What does OBO mean? OBO Definition:

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One of the best ways to save money and get great value from your things is to buy them used from other people. As long as you do not mind that people have worn those clothes before, that they have ridden the bike, or that they have cooked with those pans, you can buy things that people are not using.

For many listings that you see online, people will describe the item that they have to sell and list a suggested price “obo”. An oboe is a reed instrument that sounds very shrill, but that is definitely not what they are asking for! So what do they mean when they have this on an online ad?

OBO stands for Or best offer

When you sell something, you probably have an idea of how much you want to charge. However, you have to balance several factors and not just price when considering how much you want to charge for something. If you are moving next week, for example, you have to consider time. If the other person will have to come and get the item, they essentially pay their own “shipping” fees. By saying that you will accept the “best offer”, you are opening your listing up to more offers.

The best offer does not have to be lower or higher than the list price. In fact, it simply gives the buyer an idea of what you would like to receive for that item. If it is really popular, the best offer may be more than what you are asking for it. However, if you have listed your item on the market for a while and no one has sent in any offers, you may accept something lower than what you have asked. It really depends on the situation.

Definitely do not be afraid to sell things that you are no longer using, as long as they can still function! Conversely, do not be afraid to buy something that has been used. This is a great idea for several reasons. First, you can get really great value. Many people are just happy to get rid of things that they are not using. They might be moving or cleaning their apartments and houses and want extra room. They probably have already gotten good value from their item, so they want to get rid of it and get some worth back. Because of this, you can get high quality, gently used items for a really low price.

The other reason that it is very useful to get items used by someone else is that those items can be recycled, rather than being thrown away. If someone has only been lightly or gently used, it would be a shame and a real waste to throw them away. There are tons and tons of solid waste that is thrown away each year, and many times the items that are tossed out are still good! If you have ones that are still in good condition, try to sell them to others instead of buying a completely new version.

Usage

Most of the time, the abbreviation obo comes after a number that you list. You may have a used phone that you are selling, and your price is $350. If you are not sure you can sell it at that price, or you think that there might be some bidding on the phone because it is worth more than that, you can say that the price is $350 obo.

Most of the time, the offers that you get will be lower than your list price. This is because people may assume that other people are also giving you lower prices, and that you are open to accepting less for your item. However, you definitely have the right to refuse something if you do not think it is a fair trade.

This is a casual abbreviation, and generally used for only things that are listed online, through online platforms such as eBay, Craigslist, and other similar listings.

Examples

These are examples of a description for an item that you might see on the internet, especially in a forum.

  • New iPhone 8, received as a present after I already bought an iPhone X. It is still in the box, and can be used with any carrier (GSM unlocked!). Asking for $700 obo
  • MacBook Air for sale! 13” screen with 128GB of storage on the hard drive and a 4GB RAM. Gently used, and has some small dents on the corners as part of normal wear and tear. See the pictures for details. Comes with Microsoft Office already installed! Price is $500 obo, I am willing to negotiate!

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