Amazon just introduced a new feature called “Make An Offer” that will let customers negotiate with sellers on the price of products. As of now, customers will be able to haggle with sellers on more than 15,000 items, all in the collectibles or fine art categories.
When you’re browsing an eligible item, you’ll now see a “Make an Offer” button above the usual buy option on select products:
Click it, and Amazon will prompt you to enter a new, lower price, which the seller will receive through email. The seller can then accept, reject, or counter your offer, with the rest of the process continuing through email until the negotiation is complete. If the seller accepts any of your offers, you’ll get an email and the item will be placed into your shopping cart at the agreed-upon lower price.
The main differentiator between Make An Offer and the auction format on a site like eBay is that all negotiations will happen privately via email. Amazon’s rationale is that Make an Offer will help sellers imitate their interactions with customers in a physical store in which haggling for expensive, collectible items is often part of the process. They will also be able to gauge whether they’re pricing too high based on customer interest and offers. Customers, meanwhile, will be able to potentially score lower prices.
Sellers will have a choice whether to offer the Make an Offer button on the their product, but the company says it sees the feature expanding to “hundreds of thousands of items from sellers in 2015.”
Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.