Etsy: Handmade soap on natural wood background

Etsy Updates ‘Make an Offer’ To Deliver Positive Value for Sellers


Some Etsy sellers have been testing a ‘Make an Offer’ feature, enabling them to accept offers on items listed on the marketplace.

The feature was launched earlier this year with vintage items and allows sellers selling in USD currency to receive price offers on their listings.

Etsy stressed that this was an optional tool, but believes it will help sellers streamline inventory movement, encourage bulk sales, and increase pricing flexibility.

While over the past months, the company released incremental updates, this week, Etsy released further refinements that make the pricing feature more helpful to sellers.

  • Select individual listings: Now sellers have the freedom to select the specific listings for which they wish to receive offers. Sellers are no longer limited to suggested listings, which had been a sticking point for many sellers.
  • Turn it on and off as you see fit: Sellers now have the choice to decide when it’s most suitable to activate offers for their listings. This is another big improvement that fixes common complaints about the original roll-out.
  • Encourage shoppers to buy in bulk: Buyers can now specify quantities when placing an offer. This allows sellers to easily extend personalized bulk offers, facilitating quicker inventory turnover.
  • Expanded availability: The initial launch covered a handpicked assortment of U.S. shops. Now, all sellers utilizing USD as their shop currency have access to the ‘Make an Offer’ feature in the Marketing tab within Shop Manager, located under Sales & Discounts.

‘Make an Offer’ is Here To Stay on Etsy

Etsy’s ‘Make an Offer’ tool is still missing functionalities that eBay users are accustomed to having in their version of ‘Best Offer.’ But it’s here to stay!

Reactions online about Etsy’s version have been mixed. However, eBay faced similar sentiments when it rolled out ‘Best Offer’ in 2005. Bottom line, this type of pricing strategy may work for some sellers, while others may not find it practical, or it could even be detrimental to their specific business.

Etsy’s CEO, Josh Silverman, underscored the difficulties of implementing ‘Make an Offer’ during their earning call earlier this month. He said that the company’s investments to help sellers price their items appropriately are an “especially challenging task in a world where items don’t have MSRPs.”

Sellers can’t just blindly opt into this feature but need to have a strategy that makes sense for their business. Now, with the option to pick when and which listings to select for ‘Make an Offer,’ it offers far more flexibility, which should help more sellers embrace it into their pricing schemes.

A commonly cited concern is that it will lead to a race to the bottom. However, this problem is already inherent to any marketplace where many sellers offer similar products that can easily be compared.

Fundamentally, buyers are price-conscious, and if they struggle to discern notable distinctions among different offerings, they will inevitably prioritize pricing in their decision.

The only way to avoid a race to the bottom is to offer one-of-a-kind items (i.e., paintings, designs, etc.). For many sellers, that is not an option. Handmade doesn’t inherently mean unique.

Ultimately, ‘Make an Offer’ is designed to allow sellers to manage inventory, encourage bulk purchases, and fine-tune pricing strategies.

The project has progressed considerably since it was introduced in April, but it is still in development and more features are expected to be added in the coming months.

Again, Etsy stresses this is an Optional Tool. It’s not for every seller and requires strategic thought to realize positive benefits, which for some sellers may mean, not using it at all.

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