EBay sellers deal with the listing format question all the time. In fact, for many, it can be confusing and maybe even a bit of a hassle to figure out.
But it doesn’t have to be. Instead of trying to read everything that’s ever been written on the subject, why not just keep it simple? That is to say, you can make an informed listing format choice when you understand the basic differences.
Should I Use a Fixed Price Listing Format?
Fixed pricing can make for a quick and easy sell, but at a lower price. Nevertheless it can give you a clear picture of what your revenue and profit margins will be on any item that sells.
A fixed price listing format also offers the customer the familiarity of a traditional store. They see an item … put it into their cart … and checkout.
Should I Use an Auction Listing Format?
An auction is a slower process, but it can yield a higher price in the long run. Plus your item is practically guaranteed to sell if you start with a very low bid.
Additionally, an auction lets the market (i.e. eBay bidders) set the price if you’re unsure of an item’s value. But don’t forget to set a reserve price first. Otherwise, you risk selling well below an item’s market value.
All in all, a fixed price listing format is probably the way to go in the majority of cases. Former eBay employee and longtime eBay buyer and seller Aron Hsiao agrees. In particular, he talks about what he sees as a proportionally shrinking market of auction bidders on eBay and a growing market of fixed-price buyers.
He also notes that as a result of this shift eBay is adapting to the fixed price trend. “EBay’s own strategy is shifting toward supporting and more heavily marketing and serving fixed-price listings and sellers.”
And he believes sellers would be wise to take notice.
I’d love to hear your feedback! Please let me know what you think in the comments section below, and if you have any suggestions for future topics.