Melvin over on the YouTube Channel asked a great question about eBay auction formats:
Hey Andy, How do you decide on which items to place for auction and which items to place for “Buy it now.” Do you suggest the full 7 days for an auction?
The fast answer Melvin is both, it very much depends on what items you are selling and what your selling strategy you have.
If you sell unique items on eBay that you think will be very popular with allot of interest I would always put them up on an Auction format and let the buyers fight it out, often the price will finish higher than expected because several bidders are driving up the price.
If however you are selling multiple new items you may want to set a “buy it now” price so that you protect your investment and ensure you get your desired profit margin. That way the buyer can decide if they want that item for that price, this way you only need one buyer to decide to buy your item to get your desired profit, with the auction format you will need to have at least two bidders competing against each other to get the price up. Buy it now is less risky but you could be limiting your profit by setting a fixed price. So you need to have a bit of experience here and know your eBay market, you need to have a good idea what you are likely to get for your items and make a decision based on your experience of the market.
Another factor to consider is that generally auctions that start low will attract more bidders and viewers to your auction in search of a bargain so you tend to get more traffic to auction listings. So in order to get the benefit of both situations I have the majority of my listings Buy it Now with a few regular auctions of my best most popular items in auction format that will generate more interest and traffic that will click through to my store and look at my other buy it now items.
Another feature of Buy It Now is that you can list one item for 30 days and if you have a store you can select “good til cancelled” which will automatically re-list your item at the end of the 30 day period. So for a small price you can have your item listed for a whole month rather than just 3, 7 or 10 days of the auction format.
Also worth considering is that once you list an auction it will finish at the end of the selected time frame, 3 days, 7 days or 10 days, but if you list something buy it now you could get a sale within the first day, I have even had sales within minutes of listing items so buy it now can be great for fast profits .
So to sum up I would say try different formats and different duration’s and see what works best for your items, the key is to learn what the likely selling price will be for the items in your market and so you can then make an informed decision. For example if I have bought an item for £5 and I know from experience that they generally sell for £30 – £35 if I want a quick sale I can list it “buy it now” for £20 and I can be quite happy that the item will be sold pretty fast. However if I don’t mind waiting a few months for the return of my investment I might put it at £35 “buy it now” and make more money but it might take 4 or 5 months to sell. Another way would be to say that it only cost me £5 so I’ll list it auction format for £4.99 for 7 days and I know that whatever happens I wont be too far out of pocket, and if it finishes for £14.00 I have still made a quick sale and a reasonable profit. So you can get different outcomes with different formats, that £14 auction listing could well finish at £42 if you’re lucky so you really have to make a decision based on how much you have paid for the item and how fast you need your return.
Experiment, test track and gain experience as you go, oh and enjoy it! It’s allot of fun!