Danna Crawford blog cover

Let’s Make a Deal: Dealing with Offers in Online Selling

Who remembers seeing an “old school” TV commercial with a used car salesman preaching, “Come on down and make me an offer I can’t refuse?” This type of salesmanship marketing has become a huge part of selling for online marketplaces. Sellers are encouraging buyers to submit offers. And buyers are doing their best to send offers they feel are fair.  Let’s learn more about dealing with offers in online selling. 

Offers on eBay

On eBay, for example, sellers can set up the listing to auto-accept and/or auto-decline offers at set prices.  I was a fan of this system until I encountered a situation when a potential buyer had to submit an offer with a note. He became upset, assuming I had read his note. 

ebay homepage

When you use auto-decline, the notes are never seen.  I did have the opportunity to present this issue to eBay so that it can be changed in the future, but for now, as of the date of this blog post, it is still the case. Any notes sent with an offer on eBay will not be seen by the seller if they have an auto-decline in place. 

Keep in mind it is not necessary to set up the automation on your eBay listings. It is optional.

Dealing with low-ball offers

Low-ball offers can be annoying. I’ve read a few remarks from fellow sellers on how they react when they receive a low offer.  I understand it can be annoying, but it is a good form to always be courteous to potential buyers, even if they are sending a ridiculous offer.  

For example, someone sends an offer of $1.00 or less, and you may feel insulted. A fast reaction with the typing of words can cause you the loss of a future sale and give you a bad reputation. It may cross your mind that you’re better off not selling to that person. Keep in mind that a person may have some friends, and he may enjoy posting your reaction on social media or in a private group. Suddenly the word is out, and your brand and/or selling ID is on the line. 

Here are a few suggestions to use as a response to those low-ball offers:

  • I wish I had bought it myself for that low price. However, I did not, so I cannot sell it that low. But thank you for the offer. 
  • I appreciate you taking the time to send an offer. Thank you! However, I cannot go that low. But, I will send you a counteroffer shortly.
  • Thank you for the offer. Very sorry, but I will have to decline. Feel free to make another offer with a fairer price. 

You have a few options for those types of offers on eBay. You can counteroffer or simply decline. The choice is yours. 

Sending Offers

I personally like to think about the time of day before I send an offer. In my experience, evening hours receive the best response when sending offers. I like to send offers before or after I crawl into bed. Everyone loves making money while they sleep, including me! It’s a wonderful feeling to wake up to sales in the morning.


“Inviting buyers to negotiate with you” is how eBay explains adding the best offers to your listings. eBay provides step-by-step instructions on how to include the best offer in your listings. Including:

  • The business tool
  • New listing tool

Learn more at the eBay Help Center

ebay home page cards


On Poshmark, they allow users to negotiate the price of a listing or a bundle privately.  They offer suggestions for buyers and sellers on their website. View this page to learn more about “What is Make an Offer?”

poshmark homepage


They are clear on their terms. They give details if the buyer or seller must cancel the offer or transaction.  Learn more on the site page “How does Offer work for buyers?” 

They also have a button available on your listings called “Offers to Likers.” 

Plan B. If you have no likes on an item, try dropping the price to see if you can gain some likers. 

mercari homepage


Currently, Etsy has no official way of sending/receiving offers like the other mentioned sites. The workaround they suggest is to create a new listing with a selling price that someone may have messaged with an offer. 

etsy homepage


In March of 2022, Grailed launched “Seller Initiated Offers.” This allows you to send an offer to the last 100 people who favor the listing.  Learn more on the webpage

grailed homepage


The site states: “Increase your chances of getting items at a price that’s right for you.” Offers are available across all items. Sellers cannot turn off this feature at this time.  Learn more at: Make Offer: How it Works.

depop homepage

Final Offer

For any marketplace, you may be selling on, review the terms to see if they include a “make an offer” feature and spend some time learning about how it works. Another thing to remember is how many offers are allowed per buyer.  How many times can they counteroffer? These are the kinds of questions you should ask because once you send out an offer and a buyer or seller declines, you may not have any more chances to counter.  

Don’t get greedy

My final tip is, “Don’t get greedy.” Sometimes you have to let things go and make more money on the next sale.  My motto has always been “Move it in, move it out.” Greed can only keep a warehouse full of stuff vs. cash in hand. 

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