Buy It Now vs. Auction on Ebay

After you decide what to sell, you need to decide how to sell it. There are two options as to how items can be listed on Ebay; “Buy It Now” and Auction Style.

Buy It Now

“Buy It Now” means that you set the price that you want to receive for your item, either adding the shipping costs as an additional cost, or by factoring it into your price. The buyer can click on it at any time to make the purchase. A plus to Buy It Now is that you can set it for “Good Til Cancelled” which means that this listing will continue to run until someone purchases it, or you end it. Ebay will automatically relist it monthly for you. It also is a good way to sell when you have multiple quantity of an item. Ebay will keep track of how many are sold and the listing will stay up until the quantity you entered is sold out. Another good point is that it won’t sell unless you get exactly what you ask for it.

You can also add a “Or Best Offer”. Buyers can submit an offer to you and you decide if you want to go with the offer or not. The only con I see to the “Buy It Now” option is that you could miss out on a potentially higher price if you priced your item too low, or if there becomes an unexpected demand for your item in which buyers are willing to bid against each other for it.

Auction Style

Auction style listings are great if your item is something well sought after. If more than one person is interested in the item, they can bid against each other, potentially raising the final price of the item. Shipping can be “free” (which means you’re figuring it into the bid), or in addition to the bidding price. Auctions are usually started at a low price, very often 99 cents, but you must be prepared to sell that item for the 99 cents if the auction ends with only one bidder.

If there is a price you don’t want to accept less than, you can set a reserve price on you auction. The item will not sell to the highest bidder unless they have at least met your reserve. There is a fee to set a reserve price, and you will be charged that fee whether your item sells or not. The reserve price fee is $3 for a reserve price under $75 or 4% of the reserve price for anything at or above $75 (maximum fee of $100). An auction listing normally runs for 7 days, but there are other auction lengths. 1, 3, 5, and 10 day auctions are available to choose from. All auctions must run for the number of days you chose. You also can not stop it early once a bid has been made. Auctions are listed for a quantity of one, but if you have more than one of the item, and more than one bidder for that item, you can offer the second place bidder a “Second Chance” offer for the highest amount they bid if you so choose.

Buy It Now is the way that I usually go, but sometimes you just have that interesting item for sale, that just might pique enough people’s interest that an Auction sale can be quite exciting. There’s nothing like watching a bidding war go on for an item that you have listed!

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