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What Is A Second Chance Offer On EBay?



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Jen writes, “Terry I see ‘Make a second chance offer’ at the top of my completed listings. When should I use a second chance offer?”

* * * * *
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A second chance offer allows a seller to offer the item to the person who came in second on the bidding. Actually you can send offers to any bidder regardless of how much they offered.

When you do an offer, there are no listing fees, only final value fees. Also only the person you send the second chance offer to see the offer. The offer has a time limit you can select of 1, 3, 5 or 7 days.

Here’s an example of bidding results:

Bidder one won the bidding with a bid of $200
Bidder two bid $199.00
Bidder three bid $185
Bidder four bid $125

You can send a second chance offer to anyone except the high bidder for the amount of their bid. This means bidder 2 would get an offer for $199, and bidder 3 would pay $185.

There are two reasons for using second chance offers.

If bidder one doesn’t pay, sending a second chance offer to bidder two for $197 will save you time waiting for a relisted auction to run it’s course. This option also forces the second place bidder to make a decision quickly when he’s still thinking about losing the auction. I use a 3 day limit.

The other reason for using second chance offers is to move quantities of items faster. Say for example you have 5 widgets in the same condition. You sell one to the high bidder, then do second chance offers to all the bidders who bid close to the selling amount. In the bid example above, you’d certainly offer bidder two one for $199, and may offer bidder three one for $185, but probably wouldn’t offer bidder 4 one for $125.

Remember no one sees your offer except the bidder you send it to. This means other eBay bidders don’t see the exchange unless the buyer leaves feedback for you.

After doing second chance offers, you would list your item again and then repeat the offers to under bidders until you sell all your items

Years ago I found a carton of old Esso oil cans from the 1950s. Small cans like 3-in-1 oil. I sold the first 3 on eBay for over $100. The next auctions went for lower and lower amounts, and the last one sold for only $12.

If I had the option back then of using second chance offers I could have gotten at least $75 for each of the oil cans, and would have made more money.

Here’s an article on How To Sell Quantities Of Items On eBay .


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