For as long as we can possibly remember, you couldn’t really haggle with third-party sellers on Amazon. You couldn’t convince them to lower the prices of their wares, as prices have always been fixed. Now, the online retail giant is taking a step forward and allowing customers to bid for lower prices, reports Reuters.
An eBay-like bidding system is simply in more demand, says Amazon Marketplace vice president and general manager Peter Faricy. A recent survey revealed that close to half of the respondents agreed that adding a “make-an-offer” system “would be important to drive more sales on Amazon.”
According to the report, the new system differs from an auction in that price negotiations are done in private. Buyers also never have to pay more than the listed price. When an offer is made, sellers have three days to either accept, reject, or counter with an alternative offer. If the seller chooses the latter, buyers have three days to respond. Once both parties have agreed on a price, the sale goes through.
For the time being, bids for lower prices can be placed on over 150,000 items, which include fine art and rare coins. The new system will expand to “hundreds of thousands” of items in 2015. Buyers can currently negotiate for a document from 1863 signed by U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, which is listed at $150,000, as well as a mint-condition baseball signed by Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig, which is listed at close to $10,000.