Make an offer option

I noticed this when I changed my vacation status from on to off:

Turning to eBay?

Here is the announcement about it:

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My thought exactly. Yucky, yuck.

I spend so much time with art school interns, trying to convince them that the artwork they do has value, and to not sell on price.

Yet here goes a “Professional artistic sale venue” doing just that.

So sad, so very sad.

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It seems like a nice feature to have available, but we do not have any interest in negotiating prices with buyers on Etsy.

It may become helpful if we needed to unload or liquidate an item, but negotiating is time consuming and usually aggravating.

Etsy did provide a nice article in the Etsy Handbook found below which may have a little more info than the above posted link.

Let Buyers Make Offers on Your Listings: Try Out Our New, Optional Tool [link]

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I turned it off the 1st time it was offered, and my feedback was a bit scathing.

The only thing I would choose to make availabe to this would be things that I might sell in multiples at a slightly lower cost per unit. The sign boards I make have a price for one and another listing with a slightly lower price per for 2… though it is only about 6% not anywhere near 20%.


Full disclosure – I am nowhere near handy enough to do anything on Etsy BUT I do have the ‘make an offer’ on every item I sell on eBay.

I feel sorry for you guys since it appears that Etsy has unilaterally decided that you have to offer at least a 20% discount unless I missed something.

On eBay I simply put in the lowest offer and the automatically accepted offer at the price I will take. It’s usually about $1 less than the price of the items since most of my stuff is under $20 and BOTH offers are the same price so I eliminate all bargaining!

For them to force a 20% minimum discount (if that is the case) is ridiculous when dealing with crafted items. I used to do stained glass and it can take forever to get it ‘right’.

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The 20% is the minimum to “auto ignore”.
Yes a 5% or 10% would be more appropriate.

You have to remember though that Etsy has plenty of mass produced stuff masquerading as handmade so this does target that group to aid in liquidation.


It doesn’t work like eBay’s.

On eBay if someone offers and you accept then the sale is created. I love this for eBay where I sell all my old stuff because sometimes I have no idea what to sell an item for.

On Etsy I do have make offer enabled, and I’ve only had one person use it. I approved the offer of 20 percent off but it doesn’t make a sale even if you approve it. Kind of stupid and I wasn’t sure how long the offer was going to stay live. Recently they said they updated it so the buyer has 48 hours to finalize the sale. The buyer never did end up buying the item even with 20 percent off.


I don’t know either of Etsy is still testing it or if all buyers can see it? I’ve had 43 orders in my Etsy shop in the last 30 days and only the one person made an offer. So either people don’t think it’s worth the time to try or not everyone can make offers?

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Just curious about the 48 hour wait - did Etsy put one of your items in a 48 hour hold pending a response from buyer? There are ramifications here if Etsy has to hold one item, which would have a negative effect on sellers of OOAK items.



It sounds like Etsy is going to let supposed buyers be tire kickers to see how low you might possibly go for other items as well. Offer the 20% with no obligation to buy sounds like a pretty stupid way to get people to use that option for selling.

Suddenly feeling pretty good about being a klutz and not having anything for sale there…

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I do not sell anything that I craft. I do not craft anything.

In over 50 years of buying art and handcrafted items I have never asked to pay less than the asking price for any item I am buying from a craftsman or artist. I consider it an attack on their work and its value.

I have beat the crap out of galleries looking for a deal sometimes, but never would insult a creator.

When I was younger I negotiated for just about anything I could, but a couple of weeks in Morocco where in the souks in most towns, everything had to be negotiated to avoid overpaying it lost the desire to bargain. (Rabat, the capital was the only place where bargaining was impossible).

At the flea markets I frequent, most of the dealers know that the first price they ask for will make the sale or I will move on. Amazingly, they have adjusted to asking for an amount I will pay.

I have make an offer on a limited number of my Ebay items, rarely get an offer on them. I do get insulting offers on items which do not have make an offer, and I often block the buyer making the offer.


I think it has its place for things like vintage, items where values can differentiate from person to person.

But an artist sets the value for their work.

In the beginning I used to never do sales I just kept my prices super cheap. That an artist should never devalue their work.

I know though sometimes it feels good to “score a deal” and I want my customers to be happy and some people feel happy. So I raise the prices so that I can offer deals to people. Long time ago when Etsy and amazon promoted sales I actually did really well when they offered sales and so I would keep doing it.

But lately it doesn’t seem to work putting on sales and Etsy wants to do 25 or more and race for the bottom.

I also see discounts as a form of advertising….when I pay for ads I may or may not get a sale. When I offer a discount, well if that discounted item if it sells it sells. So do I throw away advertising money not making sales? I’ve tried several times with amazon and Etsy never quit understanding advertising and mostly throwing money away.

So I’ll keep make an offer on there. Because I like money and I still make money and it boosts my search ranking if I sell an item. I can’t afford to advertise every item. No one really seems to be using it though.


What bothers me about it though is if a good number of sellers start using it, buyers will come to expect it, and will ask even if you don’t have it turned on.

I don’t have “custom orders” turned on but I get plenty of requests on here and E.



And that is why those of us who are professional sellers of vintage and antique items block ignorant buyers who make insulting offers.

It is not just the insult, it is that ignorant buyers are potential trouble after the sale.


When I was on the craft fair circuit, if someone asked for a discount, I had several responses, always looking the person straight in the eye:

“I’ve been perfecting my craft for the last 30 (or whatever number) years, and you think I should get paid less than a 16-year-old refilling the napkin holders at McDonalds.”

“Obviously you’ve never had a job.” …and when they said they worked at blahblahblah, “How would you like a 50% pay cut? Because that’s what you’re asking me to do.”

“You should go to Walmart.”

“Wow, you have so much negative energy, you don’t deserve to wear my jewelry.”

“The price tag says $30. If I wanted to sell it for $20, it would say $20.”

“Do I look like a registered charity?”

“F>ck no.”

5 more seconds of hard-drill staring at them, and then I’d turn my back and walk to another area of my booth.

Half of them left my booth and never returned, but the other half apologized and said they really wanted to purchase the item. Maybe 10% of them overpaid a little and said, “Keep the change.”

Obviously some of the dynamics are different online, as my “bulldog deciding whether to maul you” look doesn’t work as well without the actual visuals.

In 7 years of Amazon, I got one “offer”, and clicked “No reply needed.”

If Etsy encourages flea market behavior, they’ll turn into a flea market. I took a hiatus from listing in January, and this latest race-to-the-bottom ploy does not inspire me to return.


I have no good reason to buy on Etsy, so I do not look at enough items to decide whether Etsy is a flea market today.

When I sold vintage on Etsy, it sure was a flea market, and like some flea markets had cliques or “teams”.

Listing is cheap and that encourages flea market sellers. I sent my daughter, who is starting out on the crafts show circuit, a link to Michaelsmakerspace. She also has a few items on Etsy, and a buyer who left FB on a purchase who made it clear she was one of her show buyers.

My daughter looked at Michaels and felt the craftspeople she saw were too low on the food chain to be associated with. Seemed to her like Michaels chose them because they bought materials Michaels sold.

We all know that Amazon has inadequate standards to begin selling, it appears that no one on the Internet has any higher standards than Amazon.

Gresham’s Law applies to all Internet marketplaces.



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Back in the day there were definitely some “i found this in the back of the kitchen drawer” items listed as vintage.

Nowadays it’s mass produced new stuff being called vintage…