Apologies John, been away from the board. In case I wasn't clear in the opening post if an item has a make offer option I will always make an offer and I have never just bought an item at the asking price if a make offer is available. I kind of feel as if a seller is telling me, "here is what I really want to sell it for but I'm negotiable".
I agree - if there is a Make An Offer button, I will click on it first. I tend to offer 10% less than listed price, and those offers are mostly accepted, but not always. I have never seen a lot listed at twice what I would be willing to pay and offer half their Buy It Now price - I just won't even try.
I am amused by the (major) seller who lists his Buy It Now price at Catalog Value for stamps that typically sell for 1/3 to 1/2 SCV or less. You're probably all aware of this. Multi-$1000 stamps and it is up to the buyer to come u-p with a price. I refuse to play that game - I am the only one that would possibly get burned. I don't like this tactic at all, and, on principle, won't buy from this seller.
Quasi-related: If I see something with a Buy It Now listing, and don't need it right this minute, I will 'Watch' it. I learned to do this after I did it and got a lower offer from the seller. Maybe 10% of the time, ***I*** now get offers if I am Watching a lot.
If I want it now, and it is reasonably priced, I will Buy It Now. Generally, though, I don't need anything now.