When you list a product for sale on eBay you have the choice between and auction or fixed price listing. I have discussed this topic briefly is previous posts but I wanted to get a bit more in depth with your options.
Most people think of auctions when they hear the term eBay. Auctions on eBay can be a great way to get top dollar for the items you are looking to sell. However, in the “instant gratification” world that we live in today, many prefer to buy something immediately instead of the waiting and uncertainty that comes along with auction style listings.
With that being said, I do still think there is a time and a place for selling your items at auction:
- Rare Items. If you have a rare item that is hard to find or highly sought after, then an auction is your best bet. For instance this comic recently sold for a lot of money with 27 bids. If the seller had listed it at fixed price, especially if they were not sure of its actual value (or even its desirability) they could have listed it for a less and not gotten as high of a price.
- Emotional Bidding Wars. Sometimes an auction will go into a bidding war as it comes to a close. The item might not even be that desirable, but the two (or more) bidders might let their emotions or their desire to win get in the way and keep bidding just for the sake of winning. It happens, I’ve been in the heat of the moment myself and had to walk away so I would not overpay for an item.
- Purging Inventory. If you have a bunch of items you are ready to just unload quickly at a low cost then an auction is a good idea. I recommend setting the shipping to having the buyer pay and starting the auction at $0.99 or something low. These low prices help to get buyers interested and will also get more attention to your eBay store. You are also setting yourself up for a potential bidding war if you have desirable item that you were not even aware of.
Here are some examples of desirable items that do well at auction:
While auctions can be great, there are a lot of other items that usually do better as a fixed price listing:
- Replacement Parts. Whether it be your refrigerator, pick-up truck or electric toothbrush, when a part needs to be replaced you will most likely want to purchase these items immediately. Buyers do not want to sit around bidding on these items (unless they are very rare) so the ability to purchase them instantly is a must.
- Clothing. Clothing items are not usually fast sellers (unless they are rare) so listing them at a fixed price is often the better route to take. You can list an item at fixed price to run for up to 30 days or even ‘good until cancelled’. The longest amount of time run an auction for is 10 days. For slower sellers, like clothing, a fixed price listing will keep you from having to relist so often.
- Multiples. If you have several quantities of the same exact item you can list them quickly in one listing. This can save you a lot of time and hassle that it would take you to create individual listings for auction. Those of you that have a separate website or even brick and mortar store and sell several of the same item will really benefit from this. For instance, if you sell a natural insect repellent you can create one listing and include how many quantities you have within that listing. In doing so, buyers can also see how many quantities you have already sold from this listing which can help with the product and sellers reputability.
Here are some examples of items that do well as fixed price listings:
Have you been selling items on eBay at auction or fixed price?