Marlboro Unlimited - BOLO Brand

I want to start off by saying, I am not a smoker; however, my dad is and I’ve had friends that were. The reason I know about Marlboro Unlimited is mainly because of those friends.

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Marlboro is a Cigarette Brand that used to have a rewards program called Marlboro Unlimited (there was also a failed train promo by this name in 1995 that is an interesting read). Every pack of cigarettes had a point system, just like you see now for box tops for education. Smokers could save that part of their pack and after enough points, could redeem them for items, gear, coupons and even trips, just paying for shipping and or taxes if it applied. If you see something tagged Marlboro Unlimited it ONLY came from this rewards program, which was scrapped due to increased regulations by the US Government. That means that these pieces are rare, since so few were redeemed, and most importantly valuable.

Now they do currently have a rewards program that launched this year (2019), but it is not the same as the 90s/00s Marlboro Unlimited Program. You have to verify who you are on their website, and all the rewards you can redeem for are not Marlboro Branded.

I found this set of 4 Marlboro Unlimited Camp Mugs at GW for $4.25 for the set, and immediately put them in my cart. I didn’t need to research them, because I knew exactly what they were and that they were Vintage. I listed them for $39.87 with free shipping. I took a best offer of $36.00 on them and after fees of $5.40, shipping of $9.36, and original purchase price of $4.51 with tax, I made $16.73 profit on a set of coffee cups.

Best Offer Can Be Your Best Friend

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I’ve seen a lot of mixed feelings about the Best Offer feature on eBay. It’s no secret that eBay wants you to have it as an option on all your fixed price listings, as it is auto selected in most cases when you draft a new listing. Even if you deselect the option on listing, they will add it for you later, and then send you an email about it. While that may be a little off putting, I actually think the best offer feature is great for your store.

As I stated, eBay wants you to have Best Offer available on your listings, so your listings that do have it enabled will rank higher in their algorithm. Every offer, even low ball offers, count as activity in your store. More activity in your store, the higher your items rank in the algorithm. If someone submits a low offer, you can always counter it. They have up to five counter offers, but each back and forth is, you guessed it, more activity for your store. It’s about 50/50 for me whether or not I will accept a first offer or counter.

I will accept a first offer if it’s only a few dollars off my asking price, because I build that into all my listings. That’s my first tip, to take advantage of Best Offer list your item 20% higher than your base price. If you get it, heck yeah, but that makes it so you have room to negotiate. I’ve also found if you take a Best Offer from someone, they are more likely to leave you positive feedback, because everyone likes feeling like they got a deal. If someone is offering half my asking price, I will counter with something more reasonable. So far I’ve only had one instance where I just outright declined after a few back and forth offers, because they were only upping their counter by a dollar every time.

You can also set a minimum and a maximum offer to save time. You can set Best Offer to auto-decline any offer less than a certain dollar amount, and auto-accept any offer above a set dollar amount. I personally only use the auto-decline feature, because I feel like using the auto-accept could leave money on the table.

My second tip, is to not take it personal. If you receive a low ball offer, don’t take it to heart. All of the items in my store are priced well above what I paid for them, so I keep that in mind when I respond to an offer. I will stick firm to my 20% buffer, and most of the time we reach a fair price for both parties. Try to be kind and professional in your response, and counter them with something more reasonable to you. My go to is, “Thank you for your offer. I would be more than happy to meet you somewhere in the middle, as I do offer free US domestic shipping.” About 75% of the time my counter gets accepted, and the rest of the time, declined. My store gets activity, most of the time a sale, and sometimes positive feedback!

My third tip is to take all reasonable offers. If you use my first tip, please also take my third tip. Accepting reasonable offers, means you are turning over your inventory faster, recouping your initial investment, and building capital to invest in more inventory. People that feel like they got a deal, are more inclined to leave positive feedback, and every offer, counter and sale is activity for your store to appease the algorithm. If you care to look at my feedback, you’ll see the majority of my positive feedback was left on Best Offer buys.

I hope this was helpful, and that you all feel better about taking advantage of this feature in the future. I would love to know your own experiences with Best Offers in the comments below!