Buy It Now Vs. Auction Selling On eBay


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If you’re new to eBay you might be comparing auction style versus buy it now for your eBay listings. Which is better? 

We will give you the breakdown of what we use to list our items on eBay for our flipping business. 

There are different strategies to use when listing your items. 


Why Are There Two Options On eBay?

Back when eBay first started in the 1990s, all you could do was auction. That was what they were known for. You listed an item. You could set a 7-day auction, put an item up, and people would go into a bidding war.

As demand for items changed, they incorporated the buy it now option along with the auction item. If somebody wanted to pay as much as you were asking, they could pay it to bypass the auction.

They still have an auction for one, three, five, seven, or ten days. The biggest downfall to the auction style listings is you might not have enough people see your listing in that timeframe. The right people might not see your item and bid it up to what it needs to hit for you to make profit. 


Auction Strategy

Back when we used to do auctions, I always listed the items for 10 days so more people could see them. My strategy was to list an item through two weekends. I would list it on a Thursday night, at roughly 9 p.m. and it would end on a Sunday night when people were at home in front of the TV just hanging out. 

It went through two weekends when the majority of people would see listings, so that was my strategy back in the day and that’s how we sold stuff.

Buy It Now Vs. Auction Selling On eBay

Why Buy It Now?

People’s buying habits have changed with smartphones and the growth of Amazon.

Amazon has changed the industry because people can get items the same day or within a few days, making it more challenging for eBay. To compete with that, eBay has pushed buy it now as an option. 

People want stuff immediately. They want it quick. So eBay had to start changing with the times and that’s when they started allowing people to do buy it now prices. It doesn’t get shipped as quickly as Amazon because Amazon has the majority of their stuff in house while eBay has individual sellers, but it does save the time you would wait if it was on auction. 

We list everything we have for buy it now prices and the reason we do that is because it sometimes takes a while for the right buyer to see the item you are selling. If you want to sell something quickly and you don’t care what it sells for, list it for an auction. I would still do it for 10 days so you get the maximum number of people seeing it. 

Auctions can be useful when it’s a collectible or if an item is really rare, but we sell 99.9% of our items on buy it now.

The other time you could use an auction is when you’re trying to grow your feedback and you just list items very low so you can sell them, get rid of them, and build feedback with your sales. 

Other than that, we recommend using buy it now when listing on eBay.

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