Are you using the eBay Out Of Stock feature?

By Chris Dawson September 29, 2014 - 6:59 am

Out of Stock eBay Item homeWe’ve just seen our first “Out of Stock” eBay listing. Out of Stock is a relatively new feature which allows an eBay listing to remain open at eBay even when there is zero quantity remaining.

Using the Out of Stock feature enables the eBay listing to retain its item number, the count of items sold, remain on buyer watch lists. The listing can still be seen by buyers, but the buy it now button will be missing and an out of stock banner will be displayed above the listing.

While the item has no quantity and is unavailable for purchase, eBay will continue to keep the item listing page live to advertise the item for 90 days. Listing fees will be charged during the inactive period. When quantity is restored to the listing, it will become available in the eBay search results and buyers landing on the page will be able to purchase the item. If the listing still has zero quantity after being inactive for 90 days, the listing will be automatically closed.

Generally this feature is only available through third party management software (it uses the Trading API or LMS) and only on Good Til Cancelled listings. It’s worth remembering that once the feature is added to a listing it can not be removed, the only way to remove the feature is to end the listings and relist without the feature.

This could be a useful feature for you in the run up to Christmas if you think you may be running low on stock on high performing listings. Being able to keep the listing’s history for a few days until more stock comes in makes sense so check with your software provider to see if they support the feature.

  • LJ
    3 years ago

    For my eBay shop this would be a fantastic idea. However why does eBay not roll it out to all shop sellers?

  • Dean
    3 years ago

    I’m using it.
    It is a feature available to LinnLive (Linnworks) users.
    I’ve not got much to say about it as I don’t believe I’ve gone out of stock of anything since starting to use it, but for someone like myself who keeps low stock on a wide range of items this will be very useful.

    • 3 years ago

      Dean, please could you tell me where I find the function in Linnworks? Thanks.

    • 3 years ago

      Oh, found it (eventually) after going through Linnworks forums. For anyone else wondering, it’s in Linnlive, click the button in the ‘Main column’, and it’s under additional options. Will be interesting to see how well this function works.

    • Dean
      3 years ago

      I happened to see it working this afternoon.
      I thought that I hadn’t had an item go out of stock but it seems I did.

      Today when I added stock the listing popped up again and appeared exactly as it had before, with the sale history showing.
      No fuss.

  • Store Your Stuff
    3 years ago

    Is there a list of all 3rd party applications that support this feature? I see from Dean that Linnworks do, but this could be VERY useful, I’d really like to know who else has integrated it.

    • jimbo
      3 years ago

      M2E pro does.

    • Mark
      3 years ago

      ChannelAdvisor does.

    • Melody Worthing
      3 years ago

      ChannelGrabber does

  • Mark
    3 years ago

    How did you get to this listing Chris? Was it a watched item or something?

    As I understood it, I thought that eBay would not be displaying these items (i.e. they should be hidden from search results, and only reappear once stock was assigned to them). I don’t see the point in eBay surfacing them in search results if the buyer can’t buy them?

    • 3 years ago

      They don’t surface, you have to know where the listing is to view it, however it could be on a watch list, saved link or the biggie, perhaps you followed a link from a Search Engine and found the listing which retains it’s search engine ranking (or from a blog, facebook, Twitter….)

      Retaining the semi live status is fantastic!

  • Bruce H
    3 years ago

    Finally! How long does it take to implement something as obvious as this!

    Anyone know where this is controlled in the API and if it works on the UK site?

  • 3 years ago

    I’ve been using it on all new listings for about a year now. When an item is “out of stock” it doesn’t appear in search results at all but can still be accessed if the buyer has the id. When you add quantity back to the listing it appears to retain it’s position in best match.

    When it was first implemented in May 2013 the documentation stated that standard listing fees would still be payable when a GTC listing renews, has this changed now as you say this is no longer the case?

    Also, you state that it can only be used on GTC listings, we have been adding it successfully to 30 day listings as well as GTC.

    • 3 years ago

      Oop, thanks re the fees, corrected above.

      Didn’t know it worked on 30 day listings – good to know

  • DBL
    3 years ago

    I did hear that it’s possible to use with eBay file exchange but I’ve not used it this way myself.

    So it may not be that you have to use a solution to use this feature, I’ll check it out.

  • Matt
    3 years ago

    We use this feature so that it does not remove the item when stock reaches 0

    Matt @ Veeqo

  • 3 years ago

    Yes, we implemented this via API a few months ago and find it really useful.
    We found it a pain for listings to be ended when an item went out of stock, then we would have to pay a new listing fee once stock came back in, so this has saved us money.

    It also retains the sales history on the listing so our pricing analyst can keep a track of sales history, which is quite invaluable.

    The only bugbear is that OOS items still appear in our shop (for search and navigation), which doesn’t help conversion – maybe a section above the fold on the listing that links to items in our shop might help.

    So basically, it’s great, but needs ironing out.

  • 3 years ago

    This works a treat with file exchange & with selling manager pro. Tried & tested today.

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