Amazon Introduces 'Make an Offer' Pricing

Tim Maytom

amazon make an offerAmazon will enable customers to negotiate prices with sellers for the first time ever on certain items in its online store, the company has revealed, in a move that places it in closer competition with auction sites like eBay and Priceline.

The 'Make an Offer' pricing structure will enable customers to offer to buy items at a lower price than they are currently listed, which can then be accepted, rejected or countered by the seller.

The feature will be limited to art, antiques and collectibles, but will include more than 150,000 items from a wide range of sellers during the initial rollout, with plans to extend it to "hundreds of thousands of items" over the next year.

"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 just like they do normally in their own physical store or gallery," said Peter Faricy, vice president 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," added Faricy. "'Make an Offer' delivers that functionality and makes customers feel confident they are getting an item they want at the lowest price possible."

Third-party sales represent a growing share of Amazon's unit sales, with analysts estimating they account for around 40 per cent of the firm's business. The addition of price negotiation is a clear sign the company hopes to attract more merchants dealing in one-off items from sites such as eBay.