Ebay : Auctions vs Buy It Now

I have recently decided to revive my Ebay account due to “summer slackness” in my Amazon sales. For those of you who sell on Ebay, is it better to do Auctions verse Buy It Now (BIN)?

I have been doing BIN lately but I’m wondering if auctions may be a better option. I sell media items like (books, dvds, Cds, small electronics, etc.) Or…should I be doing both???


Personal Ebay:

I try to do everything BIN a few bucks below the average sales price to move stuff. Mind you, my personal ebay is used hard goods, always sold as is no returns (described correctly).

Business ebay, I tend to sell at the same price as Amazon, all BIN.


Auctions are used far less often on Ebay than they used to be, and most buyers are not devoting the time they once did to Ebay buying.

With about 4000+ items listed on Ebay, I currently have 1 auction active. It has been visited but no bids so far. It is rare, it will sell, but whether there will be a bidder within the 7 day auction period is doubtful.

I ran through a pile of baseball tobacco cards by auction a few months back. All of the buyers were other dealers. Most were buying my ungraded cards, having them PSA graded and reselling on Ebay or Amazon. I got decent prices, but did not optimize my returns.

I have bought some used photo equipment recently on Ebay auctions, paid a small fraction of what BIN listings were actually selling for.

Been turning down offers on BIN listings and then selling the item for my BIN price.

Of the items you sell, depending on what you have to offer, you may see sales no matter what you do, or no interest,

The CDs I have listed are moving at a snails pace but I still expect to make at least $5 on a CD. Some books are moving fast, others are in oversupply on Ebay as they are on Amazon.

I see no reason to sell on Ebay for less than Amazon, and many of my sales are for prices above what my Amazon price was.

If you list enough, your sales will tell you what you should be listing and at what prices.


The majority of our items are BIN. Some items we will include “Add an Offer”, but always have it auto-decline anything below what we are willing to sell it for. We haven’t done an Auction in many years.


I didn’t know about the “auto-decline”. Thanks for the tip @JustHere4TheComments !!!
Great information @lake, Thanks!!!


Moving STUFF is what I need to do. I have a lot of excess inventory that will most likely sell if bundled. THANKS!!!


BIN here too. The auto reject is set at cost including fees and shipping, the auto accept is usually a couple dollars less than the offer, if the buyer wants to haggle in that range, I don’t really care since most of my ebay catalog right now is things I want to get rid of more than things I want to profit on.



BIN all the way.


Buy It Now only…


Most of my eBay items are Buy It Now. I try auctions first when I can’t find a comparable Sold price.

In the early days on eBay, the advice for auctions was to list the item with an opening bid figure that would be acceptable to you if the auction item only received one bid.


I sold a few things on Ebay 20(?) years ago and gave up because I HATEHATEHATE auctions — but as a new seller back then, I wasn’t allowed to sell BIN until I had a certain volume of sales. I don’t like mucking around, and I don’t like haggling. I know what my items are worth, and I won’t starve if I wait for that price.

For that matter, I also hated auctions as a buyer. Again, I hate mucking and endlessly checking the bidding progress. I’d put in a bid and then forget about it. I think I won only one auction.

I’ve contemplated trying Ebay again to sell my vintage items and jewelry supplies, BIN only. It’s a matter of squeezing in another project in my life.


Even as a buyer who make many scores via sniping in the early days of bidding, I just can’t be waiting around to try and be available to win, so BIN is the way to go if the price is fair.


This is my whole idea (for the personal account).

If it’s something super rare and I might be able to get more then I think, I’ll do it auction, start it at a price I know I will be happy with and let it go. Only one bid? I’m ok with that.


We always use buy it now.

Just match the lowest price on the item delivered if the price works for you.


Today’s buyers won’t wait for an auction. If I am selling a $15 item, I will automatically accept offers above a certain price point, such as $11. Then anyone bidding say $12 instantly wins the item and I get notified to ship it. Also, Ebay pays same day or new feature is to sign up to get paid in 30 minutes.



It seems with auctions, you get mostly lowballers who want it for next to nothing. I do buy it now and price competitively.

I sell mostly DVDs which are not moving as fast as they used to. And yes, the price range is lower on eBay but there are some OOP and hard to find that are competitive with amazon and some even worth more.


I only have about 1100 items on eBay and ALL are BIN with offers available. I keep a TIGHT leash on what offers will be accepted. Same price for minimum offer and auto accept. I simply don’t have the time or patience to ‘negotiate’ with someone about 50 freaking cents.

I haven’t done an auction in years and was down to about 50 listings there a couple years ago before starting to add more. I have about 4400+/- on Amazon so a LOT of things that I need to add on eBay.

Fortunately I found a really good inventory management product that will track sales and remove inventory from the other sites when something sells. It costs a bit but is worth it so I don’t end up overselling in most cases.

I also use their international selling thing for any of my items that I can sell internationally. A LOT of my suppliers only allow US sales to protect their international dealers.


We do everything at Buy I Now. New not used Auto Parts. Old new stock is often liquidated with make an offer.

The international sales are much better on the bay as well.

1 Like

When I first started out (over 15 years ago) that was all I was doing and for the most part, the items were selling over market value. Bidding was popular back then but these days buyers want the item now and are easily distracted and will move on to something else. I may do an auction if I’m selling a large quantity in bulk and will set a minimum bid price and a 3-day auction (during the week for suppliers).
If you do an auction make sure to do it at a time when you think your clientele would be online and that it doesn’t end at an inconvenient time.

Auctions work well for high-demand or popular collectible items in the hope of getting into a bidding war and it does work for the right items. It may work for electronic items but IMO not for books or DVDs/CDs unless they’re collectibles.

I don’t have any items listed with ‘best offer,’ when I did buyers would submit ridiculously lowball offers. Every now and again I will get a message from a buyer offering to purchase a large amount at a low price or a sob story from someone asking me to sell them the item for half the cost which just annoys me as my products are priced extremely well and they are already getting a great deal.

Most of my sales come from promoted listings or repeat customers and I have all my listings as immediate payment. When I didn’t have immediate payment it would often take days for the seller to pay, why even give the buyer that option?

It all comes down to being priced correctly, how quickly you want to move inventory, and knowing your competition.


One of the best threads ever!

We were on eBay well before 2000, I remember selling a lot from Sept 11th, they had no BIN, and it was a challenge to keep enough stock listed so people did not overpay. We were trying to help, not price gouge.

We semi, left eBay 10 years ago after starting on Amazon. Amazon just sucked the life out of us for many reasons, some good some bad.

I would like to get back in but have listing questions. Will not highjack this thread, but start a new one soon.