eBay Changes Offers Expiration To 24 Hours

Liz Morton
Liz Morton


eBay appears to have made yet another unannounced change - this time to timeframes to accept offers.

eBay has several different iterations of it's "offers" feature - Best Offer allows sellers to add an option for potential buyers to make an offer on the listing page. Offers to Buyers or Seller Initiated Offers allows sellers to send offers to potential buyers who meet certain criteria (added item to watch list, viewed item repeatedly, added to cart but didn't check out, etc.)

Previously, eBay gave a 48 hour window before offers expired. Then they added an option that allowed buyers to designate when their offer or counteroffer would expire (12, 24, or 48 hours).

However, sellers in the eBay community are reporting eBay may be once again changing things, now only allowing 24 hours.

Why did eBay remove the 48-hour option on offers?
If you get eBay’s new popup interface for offers (looks like it is being split tested or only rolled out on certain devices at the moment), there is no longer any option to choose the duration of best offers. All offers are 24 hours, period. It already was difficult enough as a buyer, if you made…
Making an offer sure is suspensful.
I hadn’t made an offer for a while but this cracked me up. Is it new?

Its interesting to note the current version of eBay's help page for buyers states 24 hours.

Making a Best Offer
Best Offer lets you offer the seller a price you’re willing to pay for the item. The seller can accept, reject, or counter your offer by suggesting another price.

According the the Internet Archive, as recently as September 3,2021, this same page said 48 hours.

To make things even more confusing - the help page for sellers still shows 48 hours in multiple places as of today.

Adding Best Offer to your listing and sending offers to buyers
When you add the Best Offer option to your eBay listings, you’re inviting buyers to negotiate with you. After a buyer makes an offer, you can choose to accept, decline, or make a counteroffer. If you want to encourage buyers interested in your items to make a purchase, you can also send them offers.…

So which is it 24 hours or 48 hours? Is eBay giving different time frames to buyers than to sellers or have they simply not gotten around to updating all of the help pages after yet another unannounced policy change?

There has been an increasing trend for eBay to simply make these kinds of changes with no notice or announcement and sellers are getting weary of struggling to figure out what policy eBay is going to hold them to today that they were never informed had changed.

Also, as one community member pointed out, the 24 hour timeframe can be particularly frustrating when dealing with business sellers who may operate on a typical Monday-Friday schedule and not check messages or respond to offers over weekends.

My complaint is as a BUYER, not a seller. From experience (my feedback is split roughly 50-50 as buyer and seller) I know that large sellers, brick & mortar operations, etc., frequently DO NOT monitor eBay over the weekends, so the 24-hour offer limit is annoying as a buyer.

It's an arbitrary limitation that does nobody any good, so why have it? Why insert an artificial barrier between buyer and seller that can only reduce the opportunity for purchases?... especially since the 48-hour option was viable for years.

What do you think - is 24 hours long enough to accept an offer? Should eBay put out announcements for any and all changes to policy and help pages?

Sound off in the comments 👇

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