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Make Me An Offer


DisciplinesMarketing > Pricing > Make Me An Offer

Description | Example | Discussion | See also



Rather than you set a price, ask your customers to make you an offer. Put up a sign asking them to offer what they think the product is worth.

When a customer makes an offer, you can decide whether or not to accept it. You can also decide to negotiate.

You may or may not retain price tags on goods. If there is a price tag, then this will act to prime thinking about what is a good price and few people will stray far from this.


A second-hand car dealership puts up a big banner saying 'Make me an offer! No reasonable price refused!!' They still have prices on cars to set an anchor point and negotiation between offers and this 'sticker price'.

A household goods shop has a 'bargain weekend' where they ask customers to make an offer on anything. They also have bins of low-value goods where they say 'whatever you want to pay, we'll accept'. Most of their customers are local and few that come in make poor offers.


Asking customers to make you an offer suggests that you will accept anything, even nothing, and hence implies goods might somehow be free. This potential for a bargain can be highly attractive.

While for goods that you might otherwise scrap any offer is better than nothing, you do not have to accept any offer. Having said this, accepting a few low offers can create excitement and bring more people in to seek bargains.

In many cultures, haggling is a normal part of the buying process. Sometimes the customer makes an offer. Sometimes the seller starts with a price. In other societies, where negotiation may be felt as being embarrassing, asking for offers may not work as well. In the end, you have to experiment and understand your customers to determine whether this approach will be successful for your market. A good way to do this is within the confines of a formal 'sale' which is time-limited and so not seen as your normal situation.

See also

The Price Anchoring Effect, Negotiation


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