Amazon.com on Tuesday debuted "Make an Offer," a purchasing option that allows shoppers to negotiate lower prices on more than 150,000 items.
The option will be available in the retailer's sports and entertainment collectibles, collectible coins, and fine art divisions, the company said. (You can find the types of items offered at www.amazon.com/makeanoffer.)
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Unlike eBay or Priceline, the "Make an Offer" option isn't an auction; customers talk directly with sellers to negotiate a lower price. The seller is allowed to accept, reject, or counter the offer. When a seller accepts an offer, the customer is notified and can place the item into their shopping cart at the agreed upon new price for checkout and make the purchase.
"In a recent survey of our sellers, nearly half of the respondents told us that the ability to negotiate prices with customers would be important to drive more sales on Amazon," Peter Faricy, vice president for Amazon Marketplace, said in a statement. "'Make an Offer' delivers that functionality and makes customers feel confident they are getting an item they want at the lowest price possible."
Separately, the e-commerce giant plans to experiment with bike messengers to offer deliveries in New York City within an hour, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing a source familiar with the matter.
The company was not immediately available for comment.
The superfast service, dubbed "Amazon Prime Now," attempts to replicate shopping in a physical store by delivering some items in an hour or two, the report said.
Amazon has been experimenting with three different courier services to pick the fastest and the most careful for its deliveries, the report cited the source as saying.
The bike messengers are paid around $15 an hour and work in eight hour shifts, the Journal reported.
Amazon will use its West 34th Street location as a base for the bike messengers. The company has built a lounge there with facilities including foosball, pool and air hockey tables, for messengers waiting between deliveries, the Journal said.
—Reuters contributed to this report.