One of the biggest charms of eBay is that it is accommodating to all kinds of sellers. Whether you’re looking to start a long-term business or simply want to have a clear out of your home storage spaces, there’s likely to be a market for your items. Nevertheless, you’ll want to earn as much money as possible from your sales and this is often dependent on your understanding of when to use the Auction feature and when to opt for a Buy It Now format instead.
What is the difference between the eBay Auction vs Buy It Now option?
There are several ways to sell on eBay, but the simplest and most common formats are via Auction and Buy It Now.
Auction: In this format, you’ll set an end date and time for your sale. Users will then compete against each other by bidding on your item. When the sale timer reaches its conclusion, the user with the highest bid will win the auction and pay for your item.
Buy It Now: This sale format also has a pre-set end date and time. However, you will decide in advance exactly how much you’re willing to sell your item for. Users will then have an opportunity to click ‘Buy It Now’ at any time and will then pay the pre-agreed price.
Should you use Auction or Buy It Now when selling on eBay?
Whether you should use eBay Auction or Buy It Now feature will depend heavily on the type of item you’re looking to sell. By taking the time to research how your item has performed historically in other sales on eBay, you’ll be able to tailor your own selling format to earn as much money as possible.
When to use an eBay Auction
Auctions are better suited to items that are extremely popular but difficult to find. If you are selling an item that lots of people want to own, then you can create an active bidding war where users will go head to head to battle it out to win. For example, vintage items and collectables that aren’t being sold by hundreds of other users will often pique the interest of many buyers. The Auction feature can also be useful when you’re having a clear-out of items such as books, videogames, or DVDs and you’re not expecting too much profit from the sales.
When to use eBay Buy It Now
Buy It Now is a great option when you are selling a medium to high priced item that doesn’t have a huge amount of demand. This could relate to an item of clothing that, although rare, isn’t popular with the masses, or even a videogame console that is being sold by lots of other users at the same time. The issue you have with the Auction option on these items is that you might not have enough interest to start a bidding war and, therefore, someone can come along and win the item for an amount that’s much lower than the true value. With Buy It Now, you’ll either sell the item for the price you want, or it won’t sell, and you’ll have the option to re-list it.
Additional eBay Features and Tools
eBay offer a few additional options to sellers to help get items to sell as quickly as possible
Buy It Now with Best Offer Feature
Adding the best offer feature to a buy it now price just means that people can see that you would be willing to negotiate on the price of the item. Potential buyers can send you their ‘best offer’ and you can choose whether to accept, decline or counter offer. (I know what you’re thinking, doesn’t this end up with people sending in silly offers and yes, sometimes it does but it’s really quick and easy to decline them)
If you receive an offer then you have 48 hours to respond to it before it expires, other potential buyers can still submit ‘best offers’ in this time frame too so don’t be too hasty with your approval of offers.
Send Offer to Watchers
The Send offer To Buyers tool is a great way to engage directly with people who are watching your items, it means you can offer them a reduced price on your listings to entice a sale. According to data from eBay watchers are at least 30% more likely to buy something when they receive an offer from a seller. You know they are already interested in the item as they are ‘watching’ it so sending an offer just helps to nudge them towards becoming a buyer.
No matter what kind of selling format you run on eBay, it’s important to do your research beforehand. Understanding how similar items have performed in the past will give you an indication as to the kind of value your item holds, how much demand there is for it, and what kind of selling format will be of benefit to you.