eBay Listing Types – Auction & Fixed Price

What can be sold on eBay

With 15000 categories, most legal things can be sold on eBay. 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/help/policies/prohibited-restricted-items/prohibited-restricted-items?id=4207

Sellers should avoid the following:

  • Product requiring a licence e.g. alcohol, tobacco
  • Recalled items
  • Restricted

Some brands (e.g. high end fashion brands) do not like products sold on eBay.  eBay has a programme called VERO that enables them to remove listing, which they feel infringe their intellectual property right. This programme is abused by rights owners who use it to get legitimate listing removed.

Details on Vero programme:  https://www.ebay.co.uk/help/policies/listing-policies/selling-policies/intellectual-property-vero-program?id=4349

Once a listing is removed due to a VERO complaint, it is very difficult to appeal.  Brand often employ agencies to manage the process, and from experience, these agencies are unresponsive.

If an account has too many infringements against it, it can be restricted or closed permanently.

eBay listing types

eBay began as an auction platform, but nowadays, most products sell at a fixed price. 

Auction Listings

When you list an item for sale in an eBay auction, you choose a starting price, and interested buyers place bids. When the auction ends, you sell to the highest bidder.

Fixed Price listings

With a fixed price Buy It Now listing, a buyer knows the exact price they need to pay for your item, and can complete their purchase immediately. There is no bidding on fixed price listings.

Fixed price listings are set to Good ‘Til Cancelled duration. This means your item will be relisted on eBay every month until it sells or you end it.

When to use different listing  types

Fixed price and auction listing are good for different types of product. 

Auctions

Auctions are good for unique items where the price is hard to know in advance (e.g. collectables, antiques, second-hand items).  With these items,

Auction benefits

  • Potential for higher prices by a competitive auction
  • Market determines the price
  • Better sell-through rate with a low starting bid
  • Sense of urgency.  Scarcity and limit duration of auction encourage buying activity
  •  

Auction drawbacks

  • Difficult to automate. Auctions must be started manually.
  • If an auction does not sell it must be manually relisted
  • Buyers may pay several days after auction end

Fixed Price benefits

  • More automation. Fixed price listings are like inventory at a regular retail store.
  • Everything is for sale at any time.
  • With Good ’til cancelled duration,  items renew automatically every 30 days.
  • Listings can be edited in bulk
  • Immediate payment
  • Markdown manager.  This feature gives sellers the ability to run sales.

Fixed Price disadvantages

  • No Sense of Urgency. Buyers may bookmark or watch a listing and never return. With auctions, buyers get a sense of urgency that they must bid or buy the item now.
  • Fees. Fixed Price and GTC listings incur charges each month if they renew. These fees can add up over time.