Enabling Best Offer

As long as the eBay category supports the feature, sellers have the option of enabling the Best Offer feature for a listing. The Best Offer feature enables a buyer to make a lower-priced offer on that item.


Best Offer Basics

Counteroffer Rules and Restrictions

Automatically Declining or Accepting an Offer

Sellers' Use of Best Offer

Additional Help for Best Offer

Best Offer Basics

If the seller receives a Best Offer from a prospective buyer, that seller can either accept or reject the Best Offer, or submit a counteroffer to that prospective buyer. If the seller does not act on the received Best Offer, the Best Offer will naturally expire after 48 hours.

The maximum number of Best Offers allowed for an item is configurable by eBay, per site and per category, and can change without notice as market needs change. (The maximum number can be as low as 1 and as high as 10 or more, depending on the category.) Therefore, if a buyer makes a Best Offer on a particular item, and the seller declines the Best Offer, the configuration for the category dictates whether the buyer can make a follow-up offer on the item.

A buyer is alerted when making the final Best Offer allowed for an item, but a buyer is not told how many Best Offers are permitted for items in the category. This is intentional, to discourage buyers from making less-than-serious Best Offers for an item. A BestOfferPlaced notification is created when a buyer makes a Best Offer on an item. See BestOfferPlaced Notification.

If a Best Offer does not meet the seller's minimum acceptance price, the seller can decline the Best Offer or submit a counteroffer. The seller can use RespondToBestOffer call to accept or decline a Best Offer, or to make a counteroffer.

Offers declined by the seller, retracted by the buyer, or allowed to expire count against the buyer's maximum number of Best Offers allowed per item, per site.

Counteroffer Rules and Restrictions

If a seller makes a counteroffer, the buyer can accept or reject the counteroffer, or propose a counteroffer to the seller's counteroffer (if eligible). A counteroffer will expire if the other party does not act on that counteroffer within 48 hours.

The following are the rules and restrictions for counteroffers:

Single Quantity Counteroffers

If the seller sends out counteroffers to multiple buyers in a single-quantity listing, the first buyer to accept the counteroffer is awarded the item. Best Offers from all other buyers are automatically declined. If the item was sold for the original fixed price, any pending Best Offers are automatically declined because the item has been sold.

Multi-quantity Counteroffers

For multiple-quantity listings, sellers are able to make counteroffers to multiple buyers, and each offer that is accepted decrements inventory. Each individual counteroffer submitted to a buyer cannot exceed the inventory that the seller has available.

Sellers cannot submit a counteroffer for a higher quantity than the buyer initially submitted, but buyers can counter for a quantity higher than the seller's counteroffer.

Retracting Counteroffers

Buyers and sellers can retract counteroffers through the site. Since creating a counteroffer essentially declines the previous offer, when a counteroffer is retracted, the offer thread is no longer active. That is, retracting a counteroffer does not reactivate the previous offer.

Automatically Declining or Accepting an Offer

When an item is listed with the Best Offer feature, the seller can specify a Best Offer auto-accept price and/or a Best Offer auto-reject price.

Use GetCategoryFeatures to determine if these features for Best Offer are supported for the category you want to use. You'll want to include BestOfferAutoAcceptEnabled and BestOfferAutoDeclineEnabled as FeatureID values in the GetCategoryFeatures call request.

If you set a minimum Best Offer price and a Best offer does not meet it, the Best Offer is automatically declined. If subscribed to the corresponding platform notification, the buyer will receive a BestOfferDeclined notification. The minimum Best Offer price is specified through the Item.ListingDetails.MinimumBestOfferPrice field of an Add/Revise/Relist/Verify call. A minimum Best Offer price can only be specified for items listed in categories that support auto-decline for Best Offers. If a minimum Best Offer price have been specified for a listing in a category that supports auto-decline for Best Offers, GetItem and GetSellerList will return the Item.ListingDetails.MinimumBestOfferPrice field.

The auto-accept price is the price at which Best Offers are automatically accepted. Specify an auto-accept price through the Item.ListingDetails.BestOfferAutoAcceptPrice field of an Add/Revise/Relist/Verify call. The first Best Offer that meets or exceeds this value will automatically be accepted.

Sellers' Use of Best Offer

The following steps outline a seller flow for the Best Offer feature:

  1. Check if a category supports Best Offer.
  2. To determine if a category supports Best Offer listings, check CategoryArray.Category.BestOfferEnabled in the response of a GetCategories call.

  3. Enable Best Offer for your listing.
  4. To opt an item into Best Offer, set Item.BestOfferDetails.BestOfferEnabled to true when listing, revising or relisting the item.

  5. Optionally, set the minimum Best Offer price and auto-accept price for Best Offers for your listing.
  6. To set these values, include the ListingDetails container in the Add call and set these prices through the MinimumBestOfferPrice and BestOfferAutoAcceptPrice fields.

  7. Verify the Best Offer settings for the item.
  8. To determine whether Best Offer is enabled for an item and how many Best Offers exist for it, check BestOfferEnabled and BestOfferCount in Item.BestOfferDetails in the response of GetItem.

  9. Get information about any Best offers made for the item.
  10. Use GetBestOffers to get more detailed information about Best Offers made for an item.

  11. Respond to a Best Offer by accepting, declining, or making a counteroffer.
  12. Use RespondToBestOffer to accept or decline a Best Offer or to make a counteroffer. Depending upon the site and category limitations on the number of offers a buyer can make, the buyer can accept the counteroffer, decline the counteroffer, or submit a counteroffer to the seller's offer. Eventually, the buyer must accept, decline, or allow the seller's last offer to expire.

  13. When a Best Offer has been accepted, check on the status of the order line item.
  14. To determine if an order line item was completed with the seller selecting a Best Offer, check Transaction.BestOfferSale in GetItemTransactions.

GetSellerList returns ItemArray.Item.BestOfferDetails.BestOfferEnabled. GetBidderList has no Best Offer component.

Additional Help for Best Offer

You can also find discussion of Best Offer in the Help section of the eBay Web site.