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When Not To Use “Buy Now”.
by: Kirsten Hawkins
As you get more experienced on eBay, you might be tempted to use fixed price auctions, just so you can budget better. It’s often more reassuring to know that either you will make a small profit on an item instead of having to wait and see whether it makes a big profit or a big loss. However, you should be aware that there are some times when you really shouldn’t use ‘Buy it Now’.

In the Holiday Season.

The market goes absolutely crazy just before the holidays – and that’s why you shouldn’t list items using Buy it Now. Do you really want to wake up one morning and find that all your stock has been bought up, the current highest bidders on your rivals are bidding double what you just sold them for, and the people who bought your item have relisted it with a starting price higher than what they paid? Of course you don’t.

I would recommend that you stop listing anything as fixed price as soon as you get into December, unless you have a lot of accumulated stock that you want to get rid of for low prices.

When an Item is In-demand.

If an item is selling within a few hours each time you list it using Buy it Now, then you really ought to consider using a normal auction format instead. The chances are that the final price you’d get would be much higher than whatever you’re charging now.

When You Have the Only Item on the Market.

If you have a hard-to-find item that no-one else is currently selling, then it makes no sense to use Buy it Now. You’ll be surprised just how high buyers will go on things that are truly rare, and how upset they’ll be if someone snatches it away from them using Buy it Now. It’s only fair to give everyone a chance to pay you more and more money, isn’t it?

If Your Item Doesn’t Sell.

If you keep needing to relist your item because it consistently fails to sell, that might be the time to give up on listing it in the fixed price format. Buy it Now only works for things that people always want – traditional auctions involve them more with things that they wouldn’t usually buy. You might end up with a slightly lower price than you wanted in the end, but at least that bad item will be off your hands.

If No-one Ever Buys From You With It.

It’s simply not worth having a Buy it Now button on every one of your auctions if nobody ever touches the thing: it’s just sitting there, costing you money for each listing. When it comes down to it, Buy it Now is expensive, and you should only use it in auctions where you really think it will help the item to sell.

Now you might not have noticed, but there’s another ‘alternative’ auction format that often goes ignored: the multiple-item, or ‘Dutch’ auction. In the next email, I’ll show you how these auctions work, and explain why they could be good for your business.

About the author:
Kirsten Hawkins is an Ebay and internet auction enthusiast from Nashville, TN. Visit more great tips on how to make the most from Ebay and other online auctions.

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