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File:IOffer screenshot.jpg
Screenshot dated August 5, 2008
Slogan A Place to Buy, Sell & Trade
Commercial? Yes
Type of site Online trading community
Created by Steven Nerayoff
Launched May 1, 2002

iOffer is a San Francisco-based online trading community that was launched on May 1, 2002 by Steven Nerayoff.[1] As of February 2008, it had nearly one million total users, including approximately 75,000 sellers.[2]

iOffer deviates from the online auction business model and instead adopts the "negotiated commerce model",[1] characteristic of garage sales and flea markets,[3][4] operating on the basis of negotiation between buyers and sellers rather than bidding. When a negotiation concludes successfully (i.e. a transaction occurs), iOffer charges a "final value fee" based on a sliding scale.[2] The website advertises this distinction, claiming: "This is not an auction. It's better!"[5]

iOffer permits free listing of items for sale, charging fees only for premium listing services (such as bolding, highlighting, and listing on the home page). Sellers can post an asking price or request offers; buyers, in turn, can purchase an item at its asking price or make an offer. Users can also post "want ads" at no charge and barter.[6] All transactions are recorded and can be viewed by other users.[7]

iOffer competes with other similar negotiated e-commerce websites, as well as online auction sites such as eBay.[2][8][9] According to Greg Holden, author of multiple books about eBay, from the perspective of sellers iOffer is both a "complement"[10] and "good alternative" to eBay.[5] Through iOffer's software program Mr. Grabber, sellers can relist items from sites such as eBay, and onto iOffer en masse, as well as import eBay feedback ratings.[2][6][11]

Unlike sites such as eBay, however, iOffer provides little in the way of buyer protection from fraudulent and other problem transactions, such as those involving counterfeit goods.[12]

People must be very careful using IOffer. Many sellers that create accounts use fake photos of items they do not have to sell. They sell these items to people for very low prices and then when the have the customers money they send the person a cheep plastic toy instead of the item the customer bought. Due to the fact that they sent them "something", PayPal or their credit card company will not take action. They won't get involved in a "quality" of the item sold dispute so it is up to the customer to get the seller to refund the money, which they usually won't. After several sales they get banned from IOffer only to leave the customers out of luck and then they create a new user account in IOffer and do it all over again.[citation needed]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Steiner, Ina (June 16, 2002). "Something Old and Something New: Online Auction Sites & Services". Auctionbytes-Update (72). ISSN 1528-6703. Retrieved 2008-08-04. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Chu, Lenora (2008-02-07). "EBay rivals circle vulnerable auctions kingpin". Retrieved 2008-08-04. 
  3. Steiner, Ina (February 2, 2003). "This & That: Online Auction Roundup". Auctionbytes-Update (88). ISSN 1528-6703. Retrieved 2008-08-04. 
  4. Hamilton, Diane M (2004). "Business-to-Consumer (B2C) Internet Business Models". in Hossein Bidgoli. The Internet Encyclopedia. 1. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 129–38. ISBN 978-0471222026.,M1. Retrieved 2008-08-04. "An even more typical flea market transaction takes places at iOffer."  (p. 132)
  5. 5.0 5.1 Holden, Greg (February 5, 2006). "iOffer: Is Silence Really Golden?". Auctionbytes-Update (160). ISSN 1528-6703. Retrieved 2008-08-04. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 Paletta, Lu (November 21, 2004). "iOffer: Negotiated Ecommerce as an eBay Alternative". Auctionbytes-Update (131). ISSN 1528-6703. Retrieved 2008-08-04. 
  7. Conner, Nancy (August 2005). eBay: The Missing Manual. O'Reilly. pp. 428. ISBN 978-0-596-00644-0. Retrieved 2008-08-04. "On iOffer, all of your transactions show up in your feedback profile." 
  8. Steiner, Ina (July 9, 2002). "eBay Sets Off Fireworks with PayPal Acquisition Announcement". Auctionbytes-NewsFlash (353). ISSN 1539-5065. Retrieved 2008-08-04. 
  9. Swartz, Jon (2005-02-01). "Some eBay sellers are going, going, gone". USA Today. Retrieved 2008-08-04. 
  10. Holden, Greg (December 4, 2005). "Selling Strategies: Looking for Life Beyond eBay". Auctionbytes-Update (156). ISSN 1528-6703. Retrieved 2008-08-04. 
  11. Holden, Greg (2006). Selling Beyond eBay: Foolproof Ways to Reach More Customers and Make Big Money on Rival Online Marketplaces. AMACOM. pp. 48. ISBN 978-0-8144-7349-8. Retrieved 2008-08-04. 
  12. "iOffer Refund Policy". Retrieved 2009-10-26. 
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