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What is Online Bargaining?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated May 17, 2024
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With the advent of electronic transactions via the Internet, the process of online bargaining has become a common practice. Essentially, online bargaining is the ability to negotiate for a variety of different types of goods and services. As a result, consumers are able obtain competitive pricing for a wide range of items, including reviewing and applying for short term and long term jobs. Here are some examples of bargaining online that are common today.

Looking for online bargains is very different from using an auction site. With an auction program, there is a pre-determined minimum bid that must be met. Electronic buying via an online bargaining site involves determining what you are willing to spend and making an offer. The seller is free to accept or reject your one time offer. In this scenario, the potential transaction is considered complete. You may submit another offer, but this would be considered a new transaction rather than a continuation of the same offering.

For example, you may be in the market for a new car. Finding a site that engages in online bargaining, you would select a model you like, with the features you desire. Using the onsite bargaining tool, you would submit your offer. In short order, you would know if the offer is acceptable or has been rejected. If the offer is accepted, you then arrange to pay for the vehicle. Should the offer be rejected, you can determine if you want to submit another offer, or shop elsewhere.

Online bargaining is also common for such items as household appliances and craft items. The process is still the same. You negotiate the purchase price, as well as any associated fees, such as shipping and handling charges. Once you and the seller come to terms, you can submit payment and await delivery of the item.

Another application of online bargaining does not involve the sell of goods or services. Instead, the online bargaining may be a barter for the exchange of goods or services. As an example, you may offer to provide a free oil change to the seller in exchange for day of free lawn care. Bartering as a means of online bargaining makes it possible for people to obtain services by using something he or she already possesses in the way of goods or talents, rather than relying upon a monetary payment. Thus, online bargaining adds a whole new dimension to the concept on online retail sales, since it is not necessarily conducted on the condition of the use of money in the exchange.

Online bargaining can also be employed as a means of accepting freelance assignments. For example, freelance writers sometimes make use of online bargaining sites to enter bids on a short-term project. Typically, the freelancer will provide details on the amount of pay requested for the work, including a breakdown of hours that will be devoted to the project, terms of payment, and the delivery date for the finished article or other writing project. In like manner, independent engineers, web site designers, and others can use online bargaining to secure work-related projects.

Buying online has become a common practice for many people. While purchasing items at online stores at fixed prices and using auction sites to engage in bidding is much more common, the concept of online bargaining is gaining a great deal of attention. As time goes on, innovative ways to employ online bargaining will continue to appear.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum , Writer
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including WiseGeek, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.

Discussion Comments

By anon142759 — On Jan 13, 2011

Are there any online sites that commercially will let you bargain for products or services?

Malcolm Tatum

Malcolm Tatum


Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
Learn more
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