Amazon Sellers Can Now Negotiate With Buyers
Amazon dropped a bombshell on the Internet this morning, announcing the ability for customers to negotiate a lower price on the items they are considering purchasing.
The new "Make an Offer" can be enabled by Sellers that are willing to negotiate a lower price than what is listed. Amazon seems to be focusing almost exclusively on the collectibles market at the moment (http://www.amazon.com/b/?node=9076597011) but the program could extend to other departments in the future.
Here's how it works. After selecting "Make an Offer" on an item's product detail page, customers can submit a new price, which is sent through email to the seller. The seller can then choose to accept, reject or counter the offer, negotiating through email until the sale is complete. When an offer is accepted the customer is notified and placed in their shopping cart at the agreed upon price.
“The new ‘Make an Offer’ experience is a game-changer for Amazon customers looking for great prices on one-of-a-kind items, and for sellers looking to communicate and negotiate directly with customers in an online marketplace environment just like they do normally in their own physical store or gallery,” said Peter Faricy, VP for Amazon Marketplace. “In a recent survey of our sellers, nearly half of the respondents told us that the ability to negotiate prices with customers would be important to drive more sales on Amazon. ‘Make an Offer’ delivers that functionality and makes customers feel confident they are getting an item they want at the lowest price possible.”
Amazon made it clear that the new "Make an Offer" feature is not an auction as negotiations are one on one. The intention, according to Amazon, is to lower prices - customers negotiating with sellers won't ever pay more than the listed price when using the feature.
“The ‘Make an Offer’ experience is unique as it provides a new and engaging way for Amazon customers to negotiate lower prices. I think it will broaden my customer base,” said Spencer Eggers, owner of Coast to Coast Collectibles, headquartered outside the San Francisco Bay Area. “This new shopping experience could also increase customer loyalty because it will give serious buyers the opportunity to have direct communication with the seller to determine a fair, agreed upon price. It will be like a Black Friday sale 365 days a year.”