What Does "Name Your Own Price" Mean?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 08 September 2019
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Sometimes presented as NYOP, name your own price is a selling strategy that allows customers to indicate the prices they are willing to pay for a good or service, and ask a provider or supplier to agree to that price. This particular approach to doing business has been around for centuries, and has its roots in the developing use of coinage and other forms of currency anciently. At times, providers will respond positively to the price named by the consumer, allowing the transaction to proceed. If the provider is not willing to honor that price, the two parties may choose to negotiate the sale price until an amount is determined that everyone can agree upon.


The basic process involved with a name your own price scenario is that a buyer will approach a seller in regard to a specific product. At that point, the buyer will present a specific price to the seller, with that figure being the amount that the buyer is willing to pay in order to gain ownership of that product. The seller will consider the price and decide if it is acceptable. When the seller approves the amount, the buyer can tender payment and receive the purchased product. Should the buyer’s price be unacceptable to the seller, the two parties enter into a period of presenting offers and counter-offers until they can agree on a sale price. As an alternative, the two parties can choose to not enter into any type of negotiations and bring the communication to an end.

The strategy of name your own price has been common in a number of sales situations. Individuals who conduct yard sales are often open to buyers submitting an asking price other than that provided by the seller. In like manner, many vendors at flea markets will also entertain prices named by potential buyers. In an auction situation, bidders have control of the prices they are willing to submit for items offered at the event, although many auctioneers will required a minimum bid that must be met in order for the item to be won by any of the bidders.

With the advent of the Internet, new forms of the name your own price approach have been developed. For example, there are a number of sites that allow buyers to name their own prices for hotel accommodations, airline and rail reservations, and even car rentals. Non-profit organizations can also make use of the name your own price approach by offering online silent auctions or private price submissions for a wide range of donated goods, allowing the organizations to raise funds to support their causes.


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