Amazon’s ‘Make An Offer’ Button Could Do More Than Sell A Few Collectibles

make an offerEarlier this year, Amazon began offering one of the very few categories of items not already available from the mega-retailer: collectibles, including the famous Saddle Ridge Hoard of rare gold coins. This may or may not catch on with Amazon shoppers, but raises an interesting question: what if you could easily make an offer on any item on Amazon, or even any item for sale online?

Bloomberg Businessweek sees the “Make an Offer” button as America’s first tentative steps out into maybe taking up haggling to the same extent as other countries. Here, there are only a few transactions in life where most people negotiate on prices: real estate and cars. Most of us find those processes extremely stressful, and it’s the same with negotiating a salary when we start a new job. Maybe if we did it more, Allison Schrager argues, these experiences wouldn’t be so stressful.

There’s a downside, of course: Negotiating every little purpose can be incredibly time-consuming. Even the Amazon process for collectibles could be tedious, requiring a three-day wait to find out whether the seller accepts your offer. Still, more haggling could be good for the economy as a whole, helping supply and demand meet more efficiently. That would probably be a net win for consumers.

Amazon’s Bargain Button Could Actually Be Good for the Economy [Bloomberg Businessweek]