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How to use eBay Auctions alongside Fixed Price listings
Today, Jane Bell, known as the eBay Anorak and an eBay Specialist Consultant, takes a fresh look at eBay auctions. Jane has a client base of different sized UK & International businesses across many categories and offers both listings and fulfilment consultancy to a number of Top Rated eBay Powerseller clients.
To begin with eBay was primarily an auction site, today 90% of items are Buy It Now. As business sellers of new and quantity items, why would you use eBay auctions?
One good reason is that eBay are moving to Good ’til Cancelled fixed price listings from the 1st of April so you’ll lose the benefit of “Newly Listed” and the prompt to buy that comes from “Ending Soonest”. By getting some of your popular products listed in the auction format you can retain some of these benefits in search.
Auctions are sorted by time ending soonest and not Best Match so this means they will be at the top of search just before they end so scheduling them to end at your most popular selling time may be an advantage. Auctions don’t necessarily have to start low, you can start them at a price just lower than your By It Now/Good Til Cancelled price.
How to automate your eBay Auctions
Depending on your shop level eBay give you some free 7 day auctions a month, any other duration will mean you’re charged. It’s also important to note how easy it is to go over the free auctions level and be charged on the fifth week (apart from February of course).
How to manage your eBay Auction quota
- Basic shops get 50 free auction listings, so use 10 per week.
- Featured shops get 300 free auction listings, so use 60 per week
- Anchor shops get 500 free auction listings, so use 100 per week
Also, make sure you don’t add a Buy It Now (BIN) to your auction if you have them for sale on a BIN listing in your shop as this will go against the duplicate listing policy and you could risk of eBay downgrading all of your listings in search.
You can use as many auctions for a single product without BIN as you wish but eBay will hide all but one auction until that auction has a bid and then show another. So it’s best to have just one for each product – Don’t waste your free quota.
Setting your eBay Auction auto relist rules
When you’ve listed or scheduled your auctions set a relist rule eg ‘relist continuously if it sells or doesn’t sell’ depending on what relist rule best suits your inventory, this way you only have to set your eBay Auctions live once and from then on they will take care of themselves.
Cross promote your other eBay listings
Use for products across your inventory and different categories and in the description you can add a link to your other items, make sure this link is secure and mobile friendly (use the mobile friendly link on the top right of the description pane to make sure).
This is compliant with eBay’s links policy.
Second Chance Offers
Another advantage to note if you do happen to get more than one bidder you can utilise the second chance offer function. This enables you to sell to the under-bidders at the highest price they’ve bid if it’s within your margins. Apart from the cost in time to set up, you will only pay fees if you sell an item as long as you stick within your free quota of auction style listings.
We are used to getting paid at the time of order, there will be people who bid and don’t pay immediately after the end of the auction so you may have to chase them or payment.
If you don’t use a stock management system take extra care to manage stock levels of those with auctions and BIN listings.
That’s all the downsides I can think of but I’m sure you’ll add some below…
I thought anchor shops get 500 free auctions a month, not 1500
Has this changed?
Well spotted and edited thank you 🙂
You also get 50 free auctions a month on ebay.com
its still 500 at the moment – is it changing??
As a business seller my free quote of ebay auction listings is un-used every month as I personally think they are a waste of time. In fact when sellers use these it just slows down the purchase of GTC listings making live more difficult for sellers in general. If you are saying that ebay are discontinuing ebay auctions for sellers in April then for I see that as great news as myabe then we will actually some bonuses with our ebay shop that are actual of use.
As a business seller my free quota of ebay auction listings is un-used every month as I personally think they are a waste of time. In fact when sellers use these it just slows down the purchase of GTC listings making life more difficult for sellers in general. If you are saying that ebay are discontinuing ebay auctions for sellers in April then I see that as great news as maybe then they might get a replacement bonus with our ebay shop that is actual of use.
auctions are a no brainier
as a signpost or flag
why spend hours thinking of ways to enhance and manipulate, your search ranking
tweaking and altering ,etc etc
when a few free auctions do it in a crack
“Auctions are sorted by time ending soonest and not Best Match so this means they will be at the top of search just before they end”
Uh, what? This isn’t true whatsoever. And it’s so easy to go to eBay, do a search for a popular keyword with many auctions (Michael Jordan) click on the “Auctions” button and see that it still defaults to Best Match and that there isn’t a list of items ending soonest by default. There isn’t even an auction ending today in the first 50 results or so. It’s very easy to verify that this isn’t true, whatsoever.
How does this nonsense get published and why does this site choose to continually mislead so many people?
And this is from someone people are paying to consult them on eBay strategy?
So true, Best Match is the default for everything, including auctions.
“One good reason is that eBay are moving to Good ’til Cancelled fixed price listings from the 1st of April so you’ll lose the benefit of “Newly Listed” and the prompt to buy that comes from “Ending Soonest”.
GTCs still show in ‘ending soonest’ every time they come toward the end of the 30 day run.
I also just checked a search that had 6 auction results by Best Match and they had the following times remaining:
1) 6 day 2 hr (newly listed item)
2) 1d 6h
3) 3d 8h
4) 9d 8h
5) 4d 6h
6) 2d 14h
If auctions were shown by time remaining in BM, then from top to bottom should have been, 2/6/3/5/1/4, so only one was in the ‘correct’ place.