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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : December 11, 2014

Amazon encourages haggling for one-of-a-kind items

Sellers on Amazon are now able to show they are willing to negotiate the price of their wares with the introduction of the 'Make an Offer' program.

by Helen Leggatt

If you've even been to an antiques store you will likely know that the price tag on that wing-backed Chesterfield or Babe Ruth signed baseball is not necessarily the price you have to pay. With the gift of the gab and some friendly haggling, likely a better price might be had.

Amazon hopes to recreate that personal price debate with their 'Make an Offer' program.

The program has been described as a 'game-changer' by the ecommerce behemoth. It will, they said in a recent announcement, allow sellers to "show customers they are willing to negotiate for a lower price than the price listed".

The program will be rolled out across 150,000 items initially, ranging from historic and sporting collectibles to fine art. During 2015 the program will be extended to include "hundreds of thousands of items".

However, Amazon is keen stress that the new program is not intended to turn the ecommerce experience into an auction. Buyers will not pay more than the listed price. Furthermore, the Make an Offer program applies only to one-of-a-kind items and not to mass-produced products.

Price negotiations will take place privately via email in an attempt to imitate store-based behavior where haggling over prices for expensive antique or collectible items is considered a normal part of the buying process.

Similarly, sellers will be able to better gauge whether their pricing is too high based on offers they receive.

Tags: Amazon, ecommerce

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