How to Set Prices on eBay

How to Set Prices on eBay for Fixed Price Listings

While eBay auctions can provide quick sales, fixed price listings can be far more lucrative. As the name implies, prices must be set when the item is listed rather than relying on bids. Setting prices strategically is an essential skill for sellers of all experience levels. Follow the steps below and you can compete on eBay with confidence.                                                                                 

Step 1: Research the item

Arguably the most important step in setting a price is to have a clear understanding of the item that you’re trying to sell. Use all of the resources that you have at your disposal to find comparable items.  For many items, simply searching eBay and on Google can yield comparable items. Verify that the item is authentic and learn about any possible variations of the item that could affect the price. When you comfortable describing your item, move on to step 2.                                                                                                                              

Step 2: Research your competition

Seasoned sellers often vie for visibility by offering low prices, free shipping, and by building brand recognition. eBay complicates item visibility by making “Best Match” the default search order. Best Match is a secret algorithm which uses many factors such as price, conversion rate, seller rating, and time remaining to sort the results. Savvy buyers will change the sort order to sort by price instead. With this in mind, the simplest way to increase your visibility is to charge less than your competition. Search for your items on eBay and note the range of prices that your competitors are charging. In addition to the prices, look at the quality of their pictures, how they describe their products, seller feedback scores, and check if the sellers are “Top Rated.” Great photography, clear product descriptions, and a top-notch reputation can justify higher prices.

Step 3: Research completed listings

Learning what items actually sold for, or didn’t sell for, is another essential data point for setting prices. To see completed listings, simply select the “Completed Listings” filter on the left navigation or in the advanced search settings. You will likely see some items that sold and some items that didn’t sell. Selecting the “Sold Items” filter instead of “Completed Listings” will limit the results to items that that sold. Make note of the range of prices and determine where the sweet spot is for sold items. Unfortunately, eBay does not reveal final sales prices for items that sold via “Best Offer” but auction listings and Buy It Now listings should be clearly visible. Adjust the filters and sort order to build a complete picture of the sales history. You will notice that items that sold with Buy It Now tend to end higher than comparable auctions.

Step 4: Setting your price

Now that you’ve researched the item, it’s time to set your price. A general rule of thumb is to set your prices below your competition while also staying within the price range that the item has recently sold for. In most circumstances, buyers typically won’t pay much more than recent sales prices. If your goal is to sell the item quickly, set your prices slightly lower. If your items are rare and you don’t mind waiting a bit longer for them to sell, set your prices higher. The most profitable sellers rely on moving a high volume of products at competitive prices. Try our a few different strategies to find the best one for your products.

Step 5: Keep your price competitive

If your items don’t sell after a few weeks, check your competition to see if you were undercut. Sometimes tiny price drops will cause dramatic increases in sales volume. Just stay on top of your competition by adjusting your prices and your items will eventually sell.

Need help with a collectible price?

If you’re struggling to price a collectible, message us on Twitter @RelicScout and we’d be happy to help!

Co-founder of Relic Scout. Marketing guru by day, card collector and pop culture enthusiast by night.