Second Chance Offers: a How-to for Sellers

A “Second Chance Offer” gives a seller another opportunity to sell an item if a reserve price was not met or a winning bidder of an auction fails to complete the transaction. For unsuccessful buyers, Second Chance Offers provide an chance to purchase items at a price equivalent to their last bid amount. The buyer does not have to take advantage of the offer.

If a seller has duplicate items to sell, then a Second Chance Offer can also be submitted. Multiple Second Chance Offers can be given if there is more than one duplicate item. This is a great feature for sellers with lots of the same item – selling them all in one auction saves both time and effort. If there was a bidding war in the auction, the price (and therefore profit) may be higher than it would have been on another day.

How it works

  1. A Second Chance Offer can be made at any point up to 60 days after the listings ends,
  2. Sending a Second Chance Offer is easy – use the ‘Actions’ drop down menu next to the item in the ‘Sold or Unsold’ item screen in My eBay.
  3. The seller can choose the duration of the Second Chance Offer – 1, 3, 5 or 7 days.
  4. The buyer will receive an message from eBay giving them with the details of the Second Chance Offer and how to pay if they accept
  5. If the bidder does not take up the offer within the specified time frame, it will expire.
  6. If the first Second Chance Offer is declined or not accepted in the required time, an offer can be made to another bidder.

The small print

  • If a bidder accepts a Second Chance Offer, the final value fee will be based on the ‘new’ winning bid rather than the highest bid on the listing.
  • Second Chance Offers can only be made for auction style listings.
  • Making Second Chance Offers is completely free.
  • It is possible to leave feedback for both the original buyer and the person purchasing through the Second Chance Offer.
  • The price contained in a Second Chance Offer can be a specified amount if the item is in an eligible category (eBay Motors, some Business & Industrial categories).

Top Tips

Consider sending a personal email to the bidder after submitting a Second Chance Offer, explaining why the offer has come about e.g. you have more than one item, the original sale did not go through. This could improve response rate and confirms that the offer is legitimate, especially helpful for any buyers concerned about potential scams (see below)

It is advisable to wait on Second Chance Offers until an unpaid item case has been resolved unless there are duplicate items to sell. Offering an item to another bidder before the transaction cancellation has been finalised could be a recipe for disaster for feedback and reputation.

Second Chance Offer scams

While it does not affect them directly, eBay sellers should be aware of a long running scam concerning Second Chance Offers aimed at buyers. The most common involves a fraudster sending a bogus email to an unsuccessful buyer offering them a Second Chance Offer on an item they recently bid on. The scam takes place when the seller mistakes the email as a legitimate Second Chance Offer and sends the ‘seller’ payment and/or financial details.

For this reason, some buyers may choose to turn off an option to receive Second Chance Offers ( “Allow sellers to send me offers through eBay for items that I bid on but did not win” under “Buying notifications”). Second Chance Offers, like all eBay transactions, should take place through eBay for both the buyer’s and seller’s safety.

A win-win for both buyers and sellers?

One of the least controversial aspects to selling on eBay, Second Chance Offers have benefits to all eBay users. Sellers with duplicate items are most in luck, having the ability to sell more than one item in just one auction style listing. For sellers experiencing non-paying buyers, Second Chance Offers allows (as hinted by the name) another opportunity to sell the item, albeit it at a lower price, without having to list again. Convenience is key for the buyer too, who may become a regular customer after being given a second chance on a potentially much wanted item.

Do you have any more tips for making Second Chance Offers? We’d love to hear about them – get in contact via the comment form below.

Gemma is our all things eBay expert. Originally from the UK, she now lives in Canada and travels extensively. You can read about her travels at her blog Off Track Travel.

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