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Should You Use Fixed Price Listings On Ebay? Selling And Reselling On Ebay And Amazon

Updated on June 19, 2013
Here is a junk drawer lot of stuff that I put up for sale on Ebay. I love junk drawer lots but you should generally sell these with auction format.
Here is a junk drawer lot of stuff that I put up for sale on Ebay. I love junk drawer lots but you should generally sell these with auction format. | Source

Auction Style Listing Is Better...Usually

As we all know, Ebay is a great place to sell your unwanted possessions. You can sell just about anything, and while condition does matter, people still buy broken things and total junk. On Ebay it's not what you sell, but rather how you sell it. Having a moderate level of experience selling on Ebay has brought me to the conclusion that you should almost never sell anything (more specifically vintage) with the "Buy it now" and "Best offer" features.

The most important thing to consider when making your decision, is what the buyer wants. Buyers come to Ebay because they want to get a deal. If they want an item now, they will go to an antique mall or perhaps a consignment shop. Many buyers think that by purchasing an auction listing, that they are getting a better deal than a fixed price listing. Generally this is the case. As a seller, you can use this as an advantage by simply listing your items in auction style but with a high starting price. Many buyers look for the auction that is ending soonest, and so again, this works to your advantage too, as fixed price listings generally go for 30 days.

An Old Unmarked Cast Aluminum Bundt Pan

Here's a cool vintage cast aluminum bundt pan that I am selling on Ebay. It should sell for good profit. These sell well at flea markets too.
Here's a cool vintage cast aluminum bundt pan that I am selling on Ebay. It should sell for good profit. These sell well at flea markets too. | Source

The next most important thing to consider is that even with power seller and top rated seller status (a real pain to keep) your exposure is restricted with a fixed price (buy it now) listing. Without any special badges or titles, you get the most exposure by using auction style listings. I can't explain why Ebay continues to do this, but I can say that it is much easier to do what Ebay wants you to do rather than try to fight with them. Why swim up river when you can swim with the current? Ebay says that auction style listings have more exposure than fixed price buy it now auctions but they don't say by how much.

I did a little experiment to see just how much exposure I was getting with auction style versus buy it now listings. I have two seller accounts. and so I used my secondary account to list a bunch of auction style listings. Sure enough, my items which were reasonably priced on both accounts had quite different results. A bunch of items on my secondary account sold. Despite its much lower feedback rating of only 48 feedback versus my store with over 250 with top rated and power seller. Personally, I believe the verdict is in on this one. I am in the process of listing and selling a ton of items, and so I just list them auction style and they sell like crazy. Ebay must really be cranking up the exposure on auction listings.

The Classic Wilson T2000

Here is the original Wilson T2000! This racquet is awesome and is very desirable to a wide range of tennis collectors because of its status symbol of the evolution of tennis equipment. These sell very well on Ebay
Here is the original Wilson T2000! This racquet is awesome and is very desirable to a wide range of tennis collectors because of its status symbol of the evolution of tennis equipment. These sell very well on Ebay | Source

Most importantly though, using auction style listings is cheaper! Ebay gives each seller account up to 50 free auction style listings per month! That sounds too good to be true right? Well you can have up to 10 different seller accounts too, so that means 500 listings per month for free. That's not all though, for no additional fees, you can add buy it now to that listing! The only downside is that these listings are maximum 7 days or 10 days for a fee. If you get a store, you are talking about $16 per month, plus fees each time you list an item, but you do get to keep this listing up for 30 days per listing period. Unless you are selling super popular newly released retail items, the advantage clearly goes to auction style listings.


Recently Ebay has made it even less advantageous to have a store and use fixed price listings with buy it now. They continue to give benefits to the casual seller who lists their items with the auction style. Soon sellers who use auction listings and do not have a store will be able to upload up to 12 free pictures for each item. Among many other benefits, they have just made it even easier to become a power seller. This is just another blow to established fixed price stores. Historically this has only been achievable by selling high price items or a ton of low priced items. Generally both of these were only achievable by having a store, simply because the fees would be outrageous otherwise.

Old Comic Book Collection

Here is a huge lot of old comic books that I sold on Ebay. These are great for Auction style listings because people like to bid up things like comics really high!
Here is a huge lot of old comic books that I sold on Ebay. These are great for Auction style listings because people like to bid up things like comics really high! | Source

One of the only real advantages that you have with a buy it now listing is that you can sometimes take advantage of the fact that someone either does not care how much an item costs, or does not know what an item is worth. While pricing an item for much more than what its worth is not unethical, if a buyer has buyer's remorse, it can be messy for feedback and relations, especially thanks to Ebay's one sided "The customer is always right" mentality. Many sellers claim that by pricing it very high and waiting for someone to give them a good best offer, they get more money for an item, but from my experience this way takes a lot longer to sell things and I can't say for sure that I get more profit this way. Unless I am selling a big ticket item, I want the item sold quickly.

French Kitchen Knife

Here's a really cool knife I bought at a flea market and sold on Ebay. I believe it is for opening clams.
Here's a really cool knife I bought at a flea market and sold on Ebay. I believe it is for opening clams. | Source

As a final note, I will say this. If you have a lot of items that are worth a minimum of $15 plus shipping, and you have lots of space to store them, and you are not in a hurry to sell them, then fixed price listings with a second level store works great! I think that many serious sellers however rely on a relatively quick turnaround and we do need to move products reasonably quickly so that we are not tying up business capital. If I had enough items, space, and money to sell this way on Ebay though, I think I would rather have a brick and mortar shop!

I hope you enjoyed this hub! If you liked it would you subscribe for more? Do you love treasure hunting, selling on Ebay, or just learning about cool vintage stuff? Check out my youtube channel for tons of videos about my adventures and hauls as well as tips, tricks, and countless bits of information!

Do you prefer buy it now or auction style?

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    • PickingProfits profile image
      Author

      PickingProfits 4 years ago

      Be friends with everyone and network with everyone. Amazon I would say would be better than Ebay.

    • Glass-Jewelry profile image

      Marco Piazzalunga 4 years ago from Presezzo, Italy

      hello PickingProfits,

      Do you think it would be a nice idea for an entrepreneur and producer of glass jewelry as I am, groped to build a network of ebay sellers?

      My company produces in Italy Pandora style glass beads and in general Pandora style jewellery.

      What is the best way to find ebay sellers willing to sell our own products of this type?

      Or would it be better to try finding Amazon sellers?

      What suggestions would you give me? groped in or give up?

      Thank you very much for sharing your article (and for the time you will kindly devote to me).

    • PickingProfits profile image
      Author

      PickingProfits 5 years ago

      Thanks for your kind words. I am so happy to know that someone enjoyed and learned from my article. Best of luck in your future on Ebay!

    • BIZBSACRAMENTO profile image

      BIZBSACRAMENTO 5 years ago from Sacramento

      So that's how you do it in ebay! Thank you for this very informative hub. I think I am going top run up to my grandma's place to hunt for some antique things for a start and come back here to learn a few more tips from you. This is worth voting all the way up!