item is entirely voluntary. Even though an item is eligible for a Second Chance Offer, the seller may opt to relist the item in a regular auction that is open to all eBay users. Or the seller may choose to take no further action on the item (that is, make no further effort to sell the item).

Here are some rules and considerations surrounding the Second Chance Offer feature:

Second Chance Listing

Supporting API Calls

The Second Chance Offer feature is implemented in the API through the dedicated calls listed below. It also includes two fields for items: SecondChanceEligible (part of the SellingStatusType class) and OriginalItemId (part of ListingDetailsType), returned in the result sets of other, general purpose calls that return item data (such as GetItem, GetSellerList and GetBidderList).

Second Chance Specific Calls:

Get a List of the Item's Bidders

The first step in extending a Second Chance Offer is retrieving a list of all of the users who bid on the original listing. This is accomplished by a call to GetAllBidders. One of the call modes for GetAllBidders returns a list of all of the original listing's bidders along with the ID of the winning bidder (if there was one) and the amount of the winning bid. From this list, the seller can select a single user to whom the seller will extend the Second Chance Offer.

Make the Second Chance Offer

Once a list of the original listing's bidders has been retrieved, the seller can extend a Second Chance Offer to one or more of those non-winning bidders. To do this, an application must use the AddSecondChanceItem. Execute AddSecondChanceItem once for each target recipient non-winning bidder to which the seller wishes to extend the Second Chance Offer.

Identify the recipient user by specifying the eBay user ID in the RecipientBidderUserID property of the AddSecondChanceItem request. A call to AddSecondChanceItem fails with an error if the user specified in RecipientBidderUserID has already received a Second Chance Offer for the same item.

Specify the item ID for the item's original listing in the OriginalItemId property.

The application also passes a value in the Duration property that indicates how long (in days) the Second Chance Offer is to be available to the specified recipient user. If the user does not elect to purchase the item in that time, the Second Chance Offer expires. (The seller may also end the Second Chance Offer before this duration has expired. For more on this see Terminating a Second Chance Offer.)

The price in the Second Chance Offer can vary. If the original listing was an eBay Motors item and the auction ended without the reserve price met, the seller specifies the price in the BuyItNowPrice property of AddSecondChanceItem. The price that the seller specifies must be less than or equal to the reserve price used for the original listing. The same is true in some categories on U.S. and international sites for high-priced items (such as items in many U.S. and Canada Business and Industrial categories). For all other items, the price is determined automatically by eBay and the application does not supply this value as input. It is the value of the highest bid that the specified offer recipient made on the item in the original listing. If that offer recipient declines to purchase the item and the seller makes another Second Chance Offer to a different non-winning bidder, then the price is based on that bidder's highest bid.

If you list items on the eBay Motors site, also see AddTransactionConfirmationItem.

A successful call creates a new Second Chance Offer listing for the item (which includes assigning a new item ID to the item) and sends an email to the non-winning bidder from the original listing to whom the seller wishes to extend the Second Chance Offer. The recipient user may then go to the Second Chance Offer listing on the eBay site to purchase the item. The new Second Chance Offer listing is only available to the specified user. It does not appear in any search or listing page on the eBay site where someone who did not participate in the original listing could view or bid on the item.

AddSecondChanceItem returns data similar to that returned by AddItem, including fees for the new listing. In addition, AddSecondChanceItem returns values that are specific to Second Chance Offer items:

Prior to making a using AddSecondChanceItem (which results in a new Second Chance Offer listing), an application can test the input values and give the seller an idea of what the listing fees would be by using VerifyAddSecondChanceItem. The VerifyAddSecondChanceItem call acts in every way like AddSecondChanceItem, except that it does not actually create a new Second Chance Offer listing or incur any actual listing fees. VerifyAddSecondChanceItem is to AddSecondChanceItem what VerifyAddItem is to AddItem.

Second Chance Offers may only be made to users who have enabled the preference indicating they will accept such offers (see the "Preferences" tab on the My eBay page). If the input for AddSecondChanceItem specifies a user who has this preference set to not receive offers, the call fails with error 974, "Bidder not eligible to receive a Second Chance Offer." (Verbose error string: "Unfortunately, the bidder has chosen not to receive Second Chance Offer emails.")

The example below shows AddSecondChanceItem being used to extend a Second Chance Offer to the user named "JimBob347." The length of time the offer will be open to that user (i.e., the duration of the Second Chance Offer listing) is ten days. The original listing, the item from which went unsold, is "1974579415." Prior to making this call, the seller had retrieved a list of the non-winning bidders from the listing and selected the user "JimBob347" after verifying that this user has enabled the option to receive Second Chance Offers.

Retrieving Item Data for Second Chance Offer Listings

Once a Second Chance Offer listing has been created, it can be viewed by the seller or the offer recipient on the eBay site or through an API call that retrieves item data (such as GetSellerList or GetItem). If the listing's data is retrieved via one of these calls, all of the usual fields are returned, plus the item ID for the original listing (in the ListingDetails.OriginalItemID property of the Item object in the response object). In result sets for such functions as GetSellerList and GetSellerEvents where data for multiple items is returned, a Second Chance Offer listing can be differentiated from regular auctions by the listing type as indicated in the Item.ListingType property. For Second Chance Offer listings, the type is PersonalOffer.

For more on retrieving data for item listings, see Retrieving Items.

Terminating a Second Chance Offer

The seller may cancel a Second Chance Offer. This is done using EndItem, passing the item ID for the Second Chance Offer listing (not the item ID for the original listing). A Second Chance Offer listing may be can celled any time prior to the expiration of the listing's duration or the offer's recipient electing to purchase the item through the Second Chance Offer listing.

For more information on using EndItem to end item listings, see Ending Listings Early.