We often come across acronyms in our daily lives, but we don’t always know what they mean. Acronyms are constructed terms formed from the first letter of each consecutive part of a series of words. To figure out what the term means, we use context clues or past information. The acronym that is being addressed in this case is OBO.
What Does OBO Mean?
OBO is the acronym for “or best offer.” The acronym is found in paper or electronic marketing ads with the cost of the product being sold, indicating that the seller will take less money than the price they are asking. In other words, the seller can go down in the asking price if it is necessary to sell the product. For instance, if you’re trying to sell used furniture on Craig’s List and you want to get rid of it, but it’s still worth something, you might include not only the listed price but also the phrase OBO, which stands for “or best offer.”
If customers are bidding for the same item, OBO may also imply that the seller will accept bids and receive a higher offer than the listed price. Assume you are selling a Gucci handbag on eBay. Customers on the eBay platform can bid on an item, potentially raising the price. You could put the asking price in the ad along with OBO, but as people bid on the item, it becomes a situation of “or best offer.” Customers are competing to outbid each other for the handbag in this scenario.
What Is the Most Common Application of OBO?
OBO is most frequently used in listings or marketing ads on online forums such as Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, eBay. The term OBO is placed next to the price or in the list to indicate that the seller will accept offers on the item and that the price is not the best; rather, the seller is prepared to take lower offers or higher offers than the total price listed.
Circumstances Where OBO is Used
When two people are bartering over an item, this is a typical exchange. Some people pay the cost, but many want to try and reduce the price. Since this technique is so common, many people are pricing their goods higher than expected. You may believe you’re getting a good deal, but in reality, you’re paying the price they anticipated receiving from the sale.
Scenario 1: Haggle
Helen is joining the Peace Corp in this scenario, and she needs to sell a sofa set quickly. She placed an ad on Facebook Marketplace with the term OBO as part of the ad.
Helen’s Facebook Marketplace ad: For sale is a beige leather sofa and a love seat set. The set is ten years old, but in excellent condition, as you can see from the pictures. You must have a way to picked up both items; they are not sold separately. The asking price is $450 OBO.
Laura responds to the ad: I’m curious about this item. Are you willing to accept $250?
Helen replies: I cannot accept that offer; its value is much more than that. Would you consider $350?.
Laura: I’m a college student and cannot afford that amount. What about $300?
Helen: I’ll take the $300 if you can pick it up by tomorrow.
Laura: Perfect, I can do it tomorrow just sent me your address.
Scenario 2: Bidding
Paul is heading off to college and wants to sell his Chromebook to purchase something more high-tech. He purchased the Chromebook one year earlier while in high school. He placed his ad on eBay with the asking price and OBO next to it.
Paul’s eBay ad: The Dell HD 14″ Chromebook is only one year old. It has 4 GB of Ram, HD graphics, and Chrome OS; the asking price is $200/OBO. The bidding begins right at $200 as the first offer. It went up from there to $300. Other offers come in until it finally sold at $550.
Other Meaning of the Acronym OBO
Even though “or best offer” is the most frequently used definition of OBO, the abbreviation has many other meanings. While using abbreviations and acronyms, you should ensure that the reader understands what the acronym means. Don’t presume that what the person means is “or best offer.” Below are examples of OBO used in a different context, resulting in a change in meaning.
- Official Business Only
- Our Best Offer
- Owner Buy Out
- One by One
- On Basis Of
- Oxford Bibliographies Online
- One Ball Only
- Off By One
- Overseas Buildings Operations
- On Behalf Of
Why do we use acronyms so frequently? We use acronyms because saying or writing the first initial for every word takes less time than spelling out every word. Therefore, it makes communication easier and quicker with acronyms in our daily speech. To market products or put an item up for sale, understanding the OBO meaning is essential. What does OBO mean or knowing the OBO meaning within its context can help figure out the definition or meaning of the acronym. In the context of selling a product, you can see it means “or best offer,” but, from the examples given, there are other definitions for this term.