New eBay Communication Setting Has Users Asking "What's A Competing Offer?"

Liz Morton
Liz Morton


A longtime eBay community member has spotted a new addition to Buyer Communication Settings, prompting the question - what's a competing offer?

This new option was recently added under Account Settings > Communication Preferences and is nested under the Buying Activity heading indicating it should be related to communications users may receive about items they've purchased, bid on, watched, or made or received offers on.

Unfortunately, this settings page doesn't give any indication of what "competing offers" actually are and apparently even front line customer support staff are unaware too.

On April 15, community member Wastingtime101 brought the new setting to light, tagging eBay staff to see if they could get more information about what competing offers are and how this setting should be used.

Communication Preferences > Competing Offers
Communication Preferences > Buying Activity > Competing Offers “Competing Offers” is a recent addition. It’s separate from “Offers to buyers” and “second chance offers” Can you tell us what that setting controls ? I’ve asked a few experienced buyers and sellers, but none of them had an answer.…

"Competing Offers" is a recent addition. It's separate from "Offers to buyers" and "second chance offers" Can you tell us what that setting controls devon@ebay kyle@ebay ?

I've asked a few experienced buyers and sellers, but none of them had an answer. The best guess I've seen so far is maybe eBay is now alerting buyers when another buyer makes an offer on an item from their watch list?

Devon@eBay responded on April 18th to provide some information and an update that he was still waiting for confirmation from the appropriate team.

We are still waiting to get 100% confirmation but based off of the various people I have spoken to, this feature is designed to allow buyers the chance to still send offers and purchase an item even if the seller has another offer from another potential buyer.

But that answer didn't make much sense because there have always been scenarios where offers can be sent to multiple buyers and/or that buyers can make offers on a listing with that option enabled, even if others had also made offers as well, as Wastingtime101 points out:

By that, is it safe to assume you mean not just another offer, but another offer that's been accepted but not paid yet devon@ebay?

Asking because it's always been possible for a buyer to make an offer on a listing with make offer no matter how many offers other buyers sent in. And it's always been possible for seller-initiated offers to go out to multiple buyers with the option of counter-offers.

It's under buyer settings, not seller settings, so it seems kind of odd if the intended purpose is for buyers to be able to submit offers to sellers when there's an existing competing offer. That seems like it would be a seller setting, not a buyer setting.

Plus it's under communication preferences, so wouldn't it have more to do with the types of communications eBay sends buyers, not whether or not buyers could submit competing offers?

While waiting for an official answers, sellers in the community have been guessing at what it might many - anywhere from a notification if another buyer makes an offer on an item on your watch list to the possibility is a buyer expresses interest in one item (add to watchlist or cart or just views multiple times) they may not only get offers from that seller, but also from other sellers with the same exact item in the same condition.

Anything's possible at this point!

What do you think this new communications setting for "competing offers" means? Let us know your best guess in the comments below!

eBaySeller Updates

Liz Morton Twitter Facebook LinkedIn

Liz Morton is a seasoned ecommerce pro with 17 years of online marketplace sales experience, providing commentary, analysis & news about eBay, Etsy, Amazon, Shopify & more at Value Added Resource!