Are You Using The Right eBay Listing
Duration For Your Items?
There are so many marketing strategies that anyone selling on eBay can use. In the drop shipping business, the best way to go about it is to utilize every trick, method or technique that can help you drive more sales and, of course, more profits. These proven techniques will not only make sure that your products are visible to your buyers. It will also help you enjoy more sales.
There are a few common marketing techniques in eBay that sellers know so well. This includes the technique in title creation and the use of quality pictures for listings. However, there is another technique that most of us overlook and that is the ‘listing duration’. In this article, we will discuss various ‘listing durations’ used in drop shipping. What are the advantages and how can we consider it as well as part of our selling strategy?
‘Listing Duration’ explained by eBay
Listing duration is when you can list your item to a number of specified days or until you want to cancel.
You can check out further details on listing duration from eBay.
One of the properties that a drop shipper needs to think about is the duration of the listing. Before we discuss further, let me explain one important point. Selecting a duration for your listings depends on your selling format. There are various types of selling formats in eBay listing, the “Fixed Price Format” and the “Auction-Style Format” is the most common and familiar formats used by Drop Shippers (some other less common formats are “Motor National Listings”, “Classified Ads” and others that will not be discussed in this article).
- “Fixed Price Format” – You list your items at a set price, so buyers can purchase right away (with no bidding).
- “Auction-Style Format” – You receive bids on your item and sell to the highest bidder. There is also a way to include a Buy It Now price, so if your buyer feels like the price is reasonable and doesn’t want to wait until the listing’s end date, he can just buy it.
Check out eBay help page for the various types of selling format.
‘eBay Listing Durations’ – Which one works best?
Good ‘Til Cancelled (GTC)
If you’ve been with eBay for some time, you may know this one already. The GTC listing duration in eBay means your product is listed for a duration of 30 days and it automatically renews after the 30th day (This is similar to the 30-day listing which we will discuss later but with a little difference). It will renew itself indefinitely until you decide to remove it.
The benefits of GTC listing duration are:
- You don’t lose your view count and watchers.
- It carries all the sales history ‘till you decide to cancel it.
The downside of GTC listing duration is:
The downside of using this ‘listing duration’ is that eBay charges you for that listing every 30 days as if it’s a new listing. Thus, if you had not canceled listings that are yet to produce a sale, you will still be charged after 30 days. So, drop shippers will have to be mindful of staying up to date with their listings in order to cancel them before the 30-day window closes.
For any other listing, we use 30 Days listing duration. This means your product is listed for a duration of 30 days. It cancels automatically on the 30th day.
The benefits of using 30-day listing vs GTC listing:
The 30 Days listing duration provides a fresh start once it cancels on the 30th day. You only need to work on the Title and Images to make it more appealing for a better chance to produce a sale and show higher in the search results.
The GTC listing doesn’t offer a fresh start even if it has renewed on the second month. Therefore, if you have a negative feedback on a GTC listing during the first month, it will remain even after it has been renewed. Note that negative feedbacks are bad for your listings because it leaves a negative impression and thus decreases the probability of sales.
The downside of 30-day listing duration is:
- You can’t take a 30-day listing out of stock or mark it as 0 items available, So if you are working arbitrage, the monitors can only protect your pricing but you will have to remove the listing once it’s out of stock manually. If you had failed to do that, Buyers can order an item from you, while it is actually out of your supplier’s stock.
- Selling history will be restored and start from fresh, So if your listing was successful and managed to produce good sales and positive feedbacks, None of it will show when you choose to renew it after 30 days.
In eBay, you have to build good impression so that you will get that opportunity to go higher in search results. there are some metrics that eBay uses in connection to what buyers are searching. If you have a bad history in one of your listings under the GTC listing duration, it is not going to recover.
10 Days/7 Days
This means listing your product for 7 days or 10 days only. You can use this listing duration with items that are limited in quantity. You may use the same also for rare items or collectibles. Yet, generally speaking, choosing this option is not common at all when practicing drop shipping arbitrage, due to the fact that you can list items for 30 days for the same price.
Before writing this article, I did a survey. I asked fellow drop shippers on what they commonly use in their product listing on eBay. It was not surprising that most of them choose GTC as their primary. And for the majority of them, this is the only listing duration used. But there are some who still use 30 Days, 10 Days and so on.
The graph above shows that over 37.5 respondents (drop shippers) use GTC listing duration. But this does not mean that you need to choose GTC right away. Again, it still depends on how it stands and how eBay rates it in search results.
And there you have it. Using the correct listing duration for your item listing on eBay is just one among the many important facts to help you effectively publish your products. If you are a novice in the field of drop shipping, I hope these quick facts can help you make it right from the start. Familiarizing yourself with the basic knowledge base makes the business less stressful. And it saves you from the guesswork.
1. GTC is great for drop shipping arbitrage because after the item is sold and reached 0, the listing will renew itself. However, if you are drop shipping with a local source (Unlike arbitrage) and you are familiar with the exact stock amount, it would be wiser to use the 30-day listing. For instance, If you know that there are only 4 items in stock, you won’t want the amount to renew itself after selling all of them.
Important: When engaging in a drop shipping arbitrage business, make sure to connect to a monitoring tool so that when an item is out of stock, the monitoring tool will tell you if you have to make changes to your listing in terms of stock, Or even do it for you.
2. Choose to start with a quantity of 2 so that you can use the promoted listings option on them. After the listing had produced a sale, move it up to 5 to increase the chances of future sales. This technique is recommended for large shops with big limitations and many listings.
So the conclusion is that GTC is especially good for drop shipping arbitrage, and 30/10/7 is a good fit for regular drop shippers who use actual stock.
- Kfir is a Co-Founder and the CEO of DSM Tool. He is working with eBay since 2008 and 8 years later in 2016 joined the founding team of a revolutionary drop shipping management platform - DSM Tool. He has a B.A in Business and Entrepreneurship from IDC Herzeliya. Kfir also plays the drums and owns a dog named "Bamba".